Hallowe’en Reads 2018

The sky before a typhoon. View from my garden.

Happy Autumn!

As the days cool and grow shorter and the darkness spreads its ebony fingers, are you ready for some chills and thrills?

Yes, it’s that time of year again when I make – and often fail to complete – a plan for my October reading. As the theme is Hallowe’en, my chosen genre is horror or any kind of weird fiction. I’m planning to focus on novellas and short stories this year as my reading-time has shrunk over the last few months. So, without further ado, here is my list of stories to read as I tentatively set foot into the October country.

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Holt House (1972) by L.G. Vey

The first work to be released to the general public by the secretive Eden Book Society. Here is a brief description of them, followed by a synopsis of the book:

‘Established in 1919, The Eden Book Society was a private publisher of horror for nearly 100 years. Presided over by the Eden family, the press passed through the generations publishing short horror novellas to a private list of subscribers. Eden books were always published under pseudonyms and, until now, have never been available to the public.’

Holt House by L.G. Vey

‘It’s a quiet house, sheltered, standing in a mass of tangled old trees called the Holtwood. Raymond watches it. He’s been thinking about the elderly owners, Mr and Mrs Latch, who took him in one night when he was a frightened boy. Mr Latch showed him something that was kept in a wardrobe in the spare room. He can’t remember what it was. He only knows how sick it made him feel. Raymond watches Holt House. He has to remember what he saw.

He has to get inside.’

First published in 1972 by The Eden Book Society, Holt House was the only work of published fiction by L.G. Vey, a popular scriptwriter of 1950s horror and science fiction dramas. At the time, Holt House was a peculiarly dark and mournful footnote in Vey’s career, but published now for the first time outside of The Eden Book Society it becomes a timely reflection on the toxic frailty of masculinity as it ages.


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The Murders of Molly Southbourne (2017) by Tade Thompson

I keep hearing great things about Tade Thompson’s writing and recently picked up a copy of Rosewater, his Nigeria-set tale of an alien artifact and the town that has been built around it. I’m hoping to start reading it in November. But first, here’s the synopsis to Molly Southbourne:

The rule is simple: don’t bleed.

For as long as Molly Southbourne can remember, she’s been watching herself die. Whenever she bleeds, another molly is born, identical to her in every way and intent on her destruction.

Molly knows every way to kill herself, but she also knows that as long as she survives she’ll be hunted. No matter how well she follows the rules, eventually the mollys will find her. Can Molly find a way to stop the tide of blood, or will she meet her end at the hand of a girl who looks just like her?


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Big Driver (2010) by Stephen King

One of four novellas that make up King’s 2010 book Full Dark, No Stars. I’ve already read the first novella from this collection, 1922. That was a pretty gruesome story about murder and rats. I’ve heard both good and bad things about Big Driver and am looking forward to some chills from the King. I didn’t know there was a film adaptation of it.


 

Five Short Stories by Ray Bradbury

It’s difficult to choose from Bradbury’s wonderful oeuvre of short stories. These are the five I have chosen: The Veldt; The Fog Horn; A Sound of Thunder; The April Witch; Homecoming. I hope to read them all.


 

So, how about you? Do you have any reading plans for Hallowe’en? Please leave a comment if you do:)

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11 thoughts on “Hallowe’en Reads 2018

  1. I love Halloween and have been planning this year’s celebrations along with my usual Halloween posts – but I haven’t thought about reading anything yet (movies to watch yes!). I’m intrigued by the book you mention ‘The Murders of Molly Southbourne’ and wouldn’t mind giving that a go. Other than that I might sort out some of my Poe short stories…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi

    I did not have anything planned, but as we need to travel at the end of Oct and will not be decorating and giving out candy, something we love, perhaps I should compose a list. I am currently reading and loving Blackood’s John Silence stories. I was delighted to see your list included Bradbury’s October Country, the Tor Lovecraft Reread just did Bradbury’s Skeleton so I was planning to reread that. If I was choosing, Ligotti, maybe Dr Locrian’s Asylum, something by Kiernan perhaps Black Ships seen South of Heaven, Darrell Schweitzer’s The Clockwork King, The Queen…, Jonathan Carroll’s My Zoondei, and some Hodgson, Benson and M.R. James. Great question I enjoyed thinking about a list. I don’t normally read King but I would be tempted to reread his Crouch End. I also have some horror anthologies selected by Marvin Kaye with covers by Edward Gorey that I should dig out. (boy now I am in the mood)

    Thanks & Happy Reading
    Guy

    Liked by 1 person

    • Guy, thank you for commenting. I’d not heard of ‘John Silence’ so I will investigate. I see there are some available on wikisource; any particular recommendations?
      I love Bradbury’s writing, especially his short stories. I’ve read The October Country a couple of times over the years. Also the collections ‘R is for Rocket’ and ‘The Golden Apples of the Sun.’ Thanks for the recommendations! King’s ‘Crouch End’ is a great Lovecraftian tale, if my memory serves me well. I have his early collection ‘Night Shift’, so would like to dip into that one, too.
      Happy Reading to you, too!
      Gray

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  3. Pingback: The Fog Horn (1951) by Ray Bradbury | Who's Dreaming Who?

  4. Pingback: The Murders of Molly Southbourne (2017) by Tade Thompson | Who's Dreaming Who?

      • I’m a big fan of the book, although it has its issues (and it’s pretty long).

        I haven’t seen the 1931 movie since I was a kid (though I have a blu-ray ready to go). I’m not sure if I’ve seen any other film adaptations. Unless you count Blade III.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: Holt House (1972) by L.G. Vey | Who's Dreaming Who?

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