Saturday, October 27, 2007

Banned Book Week Update: Scary!

In honor of 2007 Banned Book Week, I read Alvin Schwartz's Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark.

And boy, were they scary! Some of them were remixes of urban legends, which should be old news and schmaltzy. Au contraire. They were very well-edited, and I made the mistake of reading them when I was alone. I returned the book to the library the next day so it wouldn't scare me. (Had it not been a library book, I'd have put it in the freezer.) The cover of the book alone should have been a warning.....

I have been on a scary story kick lately.

I am reading Heart-Shaped Box, a chapter a night, aloud with David. Scary from the first chapter, people. Lois warned me, so I was prepared and got myself a reading buddy. My advice: don't read it alone. David and I are nine chapters in, so I'll let you know how it evolves.

I can recommend The Nature of Monsters, a book about an apothecary in 1700s England who wanted to prove maternal imprinting on unborn children. The story is very much a period piece, and it's creepy enough around the edges that when the creepiness works itself into the center of the story, it's shocking and intense. If you are a fan of Britannia, absolutely read this book — but check it out from the library. Unless you're a huge fan of Britain, you might not want to keep this one.

I also read Benefits, a feminist science fiction book that is scary in its own right. Click here to read the review.

I plan to read the short story "1408" from Everything's Eventual, a Stephen King short story collection. I have stopped reading recent King works because I find his work very "insider," as though if I was a true fan I'd know the story without having to read it (Lisey's Story) or gory beyond belief from the first page (The Cell). However, after seeing the movie "1408," I have every intention of finding out how true the fantastic screenplay is to the short story. The movie is vintage King: smart, intense, a little over-the-top but in a way that brings the audience along rather than drown the poor souls. I'll let you know what I think about the story.

Finally, I have another novel in my book stack that sounds creepy: Mistress of the Art of Death.

However, I might have to take a break from the creepy and read something lighter. Any suggestions? Leave me a comment!

2 comments:

Imaginary Friend said...

What a brave woman! I made myself stop reading "Heart Shaped Box" after about page 87. It was just squicking me out too much.

-- Lois

Chris said...

I know how you feel. I would not read it without a reading buddy.

I really scared myself last night as I walked in the dark, wondering if I would see someone with those eyes.... I can scare myself enough without the help of the King men!