Friday, January 3, 2014

My Favorite Horror Reads of 2013

This year was the year I thought I had been dropping the ball on writing actual reviews of books I read. I found plenty of great horror covers to post, sure, but as far as reading, it seemed like I was slowing down, hitting too many snags with just okay books but not finding that something special I just had to share. But then I looked through this year's posts and saw that I'd really read some great books and short stories. Some were surprisingly satisfying rereads, and some were new and welcome to my pantheon of favorites. All would be stellar additions to your own bookshelves! Click on links to read my full reviews.

The Bad Seed by William March. The pitch-perfect exposé of a child's clinical sociopathy.
Borderlands edited by  Thomas F. Monteleone. One of the major anthologies of horror, filled with challenging, imaginative, unsettling short works.
The Brains of Rats by Michael Blumlein. Scalpel-sharp stories of medical madness and domestic doom.
Carrie by Stephen King. She still packs a powerful psychic punch after all these years.
Cast a Cold Eye by Alan Ryan. A quiet, cozy, creepy Irish ghost story.
Childmare by A.G. Scott. A teenage riot in sleepy London town.
Cold Moon over Babylon by Michael McDowell. Vengeful Southern ghosts, alternately quiet and grotesque.
Night Visions 3: The Hellbound Heart edited by George R.R. Martin. Stellar example of 1980s short horror fiction thanks to Clive Barker, Ramsey Campbell, and Lisa Tuttle.
The Penguin Book of Vampire Stories edited by Alan Ryan. Spectacular tales of the vampire from ages past and present.
Red Dragon by Thomas Harris. Unparalleled popular fiction that dives deep into the pool of psychopathia.

Aaand one alternate: The Hunger by Whitley Strieber, a rich, violent, seductive novel of vampirism.

Additionally, I hit the jackpot several times throughout the year, scoring dozens of paperbacks at a local yearly book fair, while on vacation driving throughout Colorado, a random day at a regular haunt, and a brief Christmas visit to my hometown and the used bookstore I worked at while in college.

So you can see I've got plenty of reading material for 2014 - again, some rereads and some all-new to me - coming up, a review of a fairly well-known '80s horror novel in the next few days...


Josh Caporale said...

Wow! Quite the list of favorite and a massive collection, too. I may have to explore some of those along with the ones you have pictured.

Jack Tripper said...

Great list. I've recently bought quite a few of those thanks to your reviews, and they're all excellent, especially Cast a Cold Eye, Night Visions 3, and Cold Moon Over Babylon. Also, can't believe you found Tuttle's A Nest of Nightmares. I've been searching for that for years. It's going for $50 or more on Amazon and Ebay, so you definitely scored there.

Will Errickson said...

Yep, Jack, NEST OF NIGHTMARES is one of my best finds of the year, been looking for it for quite some time now.

Craig J said...

I saw HARVEST HOME among those finds. Tried reading it for the first time this year around Halloween but just couldn`t get into it. I`m such a fan of the TV movie from the 70`s that I couldn`t shake it from my head, and found the writing style to be too dry. Curious to read your review for this one.

Will Errickson said...

Haven't seen the TV movie and haven't read the book since high school but I recall being creeped out by it. Might not hold up today. I did post a "review" of Tryon's books, though:

But yeah, a reread and an actual review would probably be best!

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