Posts Tagged ‘Horrifying’

The Damnation Game

October 26, 2011

Author: Clive Barker

Title:  The Damnation Game

Genre: Horror

Publication Date: 1987

Number of Pages: 448

Geographical Setting: Britain

Time Period: Early 1980’s

Plot Summary:  Marty Strauss, a gambling addict recently released from prison, is hired to be the personal bodyguard of Joseph Whitehead, one of the wealthiest men in the world.  The job proves more complicated and dangerous than he thought, however, as Marty soon gets caught up in a series of supernatural events.  It all starts when a mysterious man named Mamoulian shows up on Whitehead’s property.  It turns out during World War II Whitehead mad a deal with Mamoulian in order to one day be ritch and powerful.   As time passes, Mamoulian haunts Whitehead using his supernatural powers, urging him to complete his pact with him.  Eventually Whitehead relents and chooses to meet with Mamoulian as Marty races to prevent Whitehead’s daughter from becoming entangled as Whitehead seeks to escape his fate.

Subject Headings: Zombies, Good and evil, Former convicts, Rich men, Supernatural, Violence, Selfishness in men

Appeal: Plot-driven, Bleak, Gruesome, Menacing, Violent, Compelling, atmospheric, uneasy, dark, imaginative, descriptive, explicit, horrifying

3 appeal terms that best describe this book: Gruesome, compelling, atmospheric

Similar Authors and Works (why are they similar?):

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors

The Philosophy of Horror: Or, Paradoxes of the Heart by Noel Carroll

A serious look at the aesthetics of horror. In this book he discusses the nature and narrative structures of the genre, dealing with horror as a “transmedia” phenomenon. A fan and serious student of the horror genre, Carroll brings to bear his comprehensive knowledge of obscure and forgotten  works, as well as of the horror masterpieces. Working from a philosophical perspective, he tries to account for how people can find pleasure in having their wits scared out of them.  A nice read for anyone wanting to know more about the horror genre.

Dancing with the Dark: True Encounters with the Paranormal by Masters of the Macabre by Stephen
Jones

Fact is definitely scarier than fiction, especially when true stories of encounters with the unknown are retold by the horror masters who experienced them.  This is a good book for any fan of horror.

The Encyclopedia of Hell by Miriam Van Scott

The Encyclopedia of Hell is a comprehensive survey of the underworld, drawing information from cultures around the globe and eras throughout history. Organized in a simple-to-use alphabetic format, entries cover representations of the dark realm of the dead in mythology, religion, works of art, opera, literature, theater, music, film, and television. Sources include African legends, Native American stories, Asian folktales, and other more obscure references, in addition to familiar infernal chronicles from Western lore.  Whitehead makes a deal with the devil in The Damnation Game; this is the perfect book to find out which devil he dealt with.

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors:

The Good House by Tananarive Due

The home that belonged to Angela Toussaint’s late grandmother is so beloved that townspeople in Sacajawea, Washington, call it the Good House.  But that all changes one summer when an unexpected tragedy takes place behind its closed doors, and the Toussaint’s family history and future is dramatically transformed.  A gruesome horror story filled with supernatural elements and dealings with the devil should appeal to fans of The Damnation Game.

A Gathering of Crows by Brian Keene

Brinkley Springs is a quiet little town. Some say the town is dying. They don’t know how right they are. Five mysterious figures are about to pay a visit to Brinkley Springs. They have existed for centuries, emerging from the shadows only to destroy. To kill. To feed. They bring terror and carnage, and leave blood and death in their wake.   A terrifying story that should appeal to horror readers who like more carnage mixed in with their horror.  Just like The Damnation Game it is not for the faint of heart.

The Mailman by Bentley Little

It’s the first day of summer in a small American town. We meet a school teacher, his wife, and their young son, Billy. One thing, one seemingly minor thing, goes wrong. And all that was safe and ordinary slowly unravels into nightmare.  There’s a new mail carrier in town, one who’s delivering lethal letters stuffed with icy fear. Now nothing, not even the most outstanding citizens or the most secret weaknesses, is safe from the sinister power of this malicious mailman.  Featuring a strong main bad guy this should appeal to any reader who likes the menacing tone of The Damnation Game.

Name: Jason Rock

Pet Sematary

October 26, 2011

Author: King, Stephen

Title:  Pet Sematary

Genre:  Horror

Publication Date: 2001

Number of pages: 562

Geographical Setting: Ludlow, Maine

Time period: Contemporary

Series:  N/A

Plot Summary: A young family moves from Chicago to a country house in Ludlow, a small college town in Maine. The doctor, Louis Creed, his pretty wife, his sweet little daughter, and a toddler boy settle in quickly and make friends with a local, elderly couple from across the street. It all starts well but the first signs of menace can be felt when the neighbor, Jud Crandall, warns the Creeds against the dangers of the busy road that separates their houses, and then shows them an old “Pet Sematary” located in the back of their property. When the family cat gets killed, Jud secretly takes Louis and the corpse into the woods, past the “sematary” and into the old, supernatural Indian burying ground known for sending dead animals back, and sure enough, the cat appears alive. But is it really? What is the price of the resurrection? What are the limits?  What does the neighbor’s statement “sometimes dead is better” mean? The rest of this bone-chilling story rapidly descends into a psychological horror tale of unimaginable loss, macabre death, undead evil, and supernatural powers of a place that “went sour.”

Subject Headings: Undead, Pets, Pet Cemeteries, Loss (Psychology), Supernatural, Small town life—Maine.

Appeal: creepy, menacing, horrifying, visceral, disturbing, nightmarish, chilling, dark, morbid, ghoulish, revolting, heart-wrenching, compelling, character-driven, suspenseful, fast-paced.

3 Appeal Terms that Best Describe this Book: creepy, menacing, character-driven.

Similar Authors and Works (why are they similar?):

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors:

1) The Stephen King Illustrated Companion: Manuscripts, Correspondence, Drawings and Memorabilia from the Master of Modern Horror by Bev Vincent: the book discusses King’s most iconic works and monsters, and tries to connect them to King’s personal experiences, thoughts and memories. Parts of the plot of “Pet Sematary” are based on King’s real-life experience and the connections are discussed in this companion book.

2) Encyclopedia of the Undead by Bob Curran: this book collects a wide range of vampires, werewolves, ghouls and monsters from around the world, traces their origins, and connects them to our psychology and archetypical fears.

3) Dark Woods, Chill Waters: Ghost Tales from Down East Maine by Marcus LiBrizzi: a collection of most chilling and menacing stories about Maine where deep, dark forests and harsh cliffs are reflected in the supernatural lore and stories of unimaginable horror and evil.

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors:

1) The Walking by Bentley Little: a story of a chilling quest to uncover the source of a strange epidemic that turn people into walking dead and propels them to an unknown destination. Similarly to “Pet Sematary,” the story has a disturbing and menacing mood. It’s also fast-paced, character-driven and suspenseful.

2) Second Child by John Saul: a tale of an idyllic town of Secret Cove disturbed by a hundred-years-old legacy of an unspeakable evil act and channeled through a young girl, Melissa Holloway. The story is disturbing, menacing, fast-paced and addresses similar subject of disturbed “old evil” leading toward horrifying consequence.

3) The Good House by Tananarive Due: Angela Toussaint, the protagonist of the story, travels back to her family house to put a closure to the memory of her son’s suicide, only to realize that the town is possessed by evil ancestral spirits driving seemingly balanced people to suicide. Both “Pet Sematary” and this book are fast-paced and creepy horror stories about small town life, menacing supernatural and the psychology of loss.

Megan R.

Psychological Suspense

June 11, 2009


Psychological Suspense

Title: Scarpetta

Author: Cornwell, Patricia

Publication Date: 2008

Number of Pages: 500

Genre: Psychological Suspense

Geographic Setting: New York City

Time Period: Present Day

Series: Kay Scarpetta

Plot Summary: Chief Medical Examiner Kay Scarpetta leaves her practice in South Carolina to accept an assignment at Bellevue Hospital psychiatric prison ward, where her  husband works. An injured man, Oscar Bane, turns himself in to authorities claiming that he had been attacked by a stalker who had just killed someone else. He requests that only Dr. Scarpetta examine him. Is Oscar Bane a murderer, paranoid victim, or obsessed stalker fixated on Dr. Scarpetta? The only thing known for sure is that a woman had been tortured and murdered. There are bizarre twists and turns throughout the book. Dr. Scarpetta uses her technological skills to unravel the mystery and eventually reveal the  horrifying truth that threatens her entire family.

Subject Headings: Scarpetta, Kay (fictitious character) –Fiction, Medical examiners (law) –Fiction, Forensic pathologists – Fiction, Women physicians –Fiction

Appeal: Suspenseful, Multiple Plotlines, Complex plots, Scientific, Layered, Bizarre, Twists and Turns, Shocking, Horrifying,  Dark tone, Feminist, Intense.

Three terms that describe this book: Suspenseful, Scientific, Complex.

Similar Authors and Works (Fiction)

Reichs, Kathy – Bare Bones. Temperance Brennan is a forensic anthropologist and uses her scientific training and research to solve this mystery.

Patterson, James – 1st to Die. This is the first in the Women’s Murder Club. Four women, a medical examiner, detective, reporter, and an attorney are friends who team up to solve crimes.

Cook Robin – Chromosome 6. The main character, Dr. Jack Stapleton, a forensic pathologist, and Dr. Laurie Montgomery use their medical training to solve a bizarre crime.

Similar Authors and Works (Nonfiction)

Denega, Danielle – Skulls and skeletons: true life stories of bone detectives. Forensic anthropologists who use their skills to solve mysteries are featured in this book.

Hunter, William – Solving Crimes with Physics.  Introduces and explains how forensic science associated with blood splatter, bullet ballistics, explosions, and other physical evidence can be used to understand crimes.

Nova – “The Perfect Corpse,” a DVD originally aired on television. Forensic scientists examine a headless Iron Age male corpse in Ireland. It is theorized that he had been a sacrificial victim of Celtic ritual.

Name: Donna Mihovilovich