” 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 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 ( 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 ” 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 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 !!!
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 .
- Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
- The Island of Doctor Moreau by H.G. Wells
- Dr. Phibes by William Goldstein
- Dr. No by Ian Fleming
- The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris
- The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells
- The Great God Pan by Arthur Machen
- The Fly by George Langelaan
- Revival by Stephen King
- 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 ” 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 .
” Metro 2033 ” is a post-apoclyptic horror novel written by Dmitry Glukhovsky , published in the 2000’s .
The year is 2033 , the setting is a Russian metro stations , the surface world is unlivable to normal human kind and has been over run by mutants . The story revolves around a young man named Artyom and is told mostly from his point of view . Artyom’s metro station is under constant attack from telepathic mutants known as ” the dark ones ” . One day a man called Hunter visits Artyom’s station and says something along the line of ” I’ve got a mission , if I’m not back tomorrow that means I failed and you got to finish it . ” Guess what happens ? Hunter fails so Artyom goes on an epic journey throughout the metro . A journey that has him dealing with fascist , communist , the dark ones , mutant dogs , philosophers , psychics , librarians , and more !
This is a fun but dark book , juggling different political and philosophical beliefs . Artyom knows little of how the world was before it was destroyed , so it’s his first time really dealing with all these beliefs and you feel his confusion . There is a debate throughout the story dealing with the concept of fate and if it exists or not which is interesting . The best parts of this book ( in my mind anyways) are Artyom’s nightmare sequences which are written supremely well .
Favorite quote : ” Could it be that the determination , rage , and desperation that drove him to take every next step created , in some unknown way , a reality that wove a set of chaotic events and someone’s thoughts and actions into an ordered system , thereby turning an ordinary life into a plot , as Sergei Andreyevich had said ? “
” The Damnation Game ” is a horror novel by Clive Barker originally published in the 1980’s .
A gambling addict ( Marty Strauss ) is freed from prison in order to become the personal bodyguard of a wealthy man named Joseph Whitehead . Not all is at it seems however , weird things are happening to Whitehead’s heroin addict daughter ( Carys ) , and Whitehead is in constant fear of a man named Mamoulian . They apparently had made a deal together back in World War Two and Mamoulian wants Joseph to pay up . Mamoulian does various things to haunt Joseph such as raising the dead and entering Carys mind . During all of this , Marty falls in love with Carys and becomes determined to save her during this damnation game !
This is a great novel and reading this again was a treat . It’s a Faust-like tale mixed with Clive Barker’s distinctive blend of fantasy and body horror . Now saying that , this novel is not for the squeamish . It’s brutal and downright depressing but the prose is fantastic . Check it out , if you dare !
” The Strange Island of Dr. Nork ” is a science fiction short story by Robert Bloch , originally published by ” Weird Tales ” magazine .
This story starts off with our narrator , a reporter , gets sent to an island and to learn about the mysterious Dr. Nork and what experiments he is performing there . The first thing he finds on the island is a bottle with a note in it stating ” To whom it may concern : Dr. Nork is a mean , nasty old thing , so there ! ” and the second thing he encounters is a talking ape ! Enjoy this tale of a mad scientist , zombies , and … comic books ?
This story is actually a parody of a story by H.G. Wells called ” The Island of Doctor Moreau ” and it is honestly one of the funniest things I have ever read . It knows how to play with expectations and subvert stock characters . The humor in the tale surprised me because the only other Robert Bloch story I’ve read to this point is ” Psycho ” which is a totally different type of story . It’s fun and creative , if you can find it then read it .