Rosemary’s Baby by Ira Levin

” Rosemary’s Baby ” by Ira Levin is a horror story published in the late 1960’s .

Rosemary moves into an old New York apartment with her struggling actor husband named Guy . The apartment building has a terrible history though involving murder and witchcraft which makes Rosemary a little nervous . Add on to that , the nosy neighbors , ( Roman and Minnie Castavet ) are constantly bothering her , and the strange noises she hears at night … you can understand if she is having trouble adapting to the new place . Things begin to look up though , Guy gets a good role in a Broadway play and Rosemary gets pregnant . With the news of her pregnancy getting around , the neighbors begin to take an even bigger interest in her life , becoming almost possessive of her and her baby . As the pregnancy goes on , she starts getting cut off from her friends and family , gets really sick , and she becomes aware that the Castavets are not who they say they are .

This story is a classic . It’s a masterclass in paranoia based story telling with a hint of satire mixed in . You feel everything Rosemary experiences throughout the story and it keeps you sucked in throughout each twist and turn . The ending feels genuinely surprising and you should read the book at least twice to see all the signs . This was turned into a popular movie directed by Roman Polanski but I haven’t watched it myself as I don’t want to do anything that would give that dude money . So read the book , avoid the movie , that’s my two cents .

Rating : Legendary work

Ratman’s Notebooks by Stephen Gilbert

” Ratman’s Notebooks ” by Stephen Gilbert is a horror novel published in the late 1960’s .

This novel opens up with notebooks being handed to the author . The notebooks writer is unknown but they detail the writers strange interactions with the local rat population . The writer first meets the rats when his overbearing mother tells him to kill them . He attempts to drown them at first but has a change of heart whenever he looks into the mama rats eyes . He then begins to train the rats to do basic tasks but most of them prove difficult to teach . One stands out though as intelligent which the writer calls Socrates . Soon the writer’s mother dies , leaving the writer alone with a house that is falling apart , a low paying job with a cruel boss , and no money . The writer soon finds a new rat which he names Ben who also displays intelligence . The writer then begins to train the rats under the command of Socrates to do various crimes such as tearing tires , robbery , and possibly murder .

This is a legendary book and it’s often credited along with Ira Levin’s ” Rosemary’s Baby ” and William Peter Blatty’s ” The Exorcist ” as the novels that rejuvenated the horror genre. It’s a great read , written from our nameless protagonist’s point of view , you really dig deep into this guys mindset and you follow him as he starts to turn more and more corrupt as the novel goes on . It was later turned into a movie called ” Willard ” that became a big enough hit to spawn a sequel entitled ” Ben ” and a remake later on . Out of all of these , I admit I’ve only seen the remake , but that was a good enough film . Overall , if you’re into the animal horror sub genre or if you’re just curious about horror story history , check it out .

The Long Walk by Stephen King

” The Long Walk ” by Stephen King ( as Richard Bachman ) is a psychological horror story originally published in the late 1970’s .

In the future a contest is held every year called ” The Long Walk ” in which a bunch of young adults walk for as long as they can without losing pace . They sometimes cross whole states even and the person who walks the longest wins a prize , the prize being whatever they want for the rest of their lives . One small draw back though , if you drop below pace more than three times , you will be shot and killed . We follow this contest through the sixteen year old Ray Garraty as he struggles to survive a cruel pace , hardcore competitors , potential starvation , changing weather , and his damaged mental state .

Stephen King is a master story teller , you don’t need me to tell you that . This story , while definitely  dark , seems tame compared to a lot of his other stories and almost comes off as a young adult novel . This isn’t a bad thing , as I do enjoy this story , but if you want a full on , no holds barred traditional Stephen King novel … try another one . On the other hand , if you just looking for a well written dystopian future story with psychological horror elements , check it out . Seriously , if a story about walking can keep my interest for a full novel , you know it’s got to be good .

Werewolf Cop by Andrew Klavan

” Werewolf Cop ” is a supernatural thriller/ mystery written by Andrew Klavan , published in the mid 2010’s .

A brutal murder attracts the attention of the Extraordinary Crimes Unit , specifically detectives Zach Adams ( The Cowboy ) and Martin Goulart ( Broadway Joe ) . They notice the crimes were committed using broadswords and that leads them to believe that the crime was committed by the BLM ( a German-Russian gang ), not only that , the leader of the group ( Dominic Abend ) was there himself . The two detectives have never been closer but Zach is having to deal with some complications . His boss brings him in to her office and tells him that Martin might be on the take , also Zach is being blackmailed by a former lover . He finds a potential lead in Germany in the form of a professor . The professor tells him a crazy story involving immortal Nazi’s , magic daggers , and werewolves . He doesn’t believe her … until the moment she turns into a werewolf before his eyes . From there , the story turns into a fast paced supernatural thriller involving police corruption , German cults , and one hungry werewolf cop !

This is my first time reading an Andrew Klavan novel , I’ve seen some of the movies he wrote ( One Missed Call , True Crime , Gosnell ) and enjoyed those so I figured that his novels would be worth reading . Let me tell you , ” Werewolf Cop ” is one hell of an introduction to the guy . Dark and fun are the two words I would use to describe this masterpiece . It’s not for the weak of heart but if you enjoy a good detective story or are just into werewolves , read it folks !

The Mask by Dean Koontz

” The Mask ” by Dean Koontz is a supernatural thriller that was originally published in the early 1980’s .

Carol and Paul are a young couple looking to adopt a child but some complications arise . First , a freak lightning storm smashes the office of the lawyer who is helping them out and they lose their application in the process . Second , mysterious noises start popping up all around their house . Third , they start having intense nightmares . Paul hires someone to check out their house to find the source but they end up finding nothing and the man tells Paul a story about poltergeist . Carol ends up running over a fifteen year old girl who was wandering around in a daze . The girl is not seriously injured but she does seem to have a case of amnesia . Carol , feeling guilty , ends up visiting the girl often and they make a connection . The search for the girls parents doesn’t go well so Carol decides to bring her home with her and Paul . The girl starts to have nightmares as well and creepy things continue to happen around the house . Join this family as they endure a tragic tale dealing with fire , ax murder , possessed cats , and a killer game of Scrabble !

” The Mask ” by Dean Koontz is an intense a supernatural thriller as any other the author has written before. The characters are likable and the pace of the novel never drops . If you start reading this , you’ll want to finish it in one sitting . It’s that intense and it’s that good , read it folks !!!

A Little Break

Hello , I’ve been taking a little break from the website . My head has been out of it but I’ll be returning to it soon . Feeling a little guilty for not putting something up in the past two or three weeks though so I’ve decided to put up a small list of some of my favorite mad scientist stories for whomever is interested .

  1. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
  2. The Island of Doctor Moreau by H.G. Wells
  3. Dr. Phibes by William Goldstein
  4. Dr. No by Ian Fleming
  5. The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris
  6. The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells
  7. The Great God Pan by Arthur Machen
  8. The Fly by George Langelaan
  9. Revival by Stephen King
  10. Dread by Clive Barker ( May not qualify but it’s close enough )

All respect must be paid to Mary Shelley and H.G. Wells for making the genre relevant . It’s a genre that has helped create some of the best horror and science fiction stories of all time and it should be treated with respect . Anyways , I hope y’all will check these stories out and tell me what you think .

Dr. Phibes by William Goldstein

” Dr. Phibes ” is a mystery/horror story written by William Goldstein , originally published in the 1970’s .

Dr. Phibes died in a car crash while speeding off to see his wife as she dies on the operating table … or did he ? Several doctors in London start dying in weird and horrible ways . The first gets killed by bees , the second was ripped apart by bats , the third involved a frog mask , and a fourth was drained of all his blood . The investigators believe these murders are based off the biblical plagues of Egypt but they don’t know why the doctors have been targeted . Will the investigators find the other targets before all ten plagues have been performed ? What involvement do they have with Dr. Phibes ? Is Dr. Phibes really as dead as people think ? Come find out in ” Dr. Phibes ” ?

I first heard about this book after watching the movie version of it that starred the legendary horror film actor Vincent Price ( which I also recommend )  . This is a fun , smooth , mad scientist story with plenty of twists and sympathetic characters . By the end of the story  , you’ll understand everything . Overall , I’d say check this one out if you’re into mysteries and old school mad scientist stories .