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Wanted to ask about a few titles...

Discussion in 'Bred Any Good Rooks Lately? (Suggested Reading)' started by bigkingfan91, Jun 7, 2014.

  1. bigkingfan91

    bigkingfan91 Well-Known Member

    I know most folks would say, just buy the book and read it, which I am in the process of doing, but I wanted to ask some opinions on a few authors/titles..

    First of all, I have never read "The Haunting Of Hill House" by Shirley Jackson. I am well aware of it's reputation as one of the best, and a piece of work many authors like King got inspiration from. I'm not asking whether or not I should buy it or not, just asking for your general opinion on it.

    Hell House by Richard Matheson. This is another that seems to be among "the best" out there, as far as reviews go from both readers like us and established authors. This, too, is an older book and seems to be one of the many classics out there. I remember hearing somewhere how King liked Matheson, so obviously that alone is enough to inspire me to try him out. He has some other popular titles out, too, but Hell House really intrigues me.

    Cormac McCarthy. No Country For Old Men is one of my favorite movies of all time, so naturally I bought the book and am waiting on it to arrive. I also enjoyed The Road, so I hope to pick up that book as well. Of course, he doesn't exactly write horror but since many of you enjoy different authors I thought I'd ask about his work. I know you're probably thinking, wow, is this kid 14? But i've always been so interested in King I never took much time to discover other great authors, besides my years of reading Koontz.

    Richard Laymon. Only recently have I discovered him, and he is next on my list of authors to try out. I understand a lot of his work is more crime/slasher, but I enjoy that type of horror fiction as well. The Cellar seems to be one of his most well known titles. Any other absolute Must Reads from Laymon?

    And then of course there is Dan Simmons, Robert McCammon, Bentley Little, John Saul, the list goes on.. I have The Town and The Association by Bentley Little, bought on impulse. Swan Song by McCammon. I have a few titles by Saul but haven't read any of them.

    Those first 4 books and authors I mentioned, I would love to get your thoughts on them. Thanks!
  2. staropeace

    staropeace Richard Bachman's love child

    I love Shirley Jackson....definately read The Haunting of Hill House. Robert McCammon and Dan Simmons will leave you breathless in wonder....they are THAT good. Richard Laymon, in my opinion, could not write a good story if there was a gun pointed at his head.
    mal, Neesy, HollyGolightly and 5 others like this.
  3. kingricefan

    kingricefan All-being, keeper of Space, Time & Dimension.

    Anything by Shirley Jackson is well worth your time. Her short story The Lottery is a classic! So is The Haunting Of Hill House. Richard Matheson is one of the writers that King has been quoted as having been a huge influence on his writings. Have never read any Laymon books, so can't give a recommendation there. I have read a few of his short stories and they were good. I have to whole heartedly give my approval for Simmons and McCammon. They are top-notch writers! I've been reading them both since they started publishing and have enjoyed their works immensely. Read Saul's first five books and gave up after that. This is when I was hungering for horror with some substance and Saul's early works just didn't have it. He may have gotten better since, but I am afraid to try him again. I rank him right along with VC Andrews- pure fluff. Have only read The Road by McCarthy and really didn't care for it much.
    mal, Neesy, HollyGolightly and 4 others like this.
  4. blunthead

    blunthead Well-Known Member

    Of the titles you mention Hill House is the only one I've read, and I concur with others here that it's something of a must read. (The movie, titled The Haunting, is great, too.)
    mal, Neesy, HollyGolightly and 3 others like this.
  5. booklover72

    booklover72 very strange person

    Shirley Jackson is pretty good. read it. Richard MAtheson the only book i read was oh god the name it slips me, the film with will smith in it. Zombies. I have read and seen the movie by Cormac Mccarhty The road, pretty disturbing post-aploclayptic(i am trying to think as i write my spelling is atrocious -sorry)

    I can't decide if i like Richard Laymon, i think it more sex and they are pretty graphic then horror. He passed away a few year ag. Heart attack. From the titles of the books, you want to read, you like Horror. If that is correct, Try James Herbert, you enjoy being scared - read the RAts, his written scenes are so graphic(sexually and otherwise) it will scare you. He passed away last year. he would not let any of his daughters read his books until they were 15.
    mal, Neesy, HollyGolightly and 4 others like this.

    GNTLGNT The idiot is IN

    ...Jackson, Matheson, Simmons, McCammon...M-O-O-N, that spells "read them"....
    mal, Neesy, bigkingfan91 and 5 others like this.
  7. skimom2

    skimom2 Just moseyin' through...

    The Haunting of Hill House is wonderful-Jackson was a terridic writer, and it is well worth reading. I juat finished Hell House for the first time, and I'm conflicted. Not in love with the writing style, particularly in the first half of the story, but it smooth out later, and Matheson can certainly deliver the creepy factor. All in all, I preferred his I Am Legend and What Dreams May Come. Haven't read McCammon or Simmons. Not a fan of Laymon or Saul. McCarthy is another difficult one for me: he's an incredible storyteller, but the jerky sentence fragments in The Road drove me nuts.
    mal, Neesy, bigkingfan91 and 5 others like this.
  8. Tim D.

    Tim D. Well-Known Member

    Of the people and books on your list that I have some familiarity with I would definitely recommend Shirley Jackson and Richard Matheson.

    Robert McCammon is one of my favorite writers (after SK, of course) and I like pretty much everything that he has written. I do not like John Saul in the least. I've tried several times to read his stuff but mostly find his stories to be quite silly.
    mal, Neesy, bigkingfan91 and 4 others like this.
  9. Kurben

    Kurben The Fool on the Hill

    Well. Jackson is a must. Not only "The Haunting of Hill House" which is a masterpiece. There is also the classic short story "The Lottery" which is in a collection called the Lottery and other stories. There is also a veryu good novel called "The Sundial". I havent actually read Hell house but if it is Matheson it is interesting. The two i would consider classics by him are "I am legend" (and if you seen the movie with Will Smith forget all about it; it is crap. The book is very good) and "The incredible shrinking man". Have missed out on Mccammon but have read some of Simmons. His scary stuff is good but not exceptionally so. The Terror, Summer of night and Carrion Comfort can be recommended. His SF are not my favourites. His best is Hyperion but has a whole series about which i personally could have done without. McCarthy is difficult for me. Good stories but his style of writing sometime put me off. Haven't read Layman or Saul. But if you're interested in scary stuff: Why not give Peter Straub a chance? His Ghost Story can be recommended.
    mal, Neesy, bigkingfan91 and 4 others like this.
  10. doowopgirl

    doowopgirl very avid fan

    The Haunting of Hill House is a must read. I like Cormac McCarthey a lot, but IMO you read him more for the beauty of the writing than the stories themselves. I've read two Dan Simmons. Carrion Comfort that I loved and The Abominable that I didn't love. The others you mention I haven't read.
    mal, Neesy, bigkingfan91 and 4 others like this.
  11. blunthead

    blunthead Well-Known Member

    mal, Neesy, bigkingfan91 and 4 others like this.
  12. kingricefan

    kingricefan All-being, keeper of Space, Time & Dimension.

    Kurben, are you by any chance an ex-patriot from the US? Your knowledge of American lit and your use of the English language just astounds me at times. You have better language skills than some folks who were born here in the US, myself included. I applaud you for this!
    mal, Neesy, blunthead and 4 others like this.
  13. danie

    danie I am whatever you say I am.

    I'm glad you asked about Jackson and Matheson, as I have wanted to read these authors, but haven't yet.
    Robert McCammon's Matthew Corbett series is great, and I really loved Boy's Life as well.
    I read The Road by McCarthy and didn't like it very much. I also read Carrion Comfort by Simmons, and, even though I liked it, the novel seemed about 400 pages too long...it dragged on and on and on. I haven't tried anything else by him due to the boredom factor with the unnecessary prolificness.
    mal, Neesy, bigkingfan91 and 5 others like this.
  14. Kurben

    Kurben The Fool on the Hill

    Oh, wow! Thanks. No, but i had a father who started to feed me both american, english and swedish literature from a rather young age. Not that i needed any persuasion directly. And as i soon discovered, books are so much better in their original language. So i always try to read books i care about in english. It costs a little more but gives a better experience. I have spent many summerafternoons reading instead of running around playing in my youth. He was specialised in crime and SF-genres so of course i picked up a hint or two. When i was old enough he poiinted me towards Poe, Lovecraft and Jackson but also Matheson, Bloch and several others. Mostly i didn't have to borrow books from the library or buy them. He already had a paperback copy in his immense library at home. That library is now sadly gone with the wind since he is dead and i did'nt have room for nearly all the books i wanted to keep. A very strict selection i still have at home. I know he liked Ramsey Campbell but i have yet to open one of his books.
    mal, Neesy, blunthead and 6 others like this.
  15. Kurben

    Kurben The Fool on the Hill

    I know what you mean. I wouldn't go so far to calling it boredom but he has sometimes a tendency to make his books overlong, especially in his later works. Not always but often enough. But that sickness is getting more and more common nowadays in my opinion. In all genres. I have read crime, horror, SF, and "usual" books that all would have been better if they had been a bit shorter. I often wonder if Kings success with really long stories like IT and The Stand has anything to do with it? But it is an art to know when to write The End. Not everyone can do that.
    mal, Neesy, bigkingfan91 and 6 others like this.
  16. kingricefan

    kingricefan All-being, keeper of Space, Time & Dimension.

    Hi Danie! Have you read any of the 'Joe Kurtz' novels by Simmons (Hardcase, Hard As Nails, Hard Freeze)? Joe Kurtz is an ex-Private Investigator in these books. Simmons prose is cut down to the bone in these ones. I think each book clocks in at just over 200 pages. Well worth your time. I agree that his newer books have a tendency to run on.
    mal, Neesy, king family fan and 3 others like this.
  17. mjs9153

    mjs9153 Guest

    I haven't read Mathesons' Hell House yet,but I have read I am Legend.. And a few of those short stories that he and SK are so good at.. You get a chance,read some of those..
    mal, Neesy, king family fan and 3 others like this.
  18. CoriSCapnSkip

    CoriSCapnSkip Well-Known Member

    Predictably, at least one absolutely awful sequel exists: Miles and Flora: A Sequel to Henry James's "The Turn of the Screw" by Hilary Bailey

    This has happened with a number of classic works of literature, with varying results. What author should write a good sequel, and for that matter for which, if either, book? The one where the ghosts are real or the one where the governess is crazy? Either is a potentially correct interpretation of this brief but deep literary essential.
    kingricefan, GNTLGNT and mal like this.
  19. mal

    mal Well-Known Member

    Buy them cheap and enjoy. Out of those I'd pick Jackson.
    Neesy, kingricefan and GNTLGNT like this.

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