5) The Room – Hubert Selby Jr.
After writing this novel, Hubert Selby himself could not read it again for 20 years. Reviewer Chris Mitchell claimed the book made him physically sick. An unnamed insignificant criminal, whilst trapped in his cell, explores his twisted feelings and fantasises of rancid revenges.
4) The Metamorphosis – Franz Kafka
One day a travelling salesman named Gregor Samson wakes up to find himself transformed into a monstrous insect creature. The rest of the novella, published in 1915, deals with Gregor’s attempt to come to terms with his new physical body. Although he quickly gets used to his new appearance, his family slowly learn to at first love him and then doubt whether it really is Gregor anymore. The story ends with Gregor dying from lack of nourishment.
3) The Raven – Edgar Allan Poe
One of the most famous poems ever written has moments of horror in it. A raven taunts the unnamed narrator who is grieving over his love loss, Lenore. The raven is said to have been inspired by Charles Dickens’ novel Barnaby Rudge: A Tale of the Riots of Eighty. The poem saw Poe reach national fame but he never saw this fame converted into monetary wealth.
2) Dracula – Bram Stoker
This week marks 167 years since the birth of Bram Stoker and his most renowned work Dracula is one of the best horror novels ever to be written. The story follows Count Dracula and his quest to travel to England from Transylvania in order to acquire more victims’ blood. Stoker is credited with defining the modern form of a vampire in this book.
1) It – Stephen King
Stephen King, like Garth Marenghi, seems to have actually written more books than he has read, none scarier than his 1986 horror novel, It. The titular character causes seven children to confront their fears face-to-face by shapeshifting into their worst nightmare. The novel was adapted into a television film starring Tim Curry as Pennywise. King was presented the British Fantasy award in 1987 for his efforts.
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