Tag Archives: Horror

We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson

We Have Always Lived in the Castle Shirley JacksonI enjoyed reading The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson last year and her final novel ‘We Have Always Lived in the Castle’ published in 1962 three years before Jackson’s death tells the story of eighteen-year-old Mary Katherine “Merricat” Blackwood who lives with her older sister, Constance, and their uncle, Julian, on a large secluded estate in New England. Six years earlier, half of the Blackwood family including Merricat and Constance’s parents were poisoned when the sugar bowl used at dinner was laced with arsenic. Although Constance was acquitted of the murders, the three surviving Blackwoods remain isolated from the rest of their small village. However, the arrival of their cousin Charles threatens their future and Merricat becomes increasingly suspicious of the real reason why he has suddenly turned up out of the blue. Continue reading


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The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

The Haunting of Hill House Shirley Jackson‘The Haunting of Hill House’ by Shirley Jackson is widely regarded as one of the best horror stories of the 20th century and makes for timely reading ahead of Halloween at the end of the month. It tells the story of Dr. John Montague, an eminent anthropologist and occult scholar seeking evidence that Hill House is haunted. He rents the property over the summer and invites people with experience of the supernatural to stay there with him – his outgoing assistant Theodora, shy and retiring Eleanor Vance, and the heir to the house Luke Sanderson – so they can investigate the puzzling mysteries which await inside together. Continue reading


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Misery by Stephen King

MiseryWhen I read ‘Carrie‘ and ‘11.22.63‘ a couple of years ago, I said I would like to read more of Stephen King’s other fiction in between his first novel and what was his most recent novel at the time. Originally published in 1987, ‘Misery’ tells the story of Paul Sheldon, a writer who is attempting to move away from his popular series of historical romances featuring Misery Chastain towards serious literary fiction. After being badly injured in a car accident, Paul is “rescued” by Annie Wilkes, a nurse who also happens to be his “Number One Fan”.  However, Annie is devastated to learn that Paul will be killing off her favourite character and forces him to write a new novel where Misery is brought back to life. Or else. Continue reading


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Perfume by Patrick Suskind

‘Perfume: The Story of a Murderer’ by Patrick Suskind tells the story of Jean-Baptiste Grenouille, who has no natural odour himself but possesses an unnaturally heightened sense of smell.  Abandoned as a child in eighteenth-century Paris, he eventually becomes an apprentice at a parfumerie thanks to his talent for distinguishing between the subtlest collection of odours and creating the most exquisite perfumes.  However, his quest for the perfect scent soon leads him down a murderous path. Continue reading


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First Love, Last Rites by Ian McEwan

Having access to new university libraries means that I occasionally visit the fiction section and borrow books to read on the train while I commute (and when I say occasionally, I really mean pretty much every time I go to the library).  I have read a lot of Ian McEwan’s more recent work but I haven’t been able to get hold of his earlier works until now.  This collection of short stories definitely shows how far McEwan has come since his debut in the mid-1970s with ‘First Love, Last Rites’. Continue reading


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Dracula by Bram Stoker

I had planned to read ‘Dracula’ by Bram Stoker when I was studying ‘Frankenstein’ by Mary Shelley at school but never got round to it.  This chilling story begins with a young lawyer called Jonathan Harker visiting Count Dracula in Transylvania to conclude a real estate investment only to find he is effectively a prisoner at his castle.  He survives his ordeal but the nightmare does not end there – several strange events are occurring back in England involving Jonathan’s fiancée Mina and her friend Lucy.  It is up to Doctor Van Helsing to try and stop Dracula before it is too late… Continue reading


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Carrie by Stephen King

CarrieContinuing my current trend of reading freakishly disturbing books on a Kindle whilst commuting to work, this week I have also read ‘Carrie’ by Stephen King.   The book tells the story of, yes you guessed it, Carrie White, a seventeen year old high school student.  After being humiliated at her school prom, she exacts her revenge on her fellow classmates with spectacularly gruesome consequences through her telekinetic powers.  This book definitely stopped me falling asleep on the train. Continue reading


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