Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Fuckin' Fantastic Fiction



Elizabeth, one of the greatest horror novels ever written, is on nobody's '100 Best Horror Books' list, but I don't care.  I recommend it -- and all the books below -- with no reservations.



Don't expect lists of 'Guilty Pleasures' from me because 'Guilty Pleasures' are for withering dickweeds who spent their youth listening to priests spouting bullshit while copping illegal reach-arounds. 



The authors of all these books are not household names, but they're welcome in my house any time.

These authors can write. By Christ, they can write! 



These masterpieces explore evil and chaos and anarchy, and smell of truth. 



All these books influenced me greatly, and reminded me that the greatest storytelling comes from unique voices, voices that aren't afraid to speak, aren't afraid to tell.
 


I love these books. I treasure them. I'm grateful for their existence.



 They're the work of brave people, of shameless adventurers of the soul.



They push established boundaries, they shun convention. 


Embrace them as I have.

You won't be sorry.

12 comments:

  1. I had, for some time, quit reading as my youthfulness and daring escaped me. You see, when I was but, God, young!, I had explored eBay when it had premiered with explosive success. And I knew just what to look for too. My next door neighbor at the time's (it's hitting me - 12 - 13 years old) father was this Tony Shaloub meets goggle glasses epileptic, ultra perverted as well (another story would be him and I stealing his massive collection of pornographic trading cards and hiding them in our wooded "clubhouses" hole-in-the-cliff and with his moving out (DIVORCE), I discovered WILLIAM ESSEX's THE PACK. Mark, I read that book so many goddamn times it's scary and as you, shared excerpts in what was left of my middle school years. Christ, I can recall the stone-washed straight cold faces of my 8th(?) grade peers when I innocently muttered the actions of a hungry Collie bitch that devoured a hapless man's genitals as if it were gelatin. I than began experimenting with eBay and how the whole "LOT" keyword worked, bringing up pages of grab-bag book goodies, of course, using Horror. I then found ESSEX'S SLIME and GREGORY A. DOUGLAS' THE NEST. Now, THE NEST was something new, a different style. I had grown up on Koontz and King and the ilk, but these nasty novels didn't seem so nasty in retrospect after admiring the works of these heavyweight (to me) titans. Gregory Douglas' THE NEST enthralled me. I'm very sad to admit I haven't yet purchased another copy. I recall a scene, vividly, in which a Sunday School youth collective were on a skip-jack or, to be simple, boat, only to find themselves being g.r.a.p.h.i.c.a.l.l.y devoured by mutated cockroaches. I love these novels. I love anomalies of nature paired with human suffering. I simply cherish these novels. My biggest impacts as a teenager?
    Phantoms
    The Pack
    Slime
    The Nest

    HOLY SHIT AND I JUST REMEMBERED

    FLOOATTTTERRR
    http://www.amazon.com/Floater-Gary-Brandner/dp/0449132803/ref=sr_1_5?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1337728729&sr=1-5

    I loved this book. There was also one involving a group of teens who went to an island, I think, and one of them turned out to be a necromancer. I wish I remembered the title.
    I rant, therefore I love.

    Thank you for this post, I will own all of these.

    -mAQ

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  2. Final note, Is it just me or does The Happy Man sound eerily similar to the antagonist of Cold Fish?

    -mAQ

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  3. proofread, don't post this ::== I'M A BIT DRUNK. so don't judge me, partner

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  4. I'm reading Elizabeth right now (after putting it off for far too long)and I gotta say that at first it seemed to be a run-of-the-mill supernatural potboiler, but the sociopathic Elizabeth is a fascinating narrator. Good stuff so far. How about Greenhall/Hamilton's other books? I couldn't find any reviews. The Companion sounds interesting.

    --Adam

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  5. Thanks for these recommendations. I'm always looking for a good horror book to read. I jumped on eBay and found a hardcover of ELIZABETH signed by the author (Hal Greenwood) for only $1.99! Looking forward to it.

    RE: FLOATER that SS mentions, Tobe Hooper was lined up as a director on an adaptation of that in 1988 for Charles Band's Empire Production just before they went under. Would have been an interesting movie.

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  6. Soiled -- thanks for the backstory on your horror book obsession. I like your neighbor story concerning the stolen trading cards.

    I enjoyed both THE PACK and THE NEST also, and still have good copies. And you remember correctly the cockroach attack on the Sunday school gathering. SLIME is good, too. I'm with you all the way on this "fetish".

    There's something I love about single-minded novels in which the heroes are psychotic and law enforcement is nowhere to be seen.

    THE HAPPY MAN "hero" isn't too much like COLD FISH's antagonist, but there are tonal parallels.

    ***

    Anonymous -- ELIZABETH is extremely well written. I like the taut, sardonic style, and it's brilliantly controlled.

    Both CHILDGRAVE ('82) and THE COMPANION are also excellent. Greenhall also wrote a solid non-horror book called LENOIR (2000) about a slave in Europe. Again, beautifully written and richly imagined. I know of no other work since 2000. I've tried tracking Greenhall down over the years, but never had any luck. No interviews regarding his horror work that I've uncovered (yet).

    ***

    William -- Glad you liked the recs, William. I must ask this: Do you mean Ken Greenhall? Hal Greenwood doesn't ring a bell for me. If you've ordered a Hal Greenwood book, it may not be the same ELIZABETH.

    FLOATER would have been interesting.

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  7. you've seen the french film adaptation of baxter, no? pretty great stuff.

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  8. Paul -- seen it???!!! I LIVE IT. Seriously, it's one of my favorite movies of all time: I have a VHS, a laserdisk, two DVD's, and a poster. I'm praying for a BluRay. I saw it twice theatrically, too, and was an instant convert. I did read the book first, so my expectations were high. They were met.

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  9. Bought a copy of ELIZABETH just a couple months back, great to know! And yes, THE AUCTIONEER is marvelous.

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  10. Will -- you will enjoy ELIZABETH. His DEATH CHAIN is also good. Hasn't written a bad book yet.

    AUCTIONEER is powerful stuff.

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  11. Hey Phantom, letting you know: I started reading ELIZABETH today! Hope to have a review up in a couple days. And yes... diggin' it.

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  12. Will -- I'm very happy to hear that you're plunging into Elizabeth's interiors. Eager to read your take on it.

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