Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Langan's List of Horror

Today, I am pleased to welcome horror author John Langan to the blog, with his generous list(s) of top horror books. Take it away, John: 

My Top Twenty, er, Thirty (three) Horror Novels

I’m a champion of the idea that it’s possible to write great horror stories at novel length. So when I sat down to come up with twenty horror books that have meant a lot to me, I thought it would be fun to focus my list on novels. The list I wound up with, however, was (a lot) longer than I’d anticipated: 

Mary Shelley Frankenstein (1818/1832)
James Hogg The Confessions of a Justified Sinner (1824)
Robert Louis Stevenson Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1886)
Arthur Machen The Great God Pan (1894)
Henry James The Turn of the Screw (1898)
H.P. Lovecraft The Case of Charles Dexter Ward (1927/1943)
Fritz Leiber Conjure Wife (1943)
Shirley Jackson The Sundial (1958)
--The Haunting of Hill House (1959)
Ray Bradbury Something Wicked This Way Comes (1963)
Philip K. Dick The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch (1964)
Anne Rice Interview with the Vampire (1976)
Stephen King The Shining (1977)
--Pet Sematary (1983)
Peter Straub Ghost Story (1979)
--Shadowland (1980)
Thomas Tessier The Nightwalker (1979)
Ramsey Campbell Incarnate (1983)
--The Darkest Part of the Woods (2002)
Ian Banks The Wasp Factory (1984)
Clive Barker The Damnation Game (1985)
--Cabal (1988)
John Skipp & Craig Spector The Light at the End (1986)
Jonathan Carroll A Child Across the Sky (1989)
Michael Cisco The Divinity Student (1999)
Jack Cady The Hauntings of Hood Canal (2001)
Sara Gran Come Closer (2003)
Lucius Shepard Floater (2003)
Steve and Melanie Tem The Man on the Ceiling (2008)
Sarah Langan Audrey’s Door (2009)
Colson Whitehead Zone One (2011)
Laird Barron The Croning (2012)
Paul Tremblay A Head Full of Ghosts (2015)

So much for arguments against the horror novel. I also realized that there was another list I should give alongside this one, and that’s of novels I keep meaning to get to but haven’t yet:

Jeremias Gotthelf The Black Spider (1842)
E.H. Visiak Medusa (1929)
Jack Williamson Darker than You Think (1940)
Ray Russell The Case Against Satan (1962)
Roland Torpor The Tenant (1966)
Fred Chappell Dagon (1968)
Ramsey Campbell The Face That Must Die (1979)
--The Grin of the Dark (2007)
Anne Rivers Siddons The House Next Door (1978)
Michael Bishop Who Made Stevie Cry? (1984)
Thomas Tessier Finishing Touches (1987)
Mark Danielewski House of Leaves (2000)
Bennett Sims A Questionable Shape (2013)

Mea culpa. Finally, I felt I should give a few titles that, while not horror novels in the strictest sense of the term, seemed at least cousins of those I’d already listed.

Charlotte Bronte Jane Eyre (1847)
Emily Bronte Wuthering Heights (1847)
Charles Dickens Dombey and Son (1848)
--Great Expectations (1861)
Henry James The American (1877)
--The Portrait of a Lady (1881)
Joseph Conrad Heart of Darkness (1899)
Nathanael West Miss Lonelyhearts (1933)
William Faulkner Absalom, Absalom (1936)
William Golding Lord of the Flies (1954)
Cormac McCarthy Blood Meridian (1985)
Toni Morrison Beloved (1987)
Ian McEwan Black Dogs (1992)

John Langan

John Langan is the author of two collections, The Wide, Carnivorous Sky and Other Monstrous Geographies (Hippocampus 2013) and Mr. Gaunt and Other Uneasy Encounters (Prime 2008), and a novel, House of Windows (Night Shade 2009). With Paul Tremblay, he has co-edited Creatures: Thirty Years of Monsters (Prime 2011). He lives in upstate New York with his wife, younger son, and many, many animals.

John Langan keeps an irregular blog at https://johnpaullangan.wordpress.com/

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