It’s a Horror to Know You: Will of Too Much Horror Fiction!
1. What is the first book that ever scared you?
Some forgotten book on various supernatural creatures, and it convinced me that somewhere in Transylvania there really was a vampire named Count Dracula who lived in a crumbling castle… I didn’t understand the difference between “nonfiction” and fiction yet. My parents had to talk me out of it. Alas. When I was 13, the actual Stoker novel gave me the shudders, when Harker sees Dracula climbing out of one of his castle windows, face down, with his cape spread out around him.
2. What is the last book that scared you?
There were a few scenes – one a Lovecraft reference, I’m sure – in HEADHUNTER (1984), Michael Slade’s police procedural/serial killer horror novel, that got the hairs on the back of my neck up, as if someone were standing just behind me…
3. Name three Horror novels that you believe are underrated.
My god, only *three*?! That’s true horror! I’ll try. These are three masterpieces:
1. ALL HEADS TURN AS THE HUNT GOES BY by John Farris. Farris is a real writer, which you don’t find enough in the genre.
2. FINISHING TOUCHES by Thomas Tessier. A literate and erotic nightmare.
3. FALLING ANGEL by William Hjortsberg. A hardboiled detective/horror novel.
Okay, one more:
4. THE HOUSE NEXT DOOR by Anne Rivers Siddons. A unique haunted house novel written by a genteel Southern lady.
4. Name three Horror novels that you enjoy against your better judgment.
I don’t know if these go against my “better judgment” but they do push some real taste boundaries.
1. INCUBUS by Ray Russell. Sleazy trashy fun – sexy or sexist? You decide!
2. THE MANITOU by Graham Masterton. Ludicrous but oh so much fun.
3. PIN by Andrew Neiderman. Rather Cronenbergian, with a sort of VC Andrews thing going on.
5. Send us to five places on the Internet!
1. L’ARRIVEE D’ SYLVIA KRISTEL – All Sylvia Kristel, all the time. Delightful.
2. ACTION FIGURE OF THE DAY – What can I say, I grew up in the ’70s and early ’80s, I love my STAR WARS toys.
3. LOVECRAFT’S WORLDS – Just discovered this guy, he’s an HPL obsessive.
4. EXISTENTIAL ENNUI – Great blog name, features lots of vintage crime fiction and UK book covers.
5. CELLULOID HIGHWAY – One of the best-written movie blogs around.
Will, switching from movies to books is a fantastic idea. Once our mailbox gets less full I may have to do IAHTKY-book post of my own!
You brought up some great stuff here. I read “The House Next Door” a couple years back and got totally wrapped up in it. It’s really scary how all these terrible things occur yet nothing ever concrete enough to put your finger on. Falling Angel I tracked down right after I saw Angel Heart!
I read “The Incubus” as a teen and it blew my poor little mind with how extreme it was. Oh and PIN! PIN is a great book. I read that after I saw the movie and it added to my appreciation of it. Your mentioning of Cronenberg and V.C. Andrews in the description is spot on. Now I have to read the Manitou. I can’t imagine what that’s like!
I’m most interested in that John Farris book. Thanks for these great recommendations. Luckily I was able to lean on “Too Much Horror Fiction” for some of the images that can not be found anywhere else. Keep up the wonderful work on your sight, it always brings back great memories for me while giving me new ideas of what to read. There’s nothing else like it out there and you’re doing us horror fiction fans a real service!
This is so great! I’m haven’t read any of these – but love horror novels.
I remember reading an Alfred Hitchcock short story anthology when I was in jr high or high school and one story freaked me out big time. It was about a trunk that this person acquired somehow and they put it in their bedroom and at night a black finger would sort of stick out of the trunk somehow, but then would disappear. Man, that story creeped me out.
Thanks for the recommendations!
I LOVE LOVE LOVE Micheal Slade! Headhunter freaked me out so bad that even though I read it years ago, I still think about it. All the Slade novels are horrifying in the best way. Will, you have made my day, I never run into anybody but myself that’s read Slade novels.
I thought Finishing Touches was original and disturbing, and prompted me to look up Lord Lucan. I love it when a fiction book prompts me into the non-fiction aisle. Have been wanted to read All Heads Turn but its not available at my library, so I just amazoned it. Ditto Headhunter. Will, I will definately be checking out your blog!
Unk, you will probably love THE MANITOU! Thanks for posting my interview.
I appreciate the kind words, everybody!
I read that scary short story of the finger in the trunk too and I’m trying to find out the name of it. I’m searching the web but you’re the only person I’ve seen yet mention it. Would you know the title? Care to share it?
Even if you don’t know the title, my search has led me to discover ‘kindertrauma’ so all is not in vain!
If anyone ever comes up with the title of the finger story, post it here, because this is the only reference to it that I can find…I distinctly recall being at an assembly in elementary school and listening to a guest storyteller. It must have been around Halloween, because he told one about a guy who acquires a trunk, and at night a finger sticks out of it and scratches at the lock or something…it was awesomely terrifying! I guess it must have been a Hitchcock story he was telling, which figures, but I can’t imagine why we can’t find it!! Aargh. It’s so frustrating when I can’t find things that I remember so well, and that seemingly should be easy to rediscover via Google.