Posts Tagged ‘scary’

The Graveyard Book

October 31, 2012

The Graveyard Book

Author: Neil Gaiman

Title: The Graveyard Book

Genre: Horror, Fantasy Fiction

Publication Date: October 2008

Number of Pages: 312 pgs.

Geographical Setting: Cemetery grounds in Great Britain

Time Period: Present Day

Series (If applicable): N/A

Plot Summary: When he was just a baby Nobody Owen’s family was murdered by the man called Jack. Fortunately for Nobody he escaped this man and crawled to safety to the cemetery up the hill. There Mr. and Mrs. Owen found the boy and with the help of his new guardian Silas the boy would grow up protected in the graveyard. He is given “the freedom of the graveyard” which allows him to communicate with the dead and the living. He even learns skills of fading, dream walking, and the languages of nonhuman being. Over the years however curiosity got the best of him and he finds himself on many adventures, both in and out of the graveyard. Some involving witches, ghouls, ghosts, werewolves, snake like creatures and more. Even attending a school for the living doesn’t go as planned for Nobody. Throughout his youth, the man named Jack is in constant pursuit of the boy and wishes to finish what he started years ago. He will not stop until his job is complete.

This coming of age story will appeal to those in their teen years as well as any adult with an imagination. Darkly written at times with a chilling atmosphere, this book is sure to please those who like suspense novels. Witty and humorous at times, this book will ease those who don’t want to be “scared to death” but enjoy a darker tales.

Subject Headings: Orphan boys, Cemeteries, Ghosts, Supernatural, Werewolves, Dead, Boys

Appeal: Orphan boy, Graveyard, Murder, Ghosts, Suspenseful, Friendships, Creepy, Witty, Fast Paced, Bittersweet, Coming of age, Scary

Three appeal terms that best describe this book: Coming of Age, Scary, Ghosts

Three Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors:

1. Weird encounters: true tales of haunted places (Sep 2010)
This book tells the stories of over 75 hauntings and supernatural experiences found throughout the United States. If you liked the idea of a boy growing up in a graveyard and at times haunting people you may like to read about “real” haunting in the US.
Similarities: Ghosts, Graveyards, Scary

2. Orphan Train Rider: One boy’s true story (1996) by Andrea Warren
Tells the story of one mans trip on the orphan train and how over 200,000 abandoned children were relocated to new homes between 1854-1929.
Similarities: Orphan boy, Coming of age
3. Dogtown: Death and Enchantment in a New England ghost town (2009) by Elyssa East
Tells the story of a ghost town in Massachusetts. Where murder took place and witches still hold ceremonies in the woods surrounding the town to this day. People claim sightings of pirates and ghosts.
Similarities: Ghosts, Murder, WitchesThree Relevant Fiction Works and Authors:1. Ghostgirl (Aug 2008) by Tonya Hurley
If you liked reading about a boy growing up in a graveyard, you may like reading about a girl who goes to a high school for the dead. She lives among the dead but wishes to go to the school dance with the living and her crush. Switching roles from a live person living with the dead to a dead person wishing to be alive again will give readers a chance at a different view on the meaning of life and death. Similarities: Ghosts, Fantasy, Death2. Miss Peregrine’s home for peculiar children (Jun 2011) by Ransom Riggs
If you liked reading about a boy with some unusual abilities then you’ll enjoy Miss Peregrine’s home for peculiar children. In this book a young boy goes to visit the orphanage his grandfather was sent to in order to escape the Nazi’s. Upon arriving he finds that the children from his grandfathers stories are still there and are in danger and so is he.
Similarities: Orphans, Suspenseful, Supernatural, Creepy

3. The replacement (Sep 2010)
Mackie, a changeling, replaced a human baby when he was just a baby. Every seven years the inhabitants of the underground dwelling take a human baby as a sacrifice and leave in its place a changeling. Now with another baby gone, Mackie finds himself going back to his place of birth and setting things right, before the townspeople find out who he really is.
Similarities: Creepy, Fantasy, Supernatural

Name: Madison Gailus

The Graveyard Book

July 17, 2012

The Graveyard Book

 

Author: Neil Gaiman   Illustrator: Dave McKean

Title: The Graveyard Book

Genre: Fantasy, Suspense, Thriller

Publication Date: 2008

Number of Pages: 307

Geographical Setting: England

Time Period: Modern

Plot Summary: This is the story of “Nobody” Owens (nicknamed Bod for short) who as a toddler, escapes his home while his family is murdered. He wanders into a graveyard and ends up being raised by the dead. As he gets older he finds out the truth about his family and “the man Jack” who is still out to kill him. This adventurous fantasy starts out a bit relaxed, but becomes more quickly paced towards the end. It is a suspenseful and sometimes creepy story filled with witty and engaging language and characters. Neil Gaiman portrays the atmosphere and characters of this old English graveyard using dialect-rich language.

Subject Headings: Cemeteries, Ghosts, Werewolves, Orphans, Dead, Supernatural, Paranormal

Appeal: scary, suspenseful, quick-paced, witty, heartwarming, dialect-rich, engaging characters, atmospheric, creepy, humorous, clever, descriptive, attention grabbing

3 terms that best describe this book: suspenseful, witty, engaging plot and characters

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors:

1.      Creepy Chicago: A Ghosthunter’s Tales of the City’s Scariest Sites by Ursula Bielski (Illustrated by Amy Noble) – Just like the haunted graveyard in The Graveyard Book, this book tells about local Chicago sites that are said to be haunted.

2.      The Haunted Cotswolds by Bob Meredith (Illustrated by Peter Reardon) – This book would appeal to readers who would like to learn about a true ghost hunter who writes about supernatural happenings throughout Cotswold.

3.    England: An Illustrated History by Henry Weissser – There are many historical references in The Graveyard Book so this nonfiction companion would appeal to those who would be interested in learning more about the history of England.

Ursula Bielski (Author)

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3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors:

1.      The Color of Magic: A Discworld Novel by Terry Pratchett – If you enjoyed the British “feel” and humor in The Graveyard Book, you may also enjoy this.

2.      Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill – You may enjoy this book if you enjoy reading scary fiction books about ghosts.

3.      The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling – The Graveyard Book has a similar theme to Kipling’s book where a child is raised under unusual circumstances.

Name: Patty Prodanich

Fahrenheit 451

October 12, 2011

Author: Ray Bradbury

Title: Fahrenheit 451

Genre: Science fiction

Publication Date: 1953

Number of Pages: 165

Geographical Setting: An unnamed California city in the United States.

Time Period: Distant Future

Plot Summary: Guy Montag lives in a society without any books.   Guy is a firefighter whose job it is to respond to emergency calls of citizens who are found with books.  His job is to burn those books, and in a sad instance, those who own the books.  This is a society purely based on entertainment delivered by TV screens in the household.  He is walking home from work one evening and meets a young girl, Clarisse, who causes him to question his job, his morals, his marriage, and his happiness.  Clarisse, in society’s view is considered mentally ill, but in our contemporary society, appears to be perfectly normal with a normal family- life.  Clarisse’s insight causes Guy’s to re-examine his life, which leads to disastrous consequences for Guy, his family and his co-workers.

Subject Headings:  banned books, book burning, censorship, conformity, dystopias, fires, futurism, mass media, reading, repression, totalitarianism.

Appeal: visionary, prophetic, accurate, scary, eerie, disturbing, bleak, hopeful, lyrical, dystopian, poetic, world-building.

3 appeal terms that best describe this book:  heroic, character-driven, atmospheric

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors:

 1)Bradbury Chronicles: The life of Ray Bradbury by Sam Weller-Interviews with editors, friends, family and the author about the author’s work ethic, struggles, successes and inspiration.

2)Universal History of the Destruction of Books: from ancient Sumer to modern-day Iraq by Fernando Baez-This book examines the many reasons throughout history of the destruction of books (Novelist).  This book also makes reference to Fahrenheit 451.

3)Reading Lolita in Tehran: a memoir in books by Azar Nafisi-Chosen for a contemporary and political take on book banning and illustrating “the power of literature to nourish free thought” (Kirkus Reviews)

 3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors:

1)1984 by George Orwell- a story with a timeless quality and political and social issues and a heroic protagonist.  A “dystopian classic” (Novelist).

2)Night bookmobile by Audrey Niffenegger-A graphic novel that highlights the personal importance and memories associated with books we have read.

3)Brave New World by Aldous Huxley-Chosen for its literary feel, the protagonists feel there is so much more to be experienced than their “utopian”, totalitarian society offers.

Name:Cheryl

Monster

August 17, 2011

 

Author:  Frank Peretti

Title:  Monster

Genre:  Christian fiction, Horror, Suspense

Publication Date:  2005

Number of Pages:  419

Geographical Setting:  Abney, Idaho and surrounding forested area

Time Period:  Present day (not explicit)

Series (If applicable):  N/A

Plot Summary:  Reed and Rebecca (“Beck”) Shelton head to Abney, Idaho to escape the hustle and bustle of the city.  However, plans for a peaceful escape into the wilderness soon become dashed as Reed and Beck discover that the forest contains much more than your typical wildlife.  As night falls, they begin to hear strange noises, and the sound of giant steps in the surrounding forest.  They quickly realize these creatures aren’t there to make friends, and flee into the surrounding darkness.  They’re not quick enough; Beck falls and is kidnapped by one of these hairy, hulking, smelly creatures and carried off into the night.  When Reed returns to the nearby town of Abney to get help, no one believes his story involving giant, ape-like, foul-smelling, hairy beasts with unbelievable speed and agility; they assume that they’re dealing with a bear attack.  However, evidence mounts up to the contrary, and soon others begin to realize that they may be dealing with a legendary beast: Bigfoot…or are they?  Are these beasts actually man-made, the result of altering chimpanzee DNA to create a super creature?  Suspense builds in this fast-paced tale of horror that is both action-oriented and issue-oriented, centering around the discussion of man’s involvement in DNA splicing and the concept of evolution.  A quick, exciting read, even fans that hold beliefs contrary to Peretti’s won’t be able to put down this cinematic tale.

Subject Headings:  Northwest, Pacific—Fiction, Wilderness areas—Fiction, Supernatural—Fiction, DNA research, Evolutionary beliefs, missing persons investigations, supernatural

Appeal:  fast-paced, menacing atmosphere, chilling tone, dangerous, didactic, foreboding, nightmare, scary, suspenseful, uneasy, familiar characters, action-oriented storyline, cinematic, investigative, issue-oriented, linear, detailed setting, details of Pacific Northwest forests, accessible

3 terms that best describe this book:  fast-paced, suspenseful, chilling

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors:

Monkey Girl: Evolution, Education, Religion, and the Battle for America’s Soul—Edward Humes (religion and evolution, novelistic approach, accessible style)

Bushwhack: A Serial Story of Off-Trail Hiking & Camping in the Pacific Northwest Wilderness—Gerald M. Chicalo (similar setting, also about a hiking trip gone awry, suspenseful elements)

Bigfoot!: The True Story of Apes in America—Loren Coleman (supernatural element, investigative aspects, accessible style)

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors:

Prodigal Son—Dean R. Koontz (man messing with creation aspect, fast-paced, horror aspects)

Adam—Ted Dekker (fast-paced, Christian fiction/horror, suspenseful tone)

Double Helix—Sigmund Brouwer (DNA experimentation theme, Christian fiction, suspenseful tone, scary, issue-oriented)

–Jessica

The Graveyard Book

August 10, 2011

Author: Gaiman, Neil

Title:  The Graveyard Book

Genre: Fantasy, Suspense

Publication Date: 2008

Number of Pages: 336

Geographical Setting: A graveyard in England

Time Period: Current times

Series:  N/A

Format:  Audio

Plot Summary:  “There was a hand in the darkness and it held a knife.”  So begins the extraordinary story of a boy, a toddler really, who was made an orphan on that fateful night.  The knife held by the man Jack takes the lives of the boy’s father, mother and sister and would also have taken the boy’s had he not tumbled out of his crib and escaped into the darkness.  He wanders into an abandoned graveyard where the forgotten souls residing there agree to take him in as one of their own.  He is named Nobody Owens, (“Bod”) for protection, and in honor of his of his adoptive parents, Mr. and Mrs. Owens, a ghostly but genial couple.  The mysterious Silas, who is neither dead nor alive, is his guardian,  bringing  him food and ensuring  that he is educated in the ways of the dead and the living.  The book follows Bod’s life in the graveyard with each chapter set in a different year.  Throughout this time however, there is still the man Jack, searching for Bod so that he may finish his work.  When Bod turns fifteen, he is ready to leave the graveyard and resume a life of his own among the living, but first he must confront the evil that has been stalking him for so long.  Bod’s final showdown with the man Jack provides a dramatic and satisfying conclusion to this unusual story.  This is a fast-paced book with magical and creepy moments.   Gaiman’s storytelling skills are brilliantly inventive, particularly in relating Bod’s adventures with the visiting ghouls and his rescue by the talented Miss Lupescu.   However, what makes this book a standout, is that along with the witty plot, odd characters and unusual setting, the author also creates the poignant story of an orphan boy  learning the skills needed to survive in the world.   The audio version of The Graveyard Book, read by Neil Gaiman himself, completely sets the tone, beginning with a beautifully performed rendition of “The Danse Macabre” on banjo.  This music selection immediately alerts the listener that this will be a sinister, perhaps quirky book, but not necessarily scary.   Gaiman is the perfect reader, using different accents for different characters and able to mimic precisely the indescribable call of a night-gaunt.   His understated reading of the text, in particular the opening chapter with its gruesome murders , is reminiscent of Alfred Hitchcock at his best.

Subject Headings:  Cemeteries, Ghosts, Supernatural, Werewolves, Vampires, Assassins, Orphan Boys

Appeal:  attention grabbing, witty, enthralling, scary, suspenseful, sinister, creepy, wild, well crafted, bittersweet, smart, wry, original, imaginative, clever, poignant, foreshadowing, quirky

3 Terms That Best Describe This Book: original, suspenseful, bittersweet

Similar Authors and Works

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors:

Stories in Stone: The Complete Guide to Cemetery Symbolism by Douglas Keister, engraved symbols used on tombstones  tell a very detailed story about  the person buried there; The Other Side:  A Teen’s Guide to Ghost Hunting and the Paranormal by Marley Gibson, an informative look at  the technical aspects of ghost hunting as a hobby; Encyclopedia Horrifica:  The Terrifying Truth About Vampires, Ghosts,Monsters and More by Joshua Gee, geared to young adults, this is a paranormal reference book  described as “hilariously horrifying.”

3 Revelant Fiction Works and Authors:

  Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz, about a boy who can see ghosts, is certainly more of an adult book, but it shares the same darkly humorous tone.  The graphic novel version, In Odd We Trust might be less intense.   Christopher Moore, A Dirty Job,   another adult book about a new father who can see ghosts is described as “dizzyingly inventive and hypnotically engaging”,  similar to The Graveyard Book.  Skellig by David Almond, is a young adult novel that tells the story of a strange creature living in a shed behind a young man’s house and has the same eerie, magical feel.

Name:  Chris M.

World War Z by Max Brooks [Audiobook]

August 3, 2011

Title: World War Z

Author: Max Brooks

Genre: Horror (Audiobook)

Publication Date: 2006

Number of Pages: 342 (6 hours)

Geographical Setting: Worldwide

Time Period: Near future (After the war)

Plot Summary: World War Z is a pseudo-documentary that chronicles the tales of a broad cast of characters, from different countries and walks of life, all drawn together by the impending threat of annihilation from the walking dead. Section has an interview as the unnamed writer gets the story from the survivors regarding each “phase” of the zombie epidemic. Starting from the “patient zero” in China, to the spreading to South America and Africa, and hitting epidemic and panic levels in America and worldwide, the story weaves a chilling tale of the failure of the government and the people of the world to cope with a truly chilling pandemic. The story chronicles the multi-faceted problem of the zombie epidemic and how the world as a whole faces and eventually overcomes it. This is a story that is part horror, part war story and part social commentary and for anyone with a passing interest in the zombie mythos it is a must-read.

Subject Headings: Post-Apocalyptic, Zombies, Epidemics, Technological Meltdown, War, Documentary, Social Commentary

Appeal: character-driven, interview narrative, gritty, scary, unsettling, dark humor, political humor, atmospheric, satirical, dark

Three Words or Phrases Best Describing this Book: gruesome, social commentary, compelling

Similar Authors and Works

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors

Theories of International Politics and Zombies by Daniel Drezner (A more scholarly discussion of how various nations and governments might react in the face of a zombie epidemic.)

Zombies!: An Illustrated History of the Undead by Jovanka Vuckovic and George Romero (An in-depth overview of the cultural phenomenon of zombies in popular culture, from B-movies to Haiti.)

Zombie Economics: How Dead Ideas Still Walk among Us by John Quiggin (This is an economic discussion how dead ideas (rather than the living dead) continue to plague the current worldwide market. It freely uses zombies as a metaphor to get its ideas and theory across.)

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austin and Seth Grahame-Smith- (A classic tale with a tongue-in-cheek infusion of the living dead. Intellectual, zombie-related and darkly humorous)

Soft Apocalypse by Will McIntosh (A chilling social commentary and apocalyptic novel that outlines how society can collapse entirely in slow motion.)

The Zombie Survival Guide by Max Brooks (A prequel work to World War Z that outlines the survival techniques and methodology for surviving the same zombie epidemic that plagues these characters. This book is also briefly referenced in the narrative.)

Cell

August 3, 2011

Author: Stephen King

Genre: Horror; Audio Book

Publication Date: 2006

Number of Pages: 12.5 hours

Geographical Setting: post-Apocalyptic America (begins in Boston)

Time Period: sometime in the near, or hopefully not so near, future

Plot Summary: Have you ever been annoyed by someone talking too loud on their phone? Perhaps you were talking to a friend and all of a sudden they answer their phone, interrupting your conversation with them. Stephen King explores the possibility of a global pulse sent through cell phones that automatically turns all of the people using their cell phones into cannibalistic zombies. I think I’d rather just deal with the rude cell phone users, what about you? The story centers on a character named Clayton Riddel. He directly witnesses the moment the pulse turns normal people into violent psychopaths. A hero in his own right, he joins two others, who were not affected by the pulse, and travels to try and find his son. Is his son still alive or has he turned into one of the affected? What will happen during their journey there? The narrator of this particular audio book is Campbell Scott. Scott uses a disaffected voice that allows you to sink into the chilling violence and frightening content of the book. Cell is an horrifically great audio book, that you won’t want to stop listening to until the very end.

Subject Headings: Apocalypse Stories; Zombies; Technological Meltdown; Separated friends/relatives

Appeal: fast-paced, plot-driven, suspenseful, compelling, creepy, gritty, descriptive, scary, unsettling, strong language, atmospheric, intriguing characters

Three Words or Phrases Best Describing this Book: unsettling, plot-driven, creepy

Similar Authors and Works

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors

Aftermath: Prepare for and Survive Apocalypse 2012 by Lawrence E. Joseph (those who enjoy apocalyptic fiction, often wonder about the real end of the world and what might happen. This book explores the apocalypse, perhaps in a way that is even more horrific than Stephen King, because the author tries to base it on fact.)

Field Guide to the Apocalypse: Movie Survival Skills for the End of the World by Meghann Marco (explores more unlikely apocalypse scenarios based on those in movies, and gives information on how to deal with them. Compelling tone, and more lighthearted if reader doesn’t want to explore more likely apocalypse scenarios)

Cell Phones: Invisible Hazards in the Wireless Age: An Insider’s Alarming Discoveries about Cancer and Genetic Damage by Dr. George Carlo & Dr. Martin Schram (explores realistic effects of cell phone usage, may interest Cell readers looking to further explore likely effects of cell phone usage)

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors

The strain by Guillermo del Toro (compelling, gritty, detailed, creepy, fast-paced, similar storyline, outbreak of people turned killers)

Zombie apocalypse! by Stephen Jones (zombie-like evil people, fast-paced, creepy, horror story, set in well-known cities)

Dead Lines by Greg Bear (explores possible negative impacts of new technology, disturbing tone, fast-paced, compelling, and recommended as a readalike for Cell on Fiction_L)

Name: Tara Bauer

The Shining by Stephen King

April 13, 2011

https://i1.wp.com/photo.goodreads.com/books/1249804065l/11588.jpgAuthor: Stephen King

Title: The Shining

Genre: Horror, Gothic

Publication Date: 1977

Number of Pages/CDs: 447 pages / 14 CDs (16 hours – Read by Campbell Scott)

Geographical Setting: Colorado, Rocky Mountains

Time Period: Present-day 1970s

Series (if applicable): N/A

Plot Summary: Jack Torrence accepts a position as the caretaker of the Overlook Hotel set high in the Rocky Mountains in Colorado.  Wendy and Danny, his wife and son accompany him on the months long job.  The family sees the opportunity to reconnect and rebuild their troubled past as a family, and Jack hopes to use the time to overcome his struggle with alcohol and anger and focus his energy on his play writing.  While Danny has premonitions that spending the long winter in this hotel is his worst nightmare, what he does not know is that his visions are only a small snippet of the true terrorizing force that has wreaked havoc at the hotel.  As they become ever more isolated by the harsh winter conditions, Jack’s mental condition deteriorates and he begins hallucinating.  Wendy and Danny become more and more scared and paranoid that nothing is what it seems at the hotel, and even Jack is no longer trustworthy.  In the last third of the book, the story unfolds quickly and leaves you on the edge of your seat.  Campbell Scott reads this books with an intensity that embodies the terror of the Overlook Hotel.

Subject Headings: boy psychics, alcoholics, caretakers, family relationships, haunted hotels, resorts, supernatural, telepathy, violence in men, winter, Colorado, Rocky Mountains, murder.

Appeal: character-driven, fast-paced, atmospheric, creepy, menacing, suspenseful, compelling, detailed, builds in intensity, ominous, claustrophobic, unsettling, well-drawn, flawed, violent, strong language, detailed setting, isolated, descriptive, scary.

3 Terms that best describe this book: menacing, isolated, descriptive

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

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors

The Dark Sacrament:  True Stories of Modern-Day Demon Possession and Exorcism by David M. Kiely – haunted houses, true case stories of demon possession, exorcism, detailed historical analyses, good and evil, demons.

The ESP Enigma:  the Scientific Case for Psychic Phenomena by Diane Hennacy Powell – science writing, attempts to scientifically explain psychic abilities, extrasensory perception, paranormal phenomena, psychic ability, psychokinesis, accessible.

Spook:  Science Tackles the Afterlife by Mary Roach – science writing, accessible, engaging, witty, funny, life after death, paranormal phenomena, soul, using science to understand the paranormal.

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors

The Passage by Justin Cronin – horror story, character-driven, suspenseful, menacing, bleak, compelling, good and evil, survival, violence.

The Ruins by Scott Smith – horror story, suspenseful, atmospheric, creepy, menacing, violent, compelling, isolation, brothers, survival.

The Turn of the Screw by Henry James – horror and gothic fiction, character-driven, atmospheric, creepy, moody, classic horror story, isolated location, supernatural, good and evil.

Name: Jeannine Kropski