Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Creepy Reads

I spend my lunch break trying to catch up on my reading. Its only half an hour but eh, I still get some good time in. Of course, lately most of my reads have been zombie related. When I get on a kick I get on a KICK!
But then, I've been on this zombie kick for about 10 years now....

Since I tend to focus on films most of the time I thought it would be nice to shake things up a bit an recommend some of my favorite creepy reads to ya'll.
So without further ado...

World War Z - Max Brooks
This is amongst my favorite books of all time. In fact, I rate it number 3 on my list of favorite books (right under Of Mice and Men and To Kill a Mocking Bird). World War Z is a fascinating oral history telling of the Great Zombie War. Max Brooks writes in several different voices telling the story of when the dead took over the earth. You hear from the soldiers on the front lines, the civilians who barely got out with their lives, and the people who rebuilt the world after the Apocalypse. Brooks is fantastic writing many unique characters. Each one comes across as a real interview and by the end of book I found myself completely drained and totally invested in every character. What I liked best was how Brooks told the story of the zombie Apocalypse on a global scale. And I found myself asking what was more terrifying, the zombies or the way humans reacted to them. Its frightening, fascinating and extremely touching. I have never read a book quite like it.

Patient Zero - Johnathan Maberry
Another zombie Book. BIG SHOCKER! I'm not quite finished with this one but I've enjoyed it enough to put it on my "check this shit out!" list. Patient Zero is cross between Dawn of the Dead and The Bourne Identity. In other words, super spy zombie hunters! Its a VERY different book from World War Z. Much faster and slicker. While its not the most realistic scenario (but then what IS when dealing with zombies?) its extremely intense and very fun. The book deals with Joe, a specially trained cop who is recruited into a secret government department that deal with things that the general public should not know about. He and his team of bad ass MoFo's have to stop a terrorist group from letting lose a virus into the US. You can all guess what this virus does I'm sure. Maberry does an excellent job showing us the scientific side of zombies and going for a very well researched virus scenario instead of supernatural. Definitely not the easiest path to take but he writes it effortlessly. This one is a lot of fun for people who love a good action scene.

House of Leaves - Mark Z. Danielewski
Blame Stacy on this one. She recommended it to me. House of Leaves is a one big pile of WTF. Seriously. The book reads like a fever dream which only adds to its creepiness. The whole book is about a house. A creepy house that may or may not eat people. Is it haunted? Is it alive? Is it just some sort of metaphor for the dissolving marriage and family living inside it? I have no fucking idea. And that is part of its scariness. The book is written in three voices; a tattoo artist who has picked up this manuscript about this house, the professor who is writing about this house, and the publishers who picked up the manuscript. There are tons of wacky foot notes, side notes, references, and other things that make it feel like a used text book. As the story goes on you start to realize that the authors are going insane. The printing becomes erratic, the language unreadable, until it just....ends. And then you start to feel insane and wonder if things are watching you. But all in a good way. House of Leaves is NOT a light read. Its extremely dense and very wordy. But its also an experience more than a read. its definitely worth a look if you have some time and patience. But be warned, this is NOT a straight forward book!

Weird Hauntings -Joanne Austin
This is great for some light summer reading. Weird Hauntings is a collection of true or allegedly true ghost stories collected through out the U.S. Some are funny, some are creepy, and some make you want to sleep with the light on for a night or two. Its a perfect read for days when you're slightly distracted since its easy to put down then pick right back up and continue. While I wouldn't call it a legitimate reference book on hauntings, it contains some wonderfully spooky stories that you can later no research on your own to see if there are any other cases reported. Lots of fun!

So that's all I can think of off the top of my head. I'm always up to reading some fun spooky stuff so if anyone has any recommendations, lay em on me!


Stac said...

I wanna read Patient Zero when I come. I almost bought it when I was getting my textbooks, but didn't want to get it and find out I hated it.

I got a Haunted Mansion pop up book, and a Hercules pop up book. :D

Stac said...

Oh, and you gotta read Heart Shaped Box and 20th Century Ghosts, both by Joe Hill. Excellent reads.

Nojh said...

I loved WWZ. I harped about it for months trying to get people to read it. The Audio Book is worth owning as well.

I picked up Patient Zero on your suggestion but haven't gotten to it yet. I've been addicted to certain Manga and the Dresden Files books...

House of Leaves... is that the book with all the weird typing that was made on the internet?

Jonathan Maberry said...

Thanks for the shout out about PATIENT ZERO. I'm on a signing tour for it now and meeting lots and lots of my fellow zombie fans.

It's good to be undead...

Cins said...

Stac>> Putting both of those on my list! Of course I still have to get thorugh the necronomicon still. *L*

Nojh>>I got the audio book finally. Its excellent. I'm on disk three currently. And I think you'd like Patient Zero. Its very different from most zombie novels.:)

Johnathan>>Holy Awesomesause, Batman! Thanks for dropping in! I've really enjoyed Patient Zero. And my husband is now completely sucked in. Are you planning on coming to Southern California during your tour? Specifically San Diego? I'd love to have you sign my copy of Patient Zero and chew the fat with you.:)

thebonebreaker said...

I found World War Z to be a tedious read - I think that the upcoming film adaptation actually has a chance of being one of the rare films that will actually turn out better than the novel.

As for Patient Zero - I am definitely going to have to check that one out, as it sounds very interesting!

I have House of Leaves - I just haven't read it yet - glad to hear that it is a good one! :-)

Cins said...

BB>> I think you'd like Patient Zero. I'm just about done with it and I really love it. LOTS of action and fun characters.
House of Leaves is WEIRD!! Be Prepared!!