Good horror novels
October 31, 2005 3:09 AM   Subscribe

Good (perhaps even great) recent horror-related novels?

It's Halloween; I need something to read tomorrow. It doesn't need to be fully entrenched in the genre; something generally atmospheric will do. I ask for recent releases because there's a better chance I'll have already heard of it if it's a well-known or older horror novel, but if you can think of a genuinely obscure, good title, then I'm all for it.
posted by jimmy to Writing & Language (19 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
kelly link's stranger things happen are extremely strange and spooky short stories, though nothing as explicitly horror as stephen king or whatever (as i remember it).
posted by Marquis at 3:19 AM on October 31, 2005

Response by poster: That's all right. I probably should have pointed out that I despise a lot of the traditional big names in horror fiction (Steven King, Clive Barker, Dean Koontz, Anne Rice etc.) I'll look into the one you suggested.
posted by jimmy at 3:37 AM on October 31, 2005

How about some of Ian McEwan's earlier novels: like "The Cement Garden" or "The Comfort of Strangers"?
posted by rongorongo at 3:52 AM on October 31, 2005

I enjoyed Michael Cisco's novel The Tyrant.
posted by misteraitch at 3:52 AM on October 31, 2005

House of leaves is one of those books that really polarizes people but either way it does contain a some of the best hair-on-the-back chills I've read recently.
posted by oh pollo! at 4:04 AM on October 31, 2005

Nick Mamatas is a new small-press writer I know mostly from his Livejournal, but he's been very well reviewed.
posted by Jeanne at 4:16 AM on October 31, 2005

I picked up The Shadow and the Bottom of the World by Thomas Ligotti, a short story collection in the Lovecraftian vein, yesterday and the first handful of stories I've read so far are pretty good.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 4:22 AM on October 31, 2005

James Blaylock has a few very good ghost tales, not brand-spanking-new, but possibly overlooked. I particularly liked Winter Tides.

Tim Powers' The Stress of Her Regard is an unusual and highly literate vampire story.

F. Paul Wilson is a pretty well-known name by now, I guess, but his book Sibs is a creepy and very twisty tale that somehow never got much attention.
posted by Wolfdog at 4:59 AM on October 31, 2005

I thought Ghost Story by Peter Straub to be sublte, clever and extremely spooky,
posted by Pericles at 5:02 AM on October 31, 2005

You might check out Gene Wolfe's "Innocents Aboard". It's a collection of short stories. I wasn't expecting horror stories when I got it, but it had some of the creepiest tales I've read in a while. Plus, Wolfe is such a great writer that you'll enjoy everything, spooky or not.
posted by abingham at 5:14 AM on October 31, 2005

Neither of these are exactly recent, but both are relatively obscure - both are also more of the psychological horror kind than the supernatural horror kind:

The Wasp Factory was Iain Banks' first novel, and it's definitely creepy and atmospheric. It's a great book.

If you can find a copy, The Cormorant by Stephen Gregory is a wonderful, dark, poetic, eerie book.

Also, Koji Suzuki's books are usually a good read (they're the ones the Ring movies were based on, as well as Dark Water). Far from the scariest horror I've ever read, but well-written.
posted by biscotti at 5:33 AM on October 31, 2005

Iain Banks, The Wasp Factory. Not conventional "horror" at all, but a terse, strange little book with a uniquely eerie ambiance.
posted by googly at 6:12 AM on October 31, 2005

I'm not much of a horror fan, but I found Gilbert Adair's 'A Closed Book' quite unsettling.

I wasn't aware that it was a horror/thriller novel when I started reading, so fans of the genre probably won't be taken as unaware as I was by the twists and turns.

Still, some spooky moments to be had and definitely something different to the "author's name in embossed silver on the cover" style horror nov'.
posted by backOfYourMind at 6:14 AM on October 31, 2005

I'll second Peter Straub. Ghost Story is one of the creepiest books I've ever read, although his Shadowlands is my favorite.

It's not traditional horror, but Octavia Butler's new book Fledgling is a vampire story from the vampire's point of view. It's not like Anne Rice's bloated goth-wanks though; Butler likes to play around with race and gender issues, and manages to entertain at the same time.
posted by bibliowench at 6:54 AM on October 31, 2005

Demons by Daylight by Ramsey Campbell is a fabulous collection of short horror stories.
posted by squealy at 7:05 AM on October 31, 2005

Child of God by Cormac McCarthy is profoundly unsettling novel about a hillbilly serial killer.
posted by Heminator at 7:28 AM on October 31, 2005

I started reading Monster Island, as mentioned in this thread. It's an online novel about zombies, the end of the world, and the last people on Earth.
posted by hooray at 8:16 AM on October 31, 2005

I really liked "Creepers," by David Morrell. Just out this fall, features a group of Infiltration-type people who are snooping around a supposedly abandoned hotel when, predictably, everything goes to hell and back. Very atmospheric, and the twists took me by surprise.
posted by GaelFC at 9:49 AM on October 31, 2005

I second Creepers. I was hoping it would be more horror-ish, but it was a zippy and suspensful read.
posted by surferboy at 12:47 PM on November 1, 2005

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