Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Reading Rainbow of Blood!

Take a look; it's in a book, Reading Rainbow! Wait a second here...what the hell is a book?! Okay, I'm just messing around when I say that, but I do say it because the physical written word has become almost extinct and taken over by things like movies, video games, pod casts, Internet porn, shit like that...and no, reading on your computer doesn't count! Same deal goes for magazines, newspapers, etc...stuff like that has been murdered by the ease of access to specific content - thanks to the machine that sits right in front of you - glowing with the warmth of knowledge and information all right there with the movement of a mouse and a left click.

I am not one to throw stones at all...that is not my purpose here. I still buy magazines, but I often find that I barely read them cover to cover, like I did even a few years ago (save for Paracinema!). I have a read a few books over the past two or three years - I would say probably about five maybe? That is not very many at all, and I hate the fact that I do not read at least one book every month or two...shit is fundamental, right? I just get wrapped up in reading a disgusting amount of movie news that is to be found on the Internet, listening to pod casts, watching movies, making baby batter, reading and writing blogs. I just do not have the time. But that is a bullshit excuse, I should make the time, because nothing is more rewarding than reading a good book, a good horror book to be exact.

I am a very nostalgic person, and I think of my youth very fondly, and a big part of my childhood that I loved most was reading a great horror novel, or short story, and letting my imagination carry me to spooky land! The Muppet Babies had their finger on their pulse of what is fun, imagination, and nothing inspires imagination quite like books. They truly do make your dreams come true.

Why the crap am I all about books right now you ask? Well, even if you didn't, I'm gonna tell ya anyways! B-Sol over at The Vault of Horror invited a group of black belt worthy bloggers to put together their top 10 list of favorite horror literature (Just in time for Chucktober!). When this was posed to me, I thought about how I have not read enough books in so many years and that my list would be a little difficult to put together. It wasn't too bad when I sat down, thought about it, and looked through my book collection, but outside of Zombie Survival Guide, I haven't read any of these books in over ten years - at least! Moreover, these are books that made my list too! I have seen all of the movies that make my top ten favorite horror films list probably once a year! That is sad to me, slightly embarrassing to be honest, and hopefully this little experiment in ultimate horror literature results in me doing a little more reading now.

The stipulations were really just that the choices had to be horror. Books, short stories, and poetry were allowed equally, and I'm fine with that. I am not a big poetry guy though, so none of that on my list...this is Chuck Norris Ate My Baby, not Jessica Tandy Ate My Rose Petals! Sorry, I couldn't help myself.

Below is my list, I really don't have full rhyme or reason to the order outside of the first five or so, but as I always do, I tried to keep it somewhat varied, while putting books that I love, or loved growing up. I also added a few honorable mentions that I didn't even send to Mr. Sol, but put them on here because they are all *this* close to making the list, but ultimately, had to be axed.

1. Bram Stoker: Dracula
2. H.P. Lovecraft: At the Mountains of Madness
3. Clive Barker: Books of Blood: Volumes One through Three
4. Mary Shelley: Frankenstein
5. Richard Matheson: I Am Legend
6. Stephen King: Pet Sematary
7. H.P. Lovecraft: The Case of Charles Dexter Ward
8. Whitely Strieber: Communion
9. Clive Barker: Cabal
10. Max Brooks: Zombie Survival Guide

Honorable mentions... 
Robert Bloch: Psycho
Stephen King: Salem's Lot & Cycle of the Werewolf!
Ray Bradbury: Fahrenheit 451 (Easily would have made it, but more Sci-Fi than horror)

Six of my picks made the list, not that it's a surprise, and I am happy to see my number one pick, Dracula made its deserving position in this ultimate list too. Maybe I should read that again in honor of this revelation that I hope I am able to maintain. Now to see the results of my list and another 20 or so horror bloggers, check out "The Greatest Fright Fiction of All Time! The Cyber-Horror Elite Takes on Literature!" over at The Vault of Horror. Please comment, as comments are always welcome, I'm sure there will be some interesting dialogue about the ultimate list that was put together, but I can back it as being a proper one in my non-reading ass opinion. Any comments on my personal list, I would love to hear them, and I would love to read a book with you sometime...maybe swinging in a hammock 69 style while listening to California Dreamin'...maybe?


  1. I love Richard Matheson & Ray Bradbury so fucking much.

  2. unfortunately, i am in the same boat when it comes to reading despite always wanting to

    i dont know which is worse, not reading, or doing what i do and starting a book and never finishing

    i am so UNread, my top 10 list here would probably be half full of choose your own adventure books

  3. For a long time, I avoided reading horror fiction because there's so much out there that's just so poorly written. I've recently found a few that work for me. Anything by Jack Ketchum or Brian Keene is worth a read. A great, very loooooooong ghost novel of sorts is from 1999 or so, House of Leaves (I'd say the author but his name is really long and I'll misspell it). Truly innovative reading experience.

    I'd also throw a vote in for Chuck Palahniuk's Haunted. I'm the only person I know who actually liked it, but I really did find that some of the stories (not all) captured a different kind of horror that really stayed with me.

  4. Thanks for all da comments everyone!

    Christine: Me too! I LOVE Fahrenheit 451 with all my might! I want to watch the movie again...doh! There I go again...I wanna read the book again, is what I meant to say!

    Loaf: Choose your own adventure books are so rad! I'll fuckin' read one of them right now! I do the same thing quite often, where I read half a book, then never finish it. It's like giving yourself literature blue balls!

    Emily: I have been wanting to read more of Ketchum's work, well more than none I guess! On my new reading adventure, I will have to look into Keene, and I have always wanted to read Fight Club because I love the movie so much.

    I love short horror/ghost stories, so I would love to check out House of (blue?) Leaves.
    Koji Suzuki's Dark Water collection of short stories is real good too.I actually kinda forgot about it, or it would have at least made my honorable mention if not maybe even my list! I got that book for free at Rock and Shock too!

    Isn't reading fun?!

  5. For Jack Ketchum, see if you can track down a copy of Peaceable Kingdom, his short stories. It's out of print but my library had it. The Girl Next Door probably his most famous novel and it's sufficiently disturbing for a lot of reasons. The DVD for Offspring just came out today. I read the sequel, Off Season, which was one of his gorier monster tales.

    Keene is probably the best narrative zombie author. The Rising gives the undead a demonic twist (they talk, which doesn't always work) and Dead Sea is a great old fashioned shambling tale with survivors hopping on a boat. Very quick read that feels just like a film. I just started reading The Conquerer Worms which is much slower than his other novels, but still interesting enough.

  6. Snap, were you the one on twitter asking about Cabal? I cannot remember. I started it but did not have time to finish. I swear if I pick a literature major I wouldn't have the problem with reading fiction that I do.

    Because of school, I can't read fiction like I'd like. That's my viable excuse. I'm stuck with non-fiction and the movies they rely on. So I'm constantly buried in a book. Which is not to say, I don't empathize with you. I do! I wonder how one does find the time when they're future careers don't depend on it.

    I love your picks. I'm a Bradbury fan as well and always believed some of his work was ahead of its time like sci-fi should be.

  7. while i cant think of the name of it, my wife liked the palahniuk book of short stories with the cover that had glow-in-the-dark shit on it. i tihnk they were horror? maybe?

    sad thing is, it was MY book that she read. i never even opened it

  8. Emily: Wow! Thanks for all the great recommendations! I love short stories, so I will have to poke around my library to see if they have Peaceable Kingdom or not…if not, they will check with other libraries to see if they have it and get it for you, which is pretty cool.

    And I am definitely “keen” on reading some Keene! Love a good Zombie story, and it is a genre that plays well in print.

    Ashlee: I don’t think it was me talking about Cabal, but it has been on my mind since I started doing this list, so I cannot remember for sure! You should try to finish it sometime though…it is a fantastic read.

    And yeah, Bradbury is amazing, and along with Asimov, my favorite of the Science Fiction genre. I was happy to see Something Wicked This way Comes made the ultimate list…that is another one that would be a very nice re-read. Glad you liked my picks and thanks for commenting!

    Loaf: It’s called Haunted I think…I never read it, but I would buy a book just because it glowed in the dark! It would mach my sheets when the black light is on!


    I actually own a black light

    and i maybe tried the glowing sheets trick


  10. Several personal favorites on there, I would have to have added American Psycho, love Ellis sharp stabs and quick wit. I am the most guilty person in the universe for never reading, but I plan on changing it soon to be a good influence on the kid. I want her to start picking up books as soon as possible so I will be expanding the library shortly

  11. I never read American Psycho, but love the film and have heard even better things about the book, so that is another one that is on the list too.

    No better excuse to read than for the little ones...I found books to be most fascinating when I was a kid, and the earlier you can get them, the better. Speaking of which, you should bring her over for supper sometime - we can discuss the importance of reading!


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