The Book Monster Vol. 11: Horror Edition


It’s October. The leaves are turning orange, brown, and yellow. Pumpkins are starting to show up at the grocery store, and you might be wondering what to be for Halloween. I contemplated dedicating an installment of my column to horror books later in the month, but books take a while to read, and if I wait too long to recommend a horror book you might not get around to reading it in time.

I recently found some gummy skeletons in my cupboard from last Halloween, and I threw them away because they were old. According to most candy doesn’t go bad and even chocolate bars have a long shelf life. I now wish I would’ve kept the gummy skeletons.

You may recall the movie, “The Raven” starring John Cusack hitting theaters in April. I don’t know anybody who saw it. I refused to see it because I thought the film would ruin one of the greatest poems ever written. Rotten Tomatoes gave this film a 22% on their Tomatometer, which gave the following review “Thinly scripted, unevenly acted, and overall preposterous, The Raven disgraces the legacy of Edgar Allen Poe with a rote murder mystery that’s more silly than scary.” Some pieces of literature shouldn’t be tampered with.

If you love zombies as much as I do, which is near obsession, you must read “The Living Dead”. John Joseph Adams (editor) did a fantastic job of putting this book together. Adams scoured the annals of zombie literature to find stories covering all sides of the zombie spectrum. The zombies in this book are the horrible relentless zombies we’ve seen in so many films, others are voodoo zombies, some are only imagined, while others are thinking, feeling zombies who try to protect their still-human families. The depths of humanity are explored in these well written stories from the likes of Neil Gaiman, Stephen King, Dan Simmon’s, Poppy Z. Brite and many others.

If you’ve read all 486 pages of zombie lore in “The Living Dead” like I have, and you’re still hungry for more pick up “The Living Dead 2”. John Joseph Adams has put together another 492 pages of the best flesh-eating entertainment. Although I haven’t read this one all the way through yet, the stories I’ve read thus far are fantastic. This collection features stories from Max Brooks (of “World War Z” fame), and Robert Kirkman (creator of AMC’s The Walking Dead), and many others. 


If you’re looking for a scary picture book to read this Halloween may I suggest taking a look through The Gashlycrumb Tinies” by Edward Gorey. The book chronicles the unfortunate and random deaths of 26 children. This book is morbidly-cute and laugh-out-loud funny. Gorey’s drawings are grotesquely superb, his writing is perfectly concise and complimentary to his art, and he has a knack for giving death a humorous face.


One of my favorite books of all time is, “Night Shift,” by the master of horror, Stephen King. It’s a collection of stories filled with the boogeyman, murder, supernatural happenings, aliens, and vampires. One of King’s most well known stories, “Children of the Corn,” which was later turned into a series of movies is also included.


Kevin enjoys traveling, playing outside, reading, and writing. Alice in Chains is his favorite band. He is an Eagle Scout. He grew up in Beaverton.

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