Horror Reads Found Outside of the Horror Section

We’ve finally made it to All Hallows Eve and spooktober is coming to a close. Christmas television adverts and shop window displays will start popping up about a minute after midnight so it’s time for one more Halloween post while we still can.

This week we are bringing you a list of book recommendations to help stay spooky into November. The books on this list are specifically chosen as “secret horror novels”. Books that tend not to be shelved in the Horror or Thriller sections of your favourite book shops but are terrifying nonetheless!

So turn the lights low, ignore the trick-or-treaters at the door and let’s dive in!

Cormac McCarthy The Road

1. Cormac McCarthy’s “The Road”

The Road tells the story of a father and son’s desperate fight for survival in a post apocalyptic earth that no longer supports human life. Desperate for food and forced to keep on the move (on the road) they scavenge for food and avoid contact with other survivors at all costs lest they become food themselves! The father keeps a single bullet in his gun for the boy, anticipating the day when humankind truly run out of food. That is the basic premise and things only get worse from there. McCarthy piles on the horror of his dystopian vision of the future and leaves you feeling truly disturbed.


Brief History Of The Dead Kevin Brockmeier

2. Kevin Brockmeier’s “The Brief History of the Dead”

The protagonist Laura Byrd comes to believe she may be the last living person on Earth and to make things worse she is stranded in Antarctica of all places. A deadly virus gradually wipes out the world’s population and as people succumb to it they reappear in a sort of afterlife known as The City. A place where buildings materialise to accommodate the influx of the dead and where families are reunited. If the horror of a global pandemic and the crushing loneliness of true isolation isn’t enough for you Brockmeier ups the stakes: you only stay in The City as long as the living remember you and the living are running out…


William Browning Spencer Résumé with Monsters

3. William Browning Spencer’s “Résumé with Monsters”

What’s more horrifying than a Monday morning when you work a nine to five office job? The answer is perhaps if the corporation you work for is a monster in disguise. Weaving together H. P. Lovecraft’s eldritch gods with the nightmare of corporate America “Résumé with Monsters” tells the story of Philip Kenan who works an office desk job by day and battles The Old Ones by night. In addition he’s attempting to mend a broken relationship with an ex girlfriend. The work/life balance has never seemed so terrifying in this often darkly humorous novel.


Mary Doria Russell The Sparrow

4. Mary Doria Russell’s “The Sparrow”

You will likely find “The Sparrow” in the science fiction section in most booksellers and rightly so as on its surface it is a work of speculative fiction telling the story of first contact with an alien race in 2019. The novel won the Arthur C. Clarke Award in 1998 and features spaceships, space travel and alien life. The horror that presents itself comes from a very human place however as it explores the ramifications of meddling with the unknown. Inter-species and inter-personal cultural misunderstanding leads to horrific tragedy on an intergalactic scale.


Richard Preston The Hot Zone

5. Richard Preston’s “The Hot Zone”

One non-fiction entry makes the list with “The Hot Zone”. Richard Preston delivers the history or a selection of filoviruses including Ebola charting cases in Africa and Europe. A section of the book is dedicated the events that took place in Reston, Virginia, in the United States in 1989. Just fifteen miles from Washington D. C sits the Hazleton Research Product’s primate quarantine unit. A shipment of macaques was delivered from the Philippines that began to suddenly die exhibiting symptoms which matched Ebola or Marburg virus. The book offers a terrifying perspective on how close the Eastern United States came to a real life horror story.


Happy Halloween Book Lovers!


image credits: wikipedia.org

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