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View Poll Results: Again, what will be our youthful perusal in May?
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle 4 44.44%
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman 5 55.56%
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Old 04-13-2019, 02:00 PM   #16
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I read Coraline because it was supposed to scare me. It didn't.
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Old 04-13-2019, 02:44 PM   #17
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But you are a thriller aficionado, Catlady! I doubt there is much that scares you.

I on the other hand am afraid to read Shirley Jackson and am scared of Stephen King for life since reading It in the 80s. I have to watch horror movies in the day time!

The Graveyard Book is available in both audio and ebook at Scribd for anyone that has a subscription.
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Old 04-13-2019, 03:45 PM   #18
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But you are a thriller aficionado, Catlady! I doubt there is much that scares you.
Yes, but my thrillers are really suspense. I rarely read horror. Possibly Coraline would have scared me as a child, but as an adult I was disappointed.

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I on the other hand am afraid to read Shirley Jackson and am scared of Stephen King for life since reading It in the 80s. I have to watch horror movies in the day time!
I gave up on Stephen King long ago, though I liked Carrie and a few books after that. After I while I decided his stuff was just dumb: e.g., a short story called "The Mangler" was totally laughable and cartoonish.

Shirley Jackson, though, is fantastic.
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Old 04-13-2019, 05:33 PM   #19
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The Ocean at the End of the Lane is pretty creepy.

I’m a total wimp and never go to see thriller movies.
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Old 04-14-2019, 08:06 AM   #20
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I have found Gaiman to be highly unpredictable, you never quite know what you're going to get. He always sounds like Gaiman, but every book is a new experience. I don't always like some of the experiences (in comparison to others), but they seem pretty much guaranteed to be inventive and very well done.

So Coraline was - for me - fairly meh. Better second time around than the first. But The Graveyard Book is one of my favourites (along with Neverwhere and Stardust), so it will be no effort whatsoever for me to read it again ... well, except the slight extra effort to lift the weight of my hardcover copy, I'm out of practise.
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Old 04-14-2019, 06:41 PM   #21
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Either of these books would be an excellent choice. I enjoy the works of both authors and look forward to reading the winner. (Which I now see is TGB ).

Last edited by fantasyfan; 04-14-2019 at 06:46 PM.
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Old 04-14-2019, 10:39 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Bookpossum View Post
The Ocean at the End of the Lane is pretty creepy. [...]
The comment I wrote in my review after reading this was that the second half: seemed wander off into a sort of Stephen King thing (think "The Langoliers"), before coming back to Gaiman in the last two chapters.

But then I very much liked early King (though rarely his short stories, which I agree with Catlady were often just dumb/laughable) and generally didn't find him that creepy.
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Old 04-15-2019, 08:51 AM   #23
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I have to confess that I have never read any Stephen King. His books just never appealed to me.
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Old 04-15-2019, 09:42 AM   #24
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I have to confess that I have never read any Stephen King. His books just never appealed to me.
Judging from what I've seen of your preferences here, I'd say that for the main part your instincts are probably correct.

But I will add that I felt much the same way until I met my wife; she had all King's books up to that time and quickly got me hooked. I came to the opinion that King's reputation for shlock horror came from poor movies and his short stories. His novels and novellas are (mostly) much better than his reputation might have you believe; his character development is excellent, and this is what makes his stories work (for me).
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Old 04-15-2019, 11:22 AM   #25
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Judging from what I've seen of your preferences here, I'd say that for the main part your instincts are probably correct.

But I will add that I felt much the same way until I met my wife; she had all King's books up to that time and quickly got me hooked. I came to the opinion that King's reputation for shlock horror came from poor movies and his short stories. His novels and novellas are (mostly) much better than his reputation might have you believe; his character development is excellent, and this is what makes his stories work (for me).
I still plan to read the Kennedy assassination book at some point, and I have some vague interest in Blockade Billy, because of baseball, but the others just don't appeal.
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Old 04-15-2019, 11:46 AM   #26
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I still plan to read the Kennedy assassination book at some point, and I have some vague interest in Blockade Billy, because of baseball, but the others just don't appeal.
Ah, there you go, see. I have zero interest in Blockage Billy. The closest I came to finding real horror in a Stephen King book was the discovery of a baseball essay in the middle of short fiction! (In case you're interested, it's called Head Down and it's in the collection called Nightmares and Dreamscapes.)

As for 11.22.63, for the most part I enjoyed it, but I think he painted himself into a bit of a corner for the ending, and it really could have been tighter (quite slow through the first half).
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Old 04-15-2019, 07:15 PM   #27
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Judging from what I've seen of your preferences here, I'd say that for the main part your instincts are probably correct.

But I will add that I felt much the same way until I met my wife; she had all King's books up to that time and quickly got me hooked. I came to the opinion that King's reputation for shlock horror came from poor movies and his short stories. His novels and novellas are (mostly) much better than his reputation might have you believe; his character development is excellent, and this is what makes his stories work (for me).
Thanks for that, gmw - I should give him a go. Do you recommend any one bookin particular asa good way in?
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Old 04-15-2019, 09:53 PM   #28
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Thanks for that, gmw - I should give him a go. Do you recommend any one bookin particular asa good way in?
Last year I nominated a novella called The Body - it was made into a movie called Stand By Me. The movie was as close to a perfect replication of a book as I've ever seen - great cast, got the mood exactly right. So if you wanted to cheat, watch the movie.

If you want to try reading the novella, it's in a collection called Different Seasons. There is a second excellent novella in this collection Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption that was also made into an excellent movie (The Shawshank Redemption). It has some unpleasant parts, the prison is not a nice place, but not horror as such.

The collection also has a novella called Apt Pupil that was - you guessed it - also made into a move, but in this case I didn't like the story very much anyway. I suspect that both these other stories (Apt Pupil and The Breathing Method) from the collection are ones you might prefer to skip - certainly I don't intend re-reading them.

As for full length novels: The Dead Zone is a real favourite of mine. The title comes from the fact the protagonist is injured early in the book and some parts of his memory seem to be inaccessible, and he calls this "the dead zone" (it has nothing to do with zombies!). The book is (for me) so much better than the descriptions I've read of it. The Stand is another favourite.

King is, for me, one of those writers that rates all over the place. The books I mentioned above get a 5/5 from me, but some (like Cujo) get only a 2/5. As might be apparent, I prefer his earlier books. I suspect he became too big a name to be properly edited, and it shows.
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Old 04-15-2019, 10:37 PM   #29
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Great - thanks for the recommendations. I did see The Shawshank Redemption, and while there were certainly some nasty bits about prison, it was a good story.

I’m certainly not one for horror, either to read or (even worse) to see.
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Old 04-18-2019, 04:49 AM   #30
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Heads Up: Kobo AU currently have The Graveyard Book (and Coraline) available on special (AUD$4.99). So I will be doing my re-read by ebook after all.
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