Tammy’s Top Ten Horror Books (They Aren’t What You Think)

It’s Top Ten Tuesday over at The Broke and the Bookish.  This week we get to pick any genre or sub-genre we want, so I’m selecting some of my favorite horror stories, beginning with the book that started the vampire craze:

1. Interview With the Vampire by Anne Rice.  I read this a long time ago, lost my copy at my aunt’s house, then found it years later when I was staying with her, and read it again.  Rice’s first and best, in my opinion.  And to think she wrote the first draft in two weeks…

2. Watchers by Dean Koontz.  OK, I know Koontz is often blasted with bad reviews, but Watchers was unlike anything I’d ever read, and it made an impression on me.  I loved the concept of a super-intelligent dog, and I love Dean Koontz for being such a dog-lover. I don’t care what anyone says, Watchers is not only scary as hell, but a well-told story.

3. Black House by Stephen King and Peter Straub. Black House is a sequel to King’s and Straub’s The Talisman, with Jack Sawyer now grown up.  I love the way these two write together, and Black House was creepier and scarier than The Talisman.

4. Let Me In by John Ajvide Lindqvist.  A truly original vampire tale told as only a Swedish writer can tell it.  It was also made into two really good movies, one in Swedish and one in English. Despite the horrific actions of a young girl vampire, the budding love between the two young characters is sweet and unexpected.

5. The Ruins by Scott Smith. This book terrified me, but I could not put it down. It was later made into an awful movie, but the story of a group of college kids held prisoner in the Mexican jungle as they are killed off one by one by the evil jungle vines surrounding them (OK, sounds lame, I know) still makes me shudder.

6. Horns by Joe Hill.  Everyone probably knows that Hill is the son of Stephen King, but that’s not why I like him.  He’s got his own distinct writing style and I believe he can hold his own against his dad.  Horns is his second novel, a story about a guy named Ig who wakes up one morning to discover horns growing out of his head.

7. The Terror by Dan Simmons.  Simmons has written everything from science fiction to historical fiction to horror, and he does each brilliantly.  The Terror is long, but the pages fly by in this terrifying story that takes place in 1845 in the Arctic Circle, as the men aboard a stranded steam ship fight for survival.  Not only are they starving to death, but something out on the ice is hunting them down. One of the best horror stories I’ve ever read.

8. Sharp Teeth by Toby Barlow.  I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this unconventional werewolf story, considering it is told in verse. Not my favorite writing style, but the gritty, yet elegant descriptions of a man caught between two worlds held my attention to the end, and I’m curious to see what Barlow comes up with next.

9.  The Passage by Justin Cronin.  Part vampire novel, part post-apocalyptic nightmare, The Passage begins a trilogy about a six-year-old girl named Amy who seems to be the key to the downfall of humanity.  The second book in the series The Twelve comes out this year.

10. The Last Werewolf by Glen Duncan.  I loved this book and reviewed it here on Books, Bones & Buffy.  The writing is exquisite, raw and sexy as we follow Jake, said werewolf, as he dodges various factions who are trying to kill him.  Get ready to love Jake as much as I did.

5 Comments

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5 responses to “Tammy’s Top Ten Horror Books (They Aren’t What You Think)

  1. while i’m not a big fan of HORROR, i do like a creepy book. I may pick up the Last Werewolf (is there kissing?)

  2. Zo

    I haven’t read any of these (although Stephen King featured heavily in last’s weeks Top Ten for me since I picked book covers that creeped me out!)

  3. Horror scares the crap out of me (Anna Dressed in Blood even creeped me out), however I have always had a secret yen to read The Ruins.

  4. Great topic, Tammy. I’ve only read Interview with a Vampire and it was a favorite of mine. Not a big fan of the movie though. Sharp Teeth sounds really good too, especially as a verse novel fan. I’m going to bookmark this page for future reference for when I crave a scary read.

  5. Interview is one of my all time faves. There are some great choices here. We have very similar taste (I’m off to the library) xx

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