Monday, October 19, 2015

Top 20 Horror Novels - #11) Christine by Stephen King (from 1983)

Not only am I ranking my Top 20 Horror Movies for you this October, but I'm doing likewise with the scary books that I hold near and dear.  As with the movies that I'm discussing in that Top 20, I'm not attempting to rank these novels based on their place in pop culture, but rather their place in my heart.  Isn't that sweet?  Seriously, there are some fine books that didn't make the cut here because there just wasn't room, and there are definitely some well-regarded books that didn't make the cut because I don't really like them.  That also means there are some personal favorites of mine on this list that you may not have heard of.  If that's the case, I promise that I'll reward your trust with a gnarly tale if you give one of them a spin.  Finally, I may have shortchanged some of the titans in the genre (hey there, Stephen King) as I didn't want to overload this list with titles by the same author, though Uncle Stevie did manage to score three direct hits on my list.

The list thus far:

#20) Amok by George Fox (from 1980) 
#19) Manstopper by Douglas Borton (from 1988)
#18) Intensity by Dean Koontz (from 1995)

#17) The Terror by Dan Simmons (from 2007) 
#16) The Snake by John Godey (from 1978)
#15) Son of the Endless Night by John Farris (from 1985)
#14) Rockinghorse by William W. Johnstone (from 1986) 
#13) Vampire$ by John Steakley (from 1990)
#12) Falling Angel by William Hjortsberg (from 1978)

Top 20 Horror Novels - #11) Christine by Stephen King (from 1983)

Like King's best books (a number of which were published during the late 70s and early 80s), Christine is jam-packed with an embarrassment of riches.  It serves as both a thrilling story that is ripe with terror and a meditation on a great many things, to include coming of age, young love, and the insidious manner in which the things we cherish can build barriers between us and the people we cherish.  Christine hooks the reader from the very start thanks to King's stirring prose and his profound ability to craft compelling characters, allowing the horror lurking within the pages of this book to unfold slowly.  This makes the shocking incidents of violence and murder that much more provocative when they arrive.  There's a curious nature to the tale that makes it fresh and original, and far more haunting.  Is it a ghost story or is it a tale of possession?  Is young Arnie Cunningham an innocent victim or does he allow a dangerous obsession to forever warp his mind?  I also have to point out that I love King's use of song lyrics throughout the book to set the mood.  Many of his staples are here, to include despicable human villains to go along with any demonic entities on the prowl.  Christine is a ferocious book that should please anyone who likes a good scare and it is a stellar example of the talent and creativity that have made Stephen King a legend.   

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