Naomi Eisenstat on Horror

Naomi Eisenstat covers the basics of the horror genre at our RA in a Half Day event at Vancouver Public Library last October:

Definition: Horror fiction’s most basic definition is it’s designed to scare the reader. Its tone can vary from comedic to dour or hectic to suspensful, but all stories tend to maintain an atmosphere of menace. Unresolved or unhappy endings are the norm. Monsters of some kind usually frame the story. Horror fiction also has more graphic violence or sexual situations than most other genres.

RA Tips and Tricks

Instead of recommending horror by which type of supernatural force menaces the protaganists, look at how soon violence erupts and match that to the reader’s taste on the Storyteller vs. Visceral spectrum.

The graphic violence and sexual content in most horror can be shocking to some new readers.

Potential New Horror Reader Checklist

  • Patron enjoys thrillers of any kind.
  • Patron does not mind blood and guts.
  • Patron prefers character-driven plots over action-stories.
  • Patron does not mind fantasy elements in their novels.

Resources for Great Picks

—  The Bram Stoker Awards

—  Weird Tales Magazine

—  MonsterLibrarian.com

—  Raforallhorror.blogspot.ca

—  Hellnotes.com

—  Spratford, Becky Siegel. The Reader’s Advisory Guide to Horror (2nd Edition). 2012.

—  Saricks, Joyce G. Readers’ Advisory Guide to Genre Fiction (2nd Edition). 2009.

—  Spratford, Becky Siegel. The Horror Readers’ Advisory: The Librarian’s Guide to Vampires, Killer Tomatoes, and Haunted Houses. 2004.

—  Fonseca,  Anthony J. and June Michele Pulliam. Hooked on Horror: A Guide to Reading Interests in Horror Fiction. 1999.

 

Important Horror Authors and a Selection of Their Work

 

 

Stephen King

Carrie

The Shining

Everything’s Eventual

 

Anne Rice

Interview with a Vampire

The Vampire Lestat

 

Shirley Jackson

The Haunting of Hill House

We Have Always Lived in the Castle

The Lottery and Other Stories

 

Dean Koontz

Odd Thomas (Series)

From the Corner of His Eye

Phantoms

 

Clive Barker

The Hellbound Heart

The Damnation Game

Books of Blood, v. 1-3

 

Daphne du Maurier

Rebecca

The Birds

Don’t Look Now: Selected Stories

 

H.P. Lovecraft

The Dunwich Horror and Others

Dagon and Other Macabre Tales

The Horror in the Museum and Other Revsions

 

Peter Straub

Ghost Story

In the Night Room

A Dark Matter

 

Joe R. Landsdale

Mucho Mojo

Writer of the Purple Rage

Mad Dog Summer and Other Stories

 

Kathe Koja

The Cipher

Skin

 

Robert Aickman

The Collected Strange Stories

 

Ray Bradbury

Something Wicked This Way Comes

 

Max Brooks

World War Z

 

Mark Z. Danielewski

House of Leaves

 

Neil Gaiman

A Study in Emerald

 

Mira Grant

Feed

 

Junji Ito

Uzumaki

 

Henry James

Turn of the Screw

 

M.R. James

Ghost Stories of an Antiquary

 

Caitlin R. Kiernan

The Drowning Girl

 

Robert Kirkman

The Walking Dead

 

Richard Matheson

Hell House

 

Joyce Carol Oates

Zombie

 

Dan Simmons

Carrion Comfort

 

Robert Shearman

Remember Why You Fear Me

 

Scott Smith

The Ruins

 

 

 

 

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