Chills by Mary SanGiovanni

Kathy Ryan has problems. Her brother is a psychopath who tried to kill her when they were young, and now a band of cultists have unleashed an otherworldly invasion on the otherwise quiet town of Colby, Connecticut. Kathy is also emotionally drained from her job battling supernatural monsters. Guarding the inter-dimensional gateway against ancient intruders […]

What Do Monsters Fear? by Matt Hayward

What do monsters fear? Responsibility. Withdrawal symptoms. Owning up to their past mistakes. One of the recovering addicts in Matt Hayward’s creep-fest What Do Monsters Fear? sums up the plot in a few well-chosen words: “Three strung-out fucks are gonna stop an ancient evil god?” Hell, yeah, they are! Because the ancient evil god—a body-snatching baddie […]

A Head Full Of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay

Paul Tremblay’s A Head Full Of Ghosts is a beautiful novel, a post-modern tale of demonic possession that leaves you questioning where truth lies in our surreal/unreal world. Publisher William Morrow sums up A Head Full Of Ghosts: The lives of the Barretts, a normal suburban New England family, are torn apart when fourteen-year-old Marjorie […]

A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole

 A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole is funny, wise, and as close to a perfect novel as you’re likely to find. Protagonist Ignatius C. Reilly is a bloated buffoon, a man-baby who lives with his mother, has a troubled digestive valve that causes him to burp and fart with great frequency, and possesses […]

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

The magic of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling lies in its combination of simplicity and familiarity. Like a three-chord pop song, Harry Potter sticks in your head, causing pleasant sensations as it bounces around your brain. We know this story; an unlikely hero with a regal destiny is sent on an […]

The Croning by Laird Barron

Something amazing happens in Laird Barron’s The Croning. The hero saves the day simply by forgetting to act. He agrees to let his mind rot away (perhaps the most terrifying fate of all) while his witchy woman makes off with their newborn grandchild. That’s the happiest ending possible in this twisted tale that combines the legend […]

Header and Creekers by Edward Lee

There is something beautiful and poetic about  the splatterpunk redneck fiction on display in Edward Lee‘s novella Header (1995) and the long-form novel Creekers (1994). Lee’s redneck horror pays homage to Richard Laymon‘s novels of backwoods terror as well as James Dickey‘s classic, Deliverance. Lee’s work is violent and nasty, but his pacing and dialogue are […]