How do you like your horror?

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How do you like your horror?

Post by dgrintalis on Tue Mar 30, 2010 12:32 pm

I love literary horror. Stories that are dark and beautifully written just send my heart all a-flutter. I read all flavors of the genre, but the stories I'm drawn to read over and over again are definitely of the literary vein. I'm not trying to start a war between what is literary and what isn't, nor am I trying to make this an Author A vs. Author B sort of thing, just open up a discussion (without slinging mud), because I do think the genre benefits from all types.

So tell me, how do you like your horror?


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Re: How do you like your horror?

Post by Steerpike on Tue Mar 30, 2010 12:42 pm

I tend to be the same. A lot of what I like is considered too wordy by many others I know (e.g. Angela Carter, or Caitlin R. Kiernan). I like the other styles as well, such as the terse writings of Richard Laymon, but my passion really rests with the more dense, wonderful prose.

One of my all-time favorites, in terms of a dark, atmospheric tale, is Mervyn Peake's GORMENGHAST trilogy.


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Re: How do you like your horror?

Post by Tall Tyrion on Tue Mar 30, 2010 12:42 pm

I like it all, but I agree with you about literary horror. Good writing can be utilitarian or it can be elegant and both have their place, but I prefer the elegance.

Tall Tyrion

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Re: How do you like your horror?

Post by Rhordain on Tue Mar 30, 2010 12:45 pm

Horror monsters should be gross and/or touch a deep fear within us. Lovecraft is a great example of the fear aspect. Few things get at me worse than Dagon or The Call of Cthulu.

On the gross side, I feel like this is a no-brainer for monster-centric horror. The fortune cookie scene in SK's IT and Shiney's sumpworm are where it's at.


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Re: How do you like your horror?

Post by Shiney on Tue Mar 30, 2010 2:04 pm

Awww. thanks....I am expanding my 'Sumpworm" ya know.

My personal tastes....are pretty simple. I dig what I dig...I make no secret of the fact I digs the surreal and super bizarre stuff....But I mainly like what I is BRADBURY or SKIPP or BURROUGHS or KING....

"He's angry that I make his loins sweat"

"Hum A La Baby La Zeeba La Boob A La Hum A La Baby La Zeebe Lee Bop!" - David Lee Roth

"I'll eat you up I love you so."

A Shiny Nugget of Poo on a White Duvet

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Re: How do you like your horror?

Post by EffieCollins on Tue Mar 30, 2010 2:50 pm

D, you know how I like my horror, but for those here that do not--I love literary horror. Deep delving, soul shattering writing that crawls under my skin and freakin' stays. It's what I try so hard to write, too.

I like me some monster horror too, but gore doesn't cut it for me. Gore for me equals cheap trick. A guy walking into a barn to find a stranger being chewed up by man-sized maggots is there just for the effect. A man walking into his barn to find his wife being consumed by man-sized maggots is different. It's there for purpose. He feels something at the sight of his wife consumption, rather than just, "Oh my God! It's big, man-eating maggots!"

But I'm all about the stories that have depth. Where the characters aren't just dolls dressed up to fit the bill, but they really are what they are. It's how the events effect them personally that really mess with my head. A monster in the corner is nothing unless the character reacts to it. Characters are the filter through which we reach our readers and are, by golly, important. Depth is so important.

I love a good, deep-delving lit. horror story.


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Re: How do you like your horror?

Post by Natalie L. Sin on Tue Mar 30, 2010 3:06 pm

Gory and wet. Very Happy

Natalie L. Sin

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Re: How do you like your horror?

Post by LeeThompson on Tue Mar 30, 2010 4:47 pm

I like it intelligent and multi-layered.


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Re: How do you like your horror?

Post by kurtnewton on Tue Mar 30, 2010 5:14 pm

I like whatever stimulates or fills my senses. I like the cringing effect of the moment before the knife enters. I like the emotional tug of loss or separation or a noble sacrifice. I like the beauty in the grotesque. I like that sense of nervous wonder when you realize the world is not what it seems. I like German chocolate cake... avocados with creamy Italian dressing... pumpernickel bread...

Sorry, that last part was my stomach speaking. But that other stuff was all me.


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Re: How do you like your horror?

Post by amrose on Wed Mar 31, 2010 2:19 pm

I like subtle horror.

Best example I can think of is in House of Leaves when the protagonist figures out that the inside of his room has an unaccounted for inch. It's the tiniest thing but off putting. I like a slow build to bizzare events that may have no explanation.

Monsters and gore I prefer in my dark fantasy.


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Re: How do you like your horror?

Post by Kmzone on Fri Apr 02, 2010 12:41 pm

I tend to enjoy the creepier side more often, which means - for me- that I enjoy a good evil human doing unspeakable things to innocent people. It's closer to real life and always gives me the heebie jeebies, something that I don't find easily.

Gore, on the other hand is always either overdone, or humorous (I have a sick sense of humor.) That being said I will not turn away from gore, merely because of that. Monsters are okay, I like the LKH's Fey series, and I enjoy other aspects of dark fantasy, but only so often.

Both worlds provide different escapes.

That being said, give me a literary creeping, emotionally twisted story any day.

@amrose - House of leaves was an excellent story, that was one I didn't want to read late at night. Very Happy


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