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  1. #16
    Anitaverse Refugee FicusFan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob B View Post
    Hallowe'en came and went here in the Garden State and we only got a few trick-or-treaters in the evening.
    I wasn't at home for the event here. But just from driving around, there seemed to be very few kids on the streets. It was in the 60s too. Very warm weather, which is usually a good thing for them.

    It was so much fun as a kid, and its sad to see that most of today's kids won't have that experience. Not only did I trick or treat, but I did it without my parents, or anyone else's. Just couldn't eat anything until I got home and they looked at it. They also threw out all home-made treats - worried about razor blades and stuff. Funny how those who did the home-made stuff thought they were being traditional, economical, and producing more healthy treats, and they went right into the trash can.

  2. #17

    Halloween reading?

    Thought I'd resurrect this thread, bwa-ha-ha-ha!!!!

    (*cough*)

    Anyway, October rolls around and between the onset of Fall and the looming of Halloween, I shift mental gears and my reading changes. In previous years I've read Coraline by Neil Gaiman, The Feesters in the Lake and Other Stories by Bob Leman, The Prestige by Christopher Priest, Perfume by Patrick Susskind, Night's Black Agents by Fritz Leiber, Dark Harvest by Norm Partridge, Grimscribe by Thomas Ligotti, The Night Country by Stewart O'Nan and Ancient Images by Ramsey Campbell, among other works.

    This year I started with Richard Laymon's The Cellar, which was all right but not really my cup of tea. Right now I'm refreshing my acquaintance with Poe --"William Wilson," "Ligeia", and "The Murders in the Rue Morgue" so far. Next up I think is Douglas Clegg's Isis, Ligotti's My Work Here is Not Yet Done and, if the mood sticks with me, Caitlin Kiernan's The Red Tree.

    Anyone else have a hankering for creepy, macabre reads during October or just around Halloween?


    Randy M.

  3. #18
    Reader Moderator NickeeCoco's Avatar
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    Hallowe'en!!! It's my favourite time of year. I've already begun sewing my costume, much to my partner's dismay. The sewing machine and I have a love/hate relationship. I end up cursing a lot. I know I'm pushing thirty, but I don't think I'll ever stop putting on a costume. It's the only time a year that you can get away with dressing like an idiot. I'll be handing out candy for the first time in this neighbourhood, so we'll see how that goes. There's a lot of seniors in this area, so I'm not expecting a lot.

    As for reading, once I've finished K.J. Parker's The Company for the book of the month, I'll be picking up Tanith Lee's The Secret Books of Paradys again.

  4. #19
    Registered User ben1xy's Avatar
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    I just finished terror 3 days back. Ever since i started visiting the board, i have heard so many good things about the book. The journey was indeed wonderful

  5. #20
    I don't usually do Halloween-themed horror reading but for whatever reason I've been on a horror kick this past week. Close enough!

    Recently read:

    Dan Simmons, Summer of Night - good book, very solid, no surprises. You can tell it's an earlier Simmons; the infodumps aren't integrated very well and the fake history of the Big Bad is not altogether persuasive. It's still a strong book with some very evocative writing and unusual, memorable characters.

    Stephen King, Pet Sematary - this is my favorite King novel so, naturally, I'm inclined to sing its praises. I think the last section is dragged out a bit too much but nevertheless the very end is quite effective, and the fake history in this story is handled pretty much perfectly, IMO.

    Stephen King, Needful Things - I originally read this book when I was 10 or 12 or around that age, and a lot of the subtleties escaped me then, but I recall having liked it at the time. Just embarked on a reread and I'm a little over 200 pages in. So far it does not hold up nearly as well for me as Pet Sematary did; there are still lots of convincing characters (some sympathetic, others less so) and the small-town mosaic is nice, but I feel like the plot plays out its cards too fast, and instead of creating suspense it just creates impatience to see the obvious thing happen already.

    I might move on to Salem's Lot next if I don't get burned out on Needful Things. I haven't read that one so I dunno what I'll think of it when I do. Mostly I just don't want to end my brief King re-reading phase on a bad note, and I'm not really feeling it for Needful Things this time around.

  6. #21
    Administrator Administrator Hobbit's Avatar
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    Thanks Randy for resurrecting this one: Hard to think I wrote this nearly three years ago. That's lived longer than some websites: or publishers!

    You know, the good threads don't go away, they just come back.

    Perhaps we should make this one a sticky each October?

    Anyway, to business. As the beginning of the thread said, I love Halloween. This year, my reading matter of choice will probably be the new Library of America boxed set of American Fantastic Tales, edited by Peter Straub. My copy was put in the post today, so it should be here at Hobbit Towers by Halloween, fingers crossed.

    Here's a link: HERE

    And here's the covers:



    and in a lovely box too:




    The stories are a fantastic selection too:

    Volume 1: Poe to the Pulps:

    Charles Brockden Brown Somnambulism: A Fragment
    Washington Irving The Adventure of the German Student
    Edgar Allan Poe Berenice
    Nathaniel Hawthorne Young Goodman Brown
    Herman Melville The Tartarus of Maids
    Fitz-James O’Brien What Was It?
    Bret Harte The Legend of Monte del Diablo
    Harriet Prescott Spofford The Moonstone Mass
    W. C. Morrow His Unconquerable Enemy
    Sarah Orne Jewett In Dark New England Days
    Charlotte Perkins Gilman The Yellow Wall Paper
    Stephen Crane The Black Dog
    Kate Chopin Ma’ame Pélagie
    John Kendrick Bangs Thurlow’s Christmas Story
    Robert W. Chambers The Repairer of Reputations
    Ralph Adams Cram The Dead Valley
    Madeline Yale Wynne The Little Room
    Gertrude Atherton The Striding Place
    Emma Francis Dawson An Itinerant House
    Mary Wilkins Freeman Luella Miller
    Frank Norris Grettir at Thorhall-stead
    Lafcadio Hearn Yuki-Onna
    F. Marion Crawford For the Blood Is the Life
    Ambrose Bierce The Moonlit Road
    Edward Lucas White Lukundoo
    Olivia Howard Dunbar The Shell of Sense
    Henry James The Jolly Corner
    Alice Brown Golden Baby
    Edith Wharton Afterward
    Willa Cather Consequences
    Ellen Glasgow The Shadowy Third
    Julian Hawthorne Absolute Evil
    Francis Stevens Unseen—Unfeared
    F. Scott Fitzgerald The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
    Seabury Quinn The Curse of Everard Maundy
    Stephen Vincent Benét The King of the Cats
    David H. Keller The Jelly-Fish
    Conrad Aiken Mr. Arcularis
    Robert E. Howard The Black Stone
    Henry S. Whitehead Passing of a God
    August Derleth The Panelled Room
    H. P. Lovecraft The Thing on the Doorstep
    Clark Ashton Smith Genius Loci
    Robert Bloch The Cloak

    and Volume 2: From the 1940's to Now

    John Collier Evening Primrose
    Fritz Leiber Smoke Ghost
    Tennessee Williams The Mysteries of the Joy Rio
    Jane Rice The Refugee
    Anthony Boucher Mr. Lupescu
    Truman Capote Miriam
    Jack Snow Midnight
    John Cheever Torch Song
    Shirley Jackson The Daemon Lover
    Paul Bowles The Circular Valley
    Jack Finney I’m Scared
    Vladimir Nabokov The Vane Sisters
    Ray Bradbury The April Witch
    Charles Beaumont Black Country
    Jerome Bixby Trace
    Davis Grubb Where the Woodbine Twineth
    Donald Wandrei Nightmare
    Harlan Ellison I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream
    Richard Matheson Prey
    T.E.D. Klein The Events at Poroth Farm
    Isaac Bashevis Singer Hanka
    Fred Chappell Linnaeus Forgets
    John Crowley Novelty
    Jonathan Carroll Mr Fiddlehead
    Joyce Carol Oates Family
    Thomas Ligotti The Last Feast of Harlequin
    Peter Straub A Short Guide to the City
    Jeff VanderMeer The General Who Is Dead
    Stephen King That Feeling, You Can Only Say What It Is in French
    George Saunders Sea Oak
    Caitlín Kiernan The Long Hall on the Top Floor
    Thomas Tessier Nocturne
    Michael Chabon The God of Dark Laughter
    Joe Hill Pop Art
    Poppy Z. Brite Pansu
    Steven Millhauser Dangerous Laughter
    M. Rickert The Chambered Fruit
    Brian Evenson The Wavering Knife
    Kelly Link Stone Animals
    Tim Powers Pat Moore
    Gene Wolfe The Little Stranger
    Benjamin Percy Dial Tone

    OK: that's over 80 stories and 1459 pages. Though I know a few, (and they are great!) there's a lot I don't. Should be a great read.

    Mark
    Mark

  7. #22
    Dazed Rambler Winter's Avatar
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    Ah, I am not doing anything different for October. However, I am devoting December to Poe and will likely read some Thomas Ligotti and M. R. James if I have some time left. Though I may find time this month to read the latter two instead of waiting. As to why I chose December, the answer to that is easy:

    Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December,
    And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
    ~ The Raven

    Edit:

    And that looks like a great read, Mark.
    Last edited by Winter; October 1st, 2009 at 02:26 PM.

  8. #23
    Administrator Administrator Hobbit's Avatar
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    Thanks, Winter. As I've said, I'm quite looking forward to it. I suspect it'll be one to dip in and out of: I could still be reading it in December!

    I do read a fair bit of Horror around Christmas too, actually. Can't beat MRJ at Christmas!
    Mark

  9. #24
    Registered User Raule's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Randy M. View Post
    Thought I'd resurrect this thread, bwa-ha-ha-ha!!!!
    Anyone else have a hankering for creepy, macabre reads during October or just around Halloween?
    Randy M.
    Yes! I do often find myself craving creepy/unsettling books to read this time of year, once the temps drop and leaves start falling off the trees. I'm not much of a fan of physical horror, but I do enjoy the psychological/ambiguous kind.

    I've been reading some of the stories from Ligotti's Teatro Grottesco. Can't seem to make myself read very much at time, mainly just a story a day. I find this more disturbing than scary -- kind of like being invited into the dream world of a deranged person's mind and told with a sense of detachment.

    I also just recently finished Straub's Ghost Story. Great for this mood and time of year. My only quibble was that I felt he bit off more than he could chew with the large cast of characters. I became less enthralled as the story shifted from very atmospheric ghost story to battling the supernatural beings. Still recommended as an engrossing pageturner.

    Randy, I think you'll like Kiernan's The Red Tree. It's not a book where everything gets resolved, though, and some might not like that. I highly recommend it to anyone who likes books where it's unclear whether the haunting is real or in the mind or even perhaps contrived. It's been one of my favorite reads so far this year.

    Somewhere I've got Dinesen's Seven Gothic Tales. I'm thinking it's due for a re-read.

    Another book I recommend is Sarah Waters' latest, The Little Stranger. It's a slow burner that gradually creeps up on you (or it did me, at least).

    Oh... re the previous posts about Dark Shadows... I thought I read somewhere that Tim Burton was considering making a film of it, most likely with Depp starring.

  10. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by Hobbit View Post
    OK: that's over 80 stories and 1459 pages. Though I know a few, (and they are great!) there's a lot I don't. Should be a great read.

    Mark
    There's a lot in the 2nd volume I haven't read. I'm deeply, deeply envious, though a few of the selections strike me as eccentric ("Bernice"? "The Tartarus of Maids"? "The Thing on the Doorstep"? "The Cloak"? -- a little odd; not necessarily bad, just not what I'd expect for those authors).

    If you haven't read the Klein or the Chambers, you have a treat ahead of you.


    Randy M.

  11. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by Cranky Hamster View Post
    I don't usually do Halloween-themed horror reading but for whatever reason I've been on a horror kick this past week. Close enough!

    [...]
    I was wondering, considering your posts to the Sept & Oct reading threads. I've heard Needful Things isn't one of his more satisfying works, and like you I have a high regard for Pet Semetary. I think you'll like 'Salem's Lot, though. Early King, pared down and probably stronger for the editing.

    I'm debating on Simmons' The Terror for sometime over the winter.

    Nickee: I'm interested in hearing more about the Lee. I've been meaning to read some of her work but just haven't gotten there, yet.

    Ben: What's in Terror 3?


    Randy M.

  12. #27
    and I like to party. Seak's Avatar
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    I started reading GRRM's "short" story Skin Trade. Good stuff.

  13. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by Raule View Post
    Yes! I do often find myself craving creepy/unsettling books to read this time of year, once the temps drop and leaves start falling off the trees. I'm not much of a fan of physical horror, but I do enjoy the psychological/ambiguous kind.

    I've been reading some of the stories from Ligotti's Teatro Grottesco. Can't seem to make myself read very much at time, mainly just a story a day. I find this more disturbing than scary -- kind of like being invited into the dream world of a deranged person's mind and told with a sense of detachment.
    I have a similar feeling with his Songs of a Dead Dreamer. Every so often I pull it down, re/read a few stories, put it back, never quite finish the collection. I did read Grimscribe cover to cover a couple of years ago, so I wonder if it was just me rather than his work, or if the maturation of his work between Songs... and Grimscribe might account for it.

    I also just recently finished Straub's Ghost Story. Great for this mood and time of year. My only quibble was that I felt he bit off more than he could chew with the large cast of characters. I became less enthralled as the story shifted from very atmospheric ghost story to battling the supernatural beings. Still recommended as an engrossing pageturner.
    One of my favorites. I'm debating about rereading it in December/January.

    Randy, I think you'll like Kiernan's The Red Tree. It's not a book where everything gets resolved, though, and some might not like that. I highly recommend it to anyone who likes books where it's unclear whether the haunting is real or in the mind or even perhaps contrived. It's been one of my favorite reads so far this year.
    I'm fine with unresolved. Ever since I read Threshold I've been telling myself I need to get back to Kiernan's work.

    Somewhere I've got Dinesen's Seven Gothic Tales. I'm thinking it's due for a re-read.
    Huh. We must be on a similar wavelength. I've been thinking about pulling this out and finally reading it cover to cover. We'll see.

    Another book I recommend is Sarah Waters' latest, The Little Stranger. It's a slow burner that gradually creeps up on you (or it did me, at least).

    Oh... re the previous posts about Dark Shadows... I thought I read somewhere that Tim Burton was considering making a film of it, most likely with Depp starring.
    The Waters' sounds right up my alley, and I've heard the same Burton/Depp rumors about Dark Shadows, too. Interesting. As will be the Alice movie.


    Randy M.

  14. #29
    I'm considering a re-read of Naomi's Room by Jonathan Aycliffe, a very creepy and effective ghost story.

  15. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by Randy M. View Post
    I'm debating on Simmons' The Terror for sometime over the winter.
    It has some great nightmarish bits. As much as I hissed and scratched at the book for its ending (and I take nothing back! nothing!!), there are some really epic scenes in the novel. It could and should have been 200-300 pages shorter, but looking back on it, the moments of brilliance do stick with me. They are powerful.

    I should flip through and do a quick reread of the good parts. I would probably like them a lot more once they're separated from the rest of the slog. It's definitely a panning-for-gold book, IMO, but at least the gold nuggets are big ones.

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