As an addition to my “Halloween Special” blog post about a horror book entitled “The Great and the Secret Show” by Clive Barker, I am going to enumerate some great novels that not are only engrossing because of their entertainment value but are also electrifying due to their ability to twist the readers’ minds.
- The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris(1989)
The Silence of the Lambs is the second installment in Thomas Harris’ trilogy “The Hannibal Series” that involves the character of Hannibal Lecter, both a psychiatric doctor and a cannibalistic killer. After his capture in “The Red Dragon” (the first book), he became an essential tool in helping to profile psychotic serial killers for the FBI.
Resting on the dark corners of his bunk, Hannibal Lecter was woken up by the sound of a woman’s voice. There he met Clarice Starling face to face behind his cell bars with nylon net stretched from ceiling to floor and wall to wall. Starling inquired if he could profile the killer behind the skinning of women known as “Buffalo Bill”. Starling had been summoned by Jack Crawford (Behavioral Science Section Chief) while she was on training at the FBI Academy in Quantico and was ordered to persuade the doctor. To warn her of possible dangers involving Dr. Lecter, Crawford had insisted that she should be very careful with the doctor about giving personal facts and getting close because he might point the killer towards her direction like what he did to Will Graham. The transition of the story was enhanced with creative thinking plus the quality of writing that will make the readers anticipate and be excited with the succeeding chapters.
2. Everville(The second book of Art)by Clive Barker(1994)
Set in a fictitious place in America, Everville had been surfaced from void to existence by a dream. It hosted many locals who had their own story to tell. One was Phoebe Cobb who was a doctor’s receptionist and was entangled with his indolent and alcoholic husband by marriage. Her life became fulfilling when he met Joe, a painter in the same building where she worked. They had an affair which soon grew into a serious relationship. One day, while they were making love, Phoebe’s husband entered the painter’s home and assaulted the lovers until Joe made an exit into the woods. He ended up sojourning in the place where the portal to the dream sea (also known as Quiddity) was open and made his way into the threshold of another dimension.
Meanwhile, Tesla Bombeck visited Everville to trace Fletcher’s whereabouts. Traveling with her was Raul, an ape that had been engineered using the Nuncio (a chemical that can transform beings into another form or enhance their capabilities) and was sharing the same body with her. Phoebe and Tesla’s paths crossed when they went into an abandoned home that was circled with bizarre entities. The other parts of the book introduced characters from “The Great and The Secret Show” like Tesla Bombeck and many new characters that elated the story’s thrill. Like its predecessor, Everville can provoke the imaginations of the readers while stimulating the mind into possibilities.
3. Deadzone by Stephen King (1979)
As what is already known by most people, Stephen King is one of the most influential writers in the history of horror. His powerful storytelling prowess can be realized with his bestselling pieces such as IT, Carrie, Salem’s Lot, The Shining, The Deadzone and others. I chose to feature Deadzone because it possesses good story elements and it can captivate the readers with its truthful portrayal of human emotions.
The plot revolves around the main character Johnny Smith who was a high school teacher in Maine. In the first part of the story, he was visiting a county fair with his girlfriend Sarah (also a teacher) and was compelled to play in the Wheel of Fortune. As it turned, he was always mysteriously winning every time he bet not until Sarah complained of a stomachache. Johnny met an accident on his way home after dropping her off to her house. He had been in a coma for more than four years and woke up with a psychic ability that enabled him to have a vision of the future. His experience was soured by the fact that Sarah had married during his stay at the hospital. The turn of events progressed as he unveiled many mysteries that helped other people to find solutions to their troubles until he met a potentially dangerous candidate for the Congress as his vision prophesied. The last part showed Johnny, now with his diminished self, averting Greg Stillson’s plan to acquire more power.
4. The Hellfire Club by Peter Straub(1996)
Nora was a normal woman who had marital problems with his 10 years younger husband, Davey Chancel. As her menopausal stage came into full circle, her fears about the past came to taunt her that intensified their plight. She had been keeping from her husband the specific details of her life while she was in Vietnam during the war where she had become a nurse. What made her even more restless was the news about a madman who had been killing women that greatly upset her. Later on, she found out that her husband had an affair with Natalie who had been missing and Nora was accused of the disappearance. At the police station where Nora was being questioned, the madman suddenly abducted her there and off they went into a journey. The next sequence of events soon revealed the secret behind Davey’s real identity and the story of the writer of his favorite book series “The Night Journey”.
The most fascinating about Hellfire Club is the way the story outline was organized, giving a wonderful effect of puzzlement over the readers. The way the fantasy corners of the The Night Journey was wrapped around the suspense of the characters made The Hellfire Club a good read.
These four novels can undoubtedly give sleepless nights as they can compel the readers into following the intriguing events in the stories. In addition, the contents were meticulously weaved to attain literary quality and detailed narration. These great 20th century novels are timeless.