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skimom2

Just moseyin' through...
Oct 9, 2013
15,668
91,902
USA
#43
Oooh, this reminds me: I had all the Thomas Harris Hannibal novels and somebody stole most of them. I think it was my sister, the little fink. :grr:
The first two were the best. Hannibal was sort of a mess. Hannibal Rising...I had mixed feelings about that one. One one hand, it's a well written book, and interesting. On the other, 'humanizing' Lecter seemed like a mistake. A real villain (as he's presented in the first two books) is much more frightening when the evil seems to come out of the ether. When there's a REASON, sympathy gets in the way. That's why Lecter is twice as scary and memorable than Dolarhyde (in Red Dragon), even though Dolarhyde has much more 'print time'. Lecter is evil without reason.
 

Steffen

Well-Known Member
Aug 9, 2015
1,951
11,001
#44
The first two were the best. Hannibal was sort of a mess. Hannibal Rising...I had mixed feelings about that one. One one hand, it's a well written book, and interesting. On the other, 'humanizing' Lecter seemed like a mistake. A real villain (as he's presented in the first two books) is much more frightening when the evil seems to come out of the ether. When there's a REASON, sympathy gets in the way. That's why Lecter is twice as scary and memorable than Dolarhyde (in Red Dragon), even though Dolarhyde has much more 'print time'. Lecter is evil without reason.
Agreed. Harris was pressured into writing Rising because the film studio wanted an origin story and were determined to get one. You read that book and you can tell the author was struggling with the story. Hannibal surprised me though - it really was a disappointing follow-up to Silence.
 

skimom2

Just moseyin' through...
Oct 9, 2013
15,668
91,902
USA
#45
Agreed. Harris was pressured into writing Rising because the film studio wanted an origin story and were determined to get one. You read that book and you can tell the author was struggling with the story. Hannibal surprised me though - it really was a disappointing follow-up to Silence.
I think there was a lot of pressure there, too. Again, Harris is too good a writer for it to be absolute dreck--there were many inspired scenes and characters--but it was flat. And his evisceration of Clarice Starling's character was startling. That's certainly a place where I think the studio (as I understand it, the book was optioned before it was written) wanted a certain outcome, no matter that it was a complete betrayal of character set in the previous book. Publishers and movies love their 'twists', even when they don't make a damn bit of sense (see the third act of Gone Girl--lol).
 

Jimpy

Well-Known Member
May 22, 2014
74
387
59
#46
Michael Crichton, Arthur C. Clarke, Robert Bloch, Louis L'Amour and Alistar MacLean. Among writers who are still alive I guess I would go with Bryan Smith, Dave Barry and John Skipp. I would include Whitley Streiber in the last group on those increasingly rare occasions he doesn't get all Communioney.
 
Jan 12, 2017
22
91
66
#47
Whoo! I have to put on my thinking cap because recalling every author I like is a stretch. Okay: H.P. Lovecraft (not all his stuff is super, but tales such as "At The Mountains of Madness," "The Case of Charles Dexter Ward," "The Dunwich Horror," "The Shadow Out of Time" all give you that cosmic sense of creeping "oh wowness" that we love). Probably one of the best horror writers I've had the privilege to discover and read is British author Ramsey Campbell...when THAT dude is dialed in, no one writes creeping atmosphere like he does. See his short tales "Cold Print," "The Hands," "The Brood," "Down There" for a delectable sampling. I also like British horror fiction writer Brian Lumley, who, like Ramsey Campbell, was part of the old "Lovecraft group" tied to Weird Tales and Arkham House during August Derleth's years at the helm. Lumley's earlier Cthulhu Mythos tales are very good. But I think his single best "claim to fame" was his "Necroscope" series, which puts a really cool newer wrinkle in the traditional vampire "history." Another great old author is Robert Bloch. Best known for his novel "Psycho" that became a movie classic, Bloch also wrote early excellent tales in the Cthulhu Mythos. See the short story "The Mannikin" (sp?...God, I hate it when this happens, but I'm scribbling on-the-fly, "and the fly won't hold still"). Ooookay: moving right along: I own the Franklin Library leather bound classics and have read them, love J.R.R. Tolkein's "Rings" trilogy, love Dean Koontz who does a delightful job of balancing horror and humor in his characters (see the "Odd Thomas" books). And, Koontz can also "drop the other shoe" and get down and really dirty with deep horror on occasion as he did with his novel "Phantoms"...nada to giggle about in that puppy! David Morrell also deserves kudos, not only for his novel "The Totem," but for the excellent short story "Orange is for Anguish, Blue for Insanity." I can't say enough about that short story other than to regard it as "one of the top ten tales I'd want to be stranded on a desert isle with" (FYI, others include SK's "The Mangler" and "Gray Matter," Shea's "The Autopsy," Algernon Blackwood's "The Wendigo" to name a few). Heh. Ten tales don't cut it. I could not get by with less than fifty, so a word to the wise: if you see yourself as a castaway anytime in the near future, make sure the plane or boat you're on is large enough for a very large, waterproof steamer trunk. Anyway, as you see from my author list, I'm more of an "old school of writing guy" who, for the most part, thinks that today's modern horror "train" is missing a few "cars," if you know what I mean. Of course, we still have Stevie and (God willing) will continue to do so.
 

kingricefan

All-being, keeper of Space, Time & Dimension.
Jul 11, 2006
28,311
115,234
Spokane, WA
#48
Oooh, this reminds me: I had all the Thomas Harris Hannibal novels and somebody stole most of them. I think it was my sister, the little fink. :grr:
The first two were the best. Hannibal was sort of a mess. Hannibal Rising...I had mixed feelings about that one. One one hand, it's a well written book, and interesting. On the other, 'humanizing' Lecter seemed like a mistake. A real villain (as he's presented in the first two books) is much more frightening when the evil seems to come out of the ether. When there's a REASON, sympathy gets in the way. That's why Lecter is twice as scary and memorable than Dolarhyde (in Red Dragon), even though Dolarhyde has much more 'print time'. Lecter is evil without reason.
I think there was a lot of pressure there, too. Again, Harris is too good a writer for it to be absolute dreck--there were many inspired scenes and characters--but it was flat. And his evisceration of Clarice Starling's character was startling. That's certainly a place where I think the studio (as I understand it, the book was optioned before it was written) wanted a certain outcome, no matter that it was a complete betrayal of character set in the previous book. Publishers and movies love their 'twists', even when they don't make a damn bit of sense (see the third act of Gone Girl--lol).
The producers of the Silence of The Lambs (Dino DeLaurentis & Co.) owned the rights to those characters and would go to Harris' hideaway about once a month while Harris was writing Hannibal to 'discuss' the book. I believe that this influence really shows in the book. There's no way that Starling would have done what she did at the end of Hannibal. Her love of her father and his morals (which were ingrained in her from birth) would have over ridden what happened. The ending was turned into a Harlequin Romance novel ending- totally unbelievable to me. Hannibal Rising was an unnecessary addition into the characters mythos. While it was neat to be able to find out how Hannibal became the way he did, it would have been better to just keep the mystery of it- it would have made Hannibal a better villain to us readers.
 
Jan 12, 2017
22
91
66
#49
Whoo! I have to put on my thinking cap because recalling every author I like is a stretch. Okay: H.P. Lovecraft (not all his stuff is super, but tales such as "At The Mountains of Madness," "The Case of Charles Dexter Ward," "The Dunwich Horror," "The Shadow Out of Time" all give you that cosmic sense of creeping "oh wowness" that we love). Probably one of the best horror writers I've had the privilege to discover and read is British author Ramsey Campbell...when THAT dude is dialed in, no one writes creeping atmosphere like he does. See his short tales "Cold Print," "The Hands," "The Brood," "Down There" for a delectable sampling. I also like British horror fiction writer Brian Lumley, who, like Ramsey Campbell, was part of the old "Lovecraft group" tied to Weird Tales and Arkham House during August Derleth's years at the helm. Lumley's earlier Cthulhu Mythos tales are very good. But I think his single best "claim to fame" was his "Necroscope" series, which puts a really cool newer wrinkle in the traditional vampire "history." Another great old author is Robert Bloch. Best known for his novel "Psycho" that became a movie classic, Bloch also wrote early excellent tales in the Cthulhu Mythos. See the short story "The Mannikin" (sp?...God, I hate it when this happens, but I'm scribbling on-the-fly, "and the fly won't hold still"). Ooookay: moving right along: I own the Franklin Library leather bound classics and have read them, love J.R.R. Tolkein's "Rings" trilogy, love Dean Koontz who does a delightful job of balancing horror and humor in his characters (see the "Odd Thomas" books). And, Koontz can also "drop the other shoe" and get down and really dirty with deep horror on occasion as he did with his novel "Phantoms"...nada to giggle about in that puppy! David Morrell also deserves kudos, not only for his novel "The Totem," but for the excellent short story "Orange is for Anguish, Blue for Insanity." I can't say enough about that short story other than to regard it as "one of the top ten tales I'd want to be stranded on a desert isle with" (FYI, others include SK's "The Mangler" and "Gray Matter," Shea's "The Autopsy," Algernon Blackwood's "The Wendigo" to name a few). Heh. Ten tales don't cut it. I could not get by with less than fifty, so a word to the wise: if you see yourself as a castaway anytime in the near future, make sure the plane or boat you're on is large enough for a very large, waterproof steamer trunk. Anyway, as you see from my author list, I'm more of an "old school of writing guy" who, for the most part, thinks that today's modern horror "train" is missing a few "cars," if you know what I mean. Of course, we still have Stevie and (God willing) will continue to do so.
Sorry, all, this is not a case of ego (because I'm replying to my earlier jot), but rather a case of major guilt. To authors already mentioned, my list would be woefully incomplete without Clive Barker and Charles Harris. No doubt there will be others. Gah!
 

Kurben

The Fool on the Hill
Apr 12, 2014
8,632
56,691
53
sweden
#53
Kipling, Richard Adams, Jules Verne, Alexandre Dumas, John Steinbeck, Tana French, Margaret Atwood, Jojce Carol Oates, Ursula Leguin, John Wyndham, Jack Vance, Robert McCammon, Kate Wilhelm, Raymond Chandler, Jonathan Maberry, Joe Hill, Selma Lagerlöf(swedish Author), Franz G. Bengtsson (swedish Author), William Golding, Orhan Pamuk (turkish author), Tolkien, Donna Tartt, Ed McBain, Peter Robinson, Edgar Allan Poe, Oscar Wilde, P.G. Wodehouse, Jack London, Mika Waltari (finnish author), John Dickson Carr, Agatha Christie, Harry Turtledove, Marianne Fredriksson (swedish author).
 

recitador

Speed Reader
Sep 3, 2016
1,704
7,937
35
#54
i really like sci fi and horror, medical thrillers, political thrillers, thrillers that are somewhat historically or archaeology based, star wars and star trek books (which makes the authors too numerous to list really), and if an author has a series where i can revisit well known characters, i'm in. so here are some of my favorites (besides king of course) in no particular order and not strictly limited to the following:

dean koontz
john sandford (lucas davenport and virgil flowers are great)
patricia cornwell
james rollins (action mixed with history/archaeology)
jeffrey deaver (has several great series characters and is always good for a twist)
john saul
andy mcdermott (action/archaeology)
michael connelly
tom clancy
vince flynn
recently discovered brad thor
john grisham
robbert k tannenbaum (another legal thriller writer of sorts, although his has a large cast of regular characters and things get crazy outside the courtroom as well)
robert ludlum
nelson demille
jonathan kellerman
kathy reichs
lee child (jack reacher is a badass)
f. paul wilson (repairman jack and the "otherness" is all quite interesting)
robin cook
michael crichton (more his scifi side, i haven't read any of his more pedestrian subject matter just yet)
jk rowling (just for the potter, i'm unaware of anything else she's done at the moment)


there's also several authors on the above list who have passed away, and other authors have taken over their regular characters and continued the stories, which i think is kind of cool
 
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