April 24th, 2011
I’ve read plenty of horror fiction, running the range from spine-tingling to horrifyingly gory. What I want in my horror is a sympathetic character with whom I can identify in some way who has been drawn into a paranormal situation over which he or she has no control. I want the suspense to build. I want to be compelled to look over my shoulder as I’m reading it. It seems that so many horror novels that have come out recently have a cinematic edge to them. The descriptions are endless where a creak or squeak would do. Unlike the more artful work of authors like Peter Straub or Joe Hill, I’m finding that rather than fleshing out characters, creating suspense, and letting me stew on it, that the action is often non-stop, and the ending is a crescendo of supernatural activities that even as described are difficult to imagine and ruin the chill. Perhaps it is just harder to frighten me after years of reading and watching horror. What do you think? Who are the best contemporary horror novelists out there? Which authors cause you to look under the bed?