Friday, March 25, 2011

The Horror...The Horror!

Recent reading: Frankenstein by Mary Shelly and Dracula by Bram Stoker--which I just finished this morning.
My review on these horror classics is simple: Frankenstein gets the thumbs down--Dracula, thumbs up!
Part of this is style--Shelley's tome is a story within a story (and sometimes even another level within that--and so never really grips one. Stoker, on the other hand, though he tells his whole vampire story in diary and journal entries, along with letters and such, often feels quite immediate, and often quite eerie.
Neither is the sort of horror tale to keep one up at night with lights on--or give one bad dreams--though Dracula definitely produces a shiver or two.
Another recent read: Wuthering Heights, which certainly qualifies as ranking in the eerie literary world, full of ghosts and such, is still set in a more real unreal world. Heathcliff is a scary old bastard, that's for sure, but the "love story" never gripped me--guess I'm not a true Bronte fan.
Best horror tales I've read would definitely include some Stephen King, like The Shining, Pet Sematary, and It.
Oddly, the spookiest book I ever read was Communion: A True Story, by Whitley Strieber, which is about aliens and the like, but written from such a skeptical "voice" that--true or not--it really frightens!
Next I return to the "scary" world of reading modern fiction...whoo-ooo...
hasta pronto!