Ready for a little horror, something to make your skin crawl, make you keep the lights on at night, startle at odd noises and unusual shadows? Looking for a horror book to add to your list for the Reading Challenge? We’ve got what you need in the new books at the Field Library this week.
Let’s start with Joyce Carol Oates’ newest collection of stories, The Doll-Master and Other Tales of Terror. This book contains six stories, all of them creepy and scary enough to make you lose some sleep. The title story involves a boy who’s obsessed with his cousin’s doll after the cousin dies of leukemia. A slightly bizarre but not unheard of way of dealing with grief, to be sure, but he gets stranger as he gets older, and begins collecting “found dolls” from around the neighborhood and storing them together in his carriage house. What kind of dolls are they, really, and isn’t the whole idea of a collection of dolls that are “found” creepy all by itself? Talk about the Uncanny Valley! Another story, “Gun Accident”, puts a teenage girl inside her favorite teacher’s house when an intruder breaks in, and just hearing the premise brings up all those old babysitter stories we used to tell when we were teenagers. Another story, “Equatorial”, takes place on the Galapagos Islands where an affluent American woman begins to have reasons to wonder how well she really knows her charismatic husband, and exactly what he has in mind for her. Haunting and strange, these stories get under your skin and slip into your nightmares.
Andrew Michael Hurley’s book, The Loney, newly published in this country, has already won the Best Book of the Year from the British Booksellers Association, and the Costa First Novel Award in Great Britain. It’s one of those eerie, suspenseful novels that moves back and forth in time, building up an atmosphere of doom and dread. Forty years ago, a boy went with his mother and his disabled older brother to a place on the Lancashire coastline known as the Loney. There was something disturbing about the place even then: the boy’s religious mother wanted a miraculous cure for her older son, but the locals didn’t want these strangers around at all. The two boys became involved with a glamorous couple staying at a nearby cottage, and were drawn into mysterious and troubling rites. Now grown up, the younger brother learns of the discovery of a child’s body on that same stretch of coast, and all the memories of that earlier time return to him. He feels he’s the only one who knows the truth about what happened then, and maybe what’s happening now. Should he keep it to himself? Can he? What actually did happen forty years ago, and who or what killed the child now?
Creep yourself out with new horror at the Field Library.