CRRL Picks: Spine-Tinglers!
Annotation:"The Masque of the Red Death." "Cask of Amontillado." "The Tell-Tale Heart." Poe mastered the art of spine-tingling storytelling in the 19th century, and few have come close to rivaling his mastery since. Read these in front of the fire with one candle lit for the full effect.
Annotation:Four stories written by Stephen King under his early psuedonym, Richard Bachman. Includes "Rage," "The Long Walk," "Roadwork," and "The Running Man." These stories are intense, raw, and compelling. Make your own decision about how these rate in King's massive compendium.
Annotation:This engrossing tale relates Ebenezer Scrooge's ghostly journeys through Christmases past, present, and future and his ultimate transformation from a harsh and grasping old miser to a charitable and compassionate human being.
Annotation:When Koot Parganas accidently breaks a plaster statue venerated by his parents, he unwittingly unleashes the ghost of Thomas Alva Edison, leading to an alternately terrifying and hilarious adventure in the strange underbelly of contemporary Los Angeles.
Annotation:After sending their only daughter off to boarding school, Cookson Selway and his wife, Ellen, travel to London to escape their empty house. But their quiet hotel has guests other than those on the register, and the vacation turns into a journey not only to another city but to another time. As Selway is drawn into a series of mysterious encounters with a young girl who died in a fall from his hotel window sixty years earlier, the characters of her life become more real to him than those of his own.
Annotation:"This anthology of audience participation stories is the next in a series of books that began with the publication of Joining In. Jennifer Justice, a marvelous storyteller from Boston, combines her keen editorial ability with her intimate story sense to bring us into the realm of ghostly humor and fright. The Ghost & I features 16 tales by award-winners Joe Bruchac, Rafe Martin, Heather Forest, Laura Simms, Jay OCallahan, and more. The stories, geared for ages 5 14, vary from funny to frightening, and from simple to complex in plot and imagery. Some of the stories invite a great deal of physical participation, while others simply inspire active listening by repetition and anticipation."
Annotation:"One might not expect a woman of Edith Wharton's literary stature to be a believer of ghost stories, much less be frightened by them, but as she admits in her postscript to this spine-tingling collection, '...till I was twenty-seven or -eight, I could not sleep in the room with a book containing a ghost story.' Once her fear was overcome, however, she took to writing tales of the supernatural for publication in the magazines of the day. These eleven finely wrought pieces showcase her mastery of the traditional New England ghost story and her fascination with spirits, hauntings, and other supernatural phenomena. Called "flawlessly eerie" by Ms. magazine, this collection includes 'Pomegranate Seed,' 'The Eyes,' 'All Souls,' 'The Looking Glass,' and 'The Triumph of Night.'"
Annotation:Struggling with the loss of her parents, who helped haunted souls find peace, Sylvie Mason pursues the mystery, moving closer to the truth of what happened that night as she comes to terms with her family's past.
Annotation:Classic Bradbury, this collection of tales offers images that are as keen as a tattooist's needle and as colorful as the inks that stain the body. Featuring a new Introduction, "The Illustrated Man" presents 18 startling visions of humankind's destiny, unfolding across a canvas of decorated skin.
Annotation:"The time is now. We are in a small room with the vampire, face to face, as he speaks--as he pours out the hypnotic, shocking, moving, and erotically charged confessions of his first two hundred years as one of the living dead. . ."
Annotation:"Paintings as crisp and clear as a Halloween night recreate the chilling tale of the headless horseman galloping through the haunted woods of Sleepy Hollow."
Annotation:Ned Conti is a young historian struggling to piece together the miraculous past of a Brooklyn nun for a tiny stipend, while, at night, he grapples with the paranormal phenomena that have recently seized his rent-controlled apartment: furniture set askew, strange light haunting the bedroom, rocks appearing mysteriously in midair to pummel the floor.
Annotation:"A revolutionary classic from one of science fiction's most highly regarded authors, this collection of 16 brilliant stories remains as scathing and influential today as it was when it was first published more than 20 years ago. These category-defying stories combine science fiction, horror, and fantasy with ironic humor, sardonic social criticism, and intense self-revelation."
Annotation:"This is the way the world ends: with a nanosecond of computer error in a Defense Department laboratory and a million casual contacts that form the links in a chain letter of death. "And here is the bleak new world of the day after: a world stripped of its institutions and emptied of 99 percent of its people. A world in which a handful of panicky survivors choose sides -- or are chosen. A world in which good rides on the frail shoulders of the 108-year-old Mother Abigail -- and the worst nightmares of evil are embodied in a man with a lethal smile and unspeakable powers: Randall Flagg, the dark man."
Annotation:"This collection, edited by Karl Edward Wagner, brings together 26 stories of the sort Wellman was best known for: folklorish tales of the Appalachian mountains, with emphasis on the supernatural. Here we find vampires and ghosts and sorcerers and, most especially, seductive evil women, and they all meet their match in Wellman's most famous continuing character, the itinerant folksinger named John, and lesser knowns, like John Thunstone and Judge Pursivant. " (Publisher's Weekly)