“Horror,” Laura Miller says in the introduction to the Penguin Classics edition of The Haunting of Hill House, “turns on the dissolution of boundaries […] between the outside of the body and everything that ought to stay inside.” Maybe the way horror lurks in liminal spaces, only rarely coming right out in the open, has something to do with how much I enjoy the genre. And The Haunting of Hill House serves masterfully as our guide to those cracked and uncertain places.
Bram Stoker may have been the first to perfect the literary vampire, but he was certainly not the first to creep people out with a good monster. Carmilla was here first (by over 20 years), and she is perfectly frightening herself. After a carriage crashes near their remote forest estate, our narrator Laura and her father agree to take in a young woman as their guest while her mother travels on and promises to return for her. Not too surprisingly, young girls in the nearby village start dying of a mysterious ailment following a vivid nightmare of a monster in their […]
So, I’m totally stealing this idea from NTE. These are the books I attempted, but wasn’t able to finish (for one reason or another). I really like the idea of including these books in my Cannonball, if for no other reasons than they still warrant some discussion. In no particular order: Dracula, by Bram Stoker (4 stars) I loved Stoker’s writing, and the book had a beautifully sinister atmosphere to it. It’s not hard to understand, reading this, why the book resonated so strongly with people, and has been passed down through the ages, again and again, retold and reformulated […]