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A GOOD READ: Books that go bump in the night
Halloween is fast approaching and the nights are long and dark — the perfect time to read a book that will terrify and thrill you, a book that goes bump in the night.
The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson, a classic supernatural thriller, was written in 1959 but still is considered to be one of the best literary ghost stories of the 20th century and is widely regarded as the greatest haunted house story ever written. Hill House is an 80-year-old mansion with a history filled with suicide and other violent deaths. “It was a house without kindness, never meant to be lived in, not a fit place for people or for love or for hope. Exorcism cannot alter the countenance of a house. Hill House would stay as it was until it was destroyed.”
Rebecca is Daphne du Maurier’s most famous work, a tight-knit story that takes the reader into a world of paranoia. The Rebecca of the title is dead, killed in a sailing accident, leaving the way open for her millionaire husband to marry a naive young girl. Once married, they live in their fabulous country estate, Manderley, where the young wife begins to believe that her home is haunted by the memory of Rebecca. The book opens with the famous lines: “Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again. It seemed to me I stood by the iron gate leading to the drive and for a while I could not enter, for the way was barred to me.”
The Shining is Stephen King’s best-known novel. It’s a sinister, haunting book from start to end, and a perfect mix of psychological thriller and supernatural horror. Danny was only five years old but he was a “shiner” aglow with psychic voltage. When his father became caretaker of the Overlook Hotel, his visions grew terrifyingly out of control. Winter closed in and blizzards cut them off and the hotel seemed to develop a life of its own. Blood stains appear on doors and Danny comes face to face with a bloated, rotten corpse. The Overlook isn’t planning to let Danny escape. It wants to keep him there for all eternity.
And finally, the long-awaited sequel to The Shining, Doctor Sleep — an epic war between good and evil, a gory story that will thrill the millions of devoted readers of The Shining. Dan Torrance (the young boy in The Shining) is now middle-aged and must save a very special 12-year-old girl from a tribe of murderous paranormals.
Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice takes us inside the head of a vampire. This novel is the confessions of a vampire who tells his story to a reporter. The vampires are beautiful and sensual, terrifying and fascinating, and this novel is a page turner that will leave you wanting more. Fortunately, there are nine more books about these characters that are referred to as The Vampire Chronicles.
And finally, perhaps the most terrifying story of all time, Dracula by Bram Stoker. This classic was published in 1897 but still reads like any horror novel written today. Jonathan Harker, a solicitor, travels to the Carpathian mountains to finalize the sale of England’s Carfax Abbey to a Transylvanian noble, Count Dracula. Dracula is one of the un-dead, a centuries-old vampire who sleeps by day and hunts by night, feasting on the blood of his victims.
If you are looking for more great titles, don’t hesitate to ask at your local public library. We are always very happy to recommend books for you to read.
A Good Read is a column by Tri-City librarians that is published every Wednesday. Dianne Allan works at Terry Fox Library in Port Coquitlam.