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February 12, 2024

Five Great Horror Books That Aren’t by Stephen King

Five Great Horror Books That Aren’t by Stephen King

For nearly 50 years, the world of horror literature has been dominated by one name: Stephen King. With timeless classics like It, The Shining, and Carrie under his belt, it’s easy to see why he’s been dubbed “The Master of Horror” by fans and critics alike. Not only one of the biggest names in horror literature, but in literature as a whole, it’s easy for the casual reader to overlook other great writers in the genre. Through communities on apps like TikTok and instagram however, we are starting to see these writers’ work get the attention they deserve. These are just a few great books and novels in the genre that may have flown under your radar from writers breaking out of the shadow of Maine’s main man.

The Final Girls’ Support Group by Grady Hendrix

With his novels that seamlessly blend horror and humor, Grady Hendrix is quickly becoming a big name in his own right with titles like My Best Friend’s Exorcism (now a feature film on Amazon Prime) and his latest release, How to Sell a Haunted House. The Final Girls’ Support Group brings Hendrix’s signature tongue in cheek wit to the slasher genre, where a support group of aging survivors of slasher massacres band together as they find themselves targeted once again by a killer with a personal vendetta against them. A world where the monsters are real and the heroes are as tough as they are traumatized, this empowering and exciting satirical mystery fits right at home in this age of legacy sequels like 2018’s Halloween and The Exorcist: Believer.

What Moves the Dead by T. Kingfisher

A bone chilling retelling of Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Fall of the House of Usher,” the first novella of T. Kingfisher’s planned Sworn Soldier duology gives a fresh, character driven spin on a timeless classic. Alex Easton, a veteran whose gender identity is subtly and compellingly explored by the author, comes to the aid of their ailing childhood friend at a rotting estate surrounded by strange hares and sinister fungi. Moody, gothic, and dripping with atmosphere, the Baltimore bard’s story of rot and disease has never felt fresher.

Paperbacks From Hell by Grady Hendrix

In this historical work of nonfiction, Grady Hendrix returns to this list with a comprehensive history of the all but forgotten and mostly out of print era of mass paperback horror. The late 20th century flooded the market with visceral books that were made to be judged by the cover, and Hendrix chronicles the rise and fall of pulp horror by exploring and analyzing its trends, evolution, backlash, and its relationship and impact with the genre as a whole. Flavored with all the humor and personality that made his own novels hits, Paperbacks From Hell is a brisk read that is just as entertaining as it is informative. A must read for any horror fan.

The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones

In this “BookTok” favorite by Blackfoot Native American writer Stephen Graham Jones, 4 men are stalked and hunted by a vengeful elk entity ten years after a hunting trip gone horribly, horribly wrong. Atmospheric, haunting, visceral, and immersed in Native American culture and tradition, Jones brings a distinct and unique perspective and style to this chilling page turner that has earned him many fans in recent years.

No Longer Human by Osamu Dazai and Junji Ito

A horrific reimagining of Osamu Dazai’s semi-autobiographical portrait of severe anxiety and social alienation, acclaimed mangaka Junji Ito succeeds in making the story his own, with his surreal and disturbing style of art and storytelling. With an increased body count as well as gut wrenching depth and visuals that make for some truly chilling page turns, Ito’s portrayal of the protagonist Yozo Oba blurs the line between tragic hero and pathetic villain as he leaves a trail of bodies and broken people in the wake of his existential journey.  

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    adviserOct 19, 2023 at 1:02 pm

    Paperbacks from Hell is an awesome book. Brought back a lot of memories!