Friday, October 7, 2016

Book Blogger Hop No. 70: In which I BASH the horror genre!!





Welcome to the Book Blogger Hop, 
Halloween Edition,
hosted by Billy @


For more information, and 
to find out the topic of next week's question, click HERE.


What to Do

1.) Post on your blog answering this week's
question:

 Name one book that scared you
so badly you couldn't finish
reading it.

(submitted by Billy @ Ramblings of a

2.)  Enter the link to your post in the
Linky list on Billy's blog.

3.)  Visit other blogs on the list and
comment on their posts. 

4.)  Be sure to find out next week's
question when you visit
Ramblings of a Coffee-Addicted Writer!





My Answer

Although I'm participating in  this hop during its Halloween Edition for the very first time, I want to state, for the record, that I am NOT a fan of the horror genre AT ALL. So I'm warning any and all horror fans reading this post that I am going to BASH this genre!! 

So, if you love the horror genre, you can stop reading at this point. Remember, you HAVE been warned -- twice!! 

************

I remember having to read at least three stories by Edgar Allan Poe in high school, as they were assigned reading for all students taking American Literature. The stories were: "The Tell-Tale Heart", "The Cask of Amontillado", and "The Pit and the Pendulum". These stories totally terrified me, and I have never forgotten them, alas. I had to read them in their entirety, too

WHY Edgar Allan Poe is held up as such a great American writer is beyond me....yes, the man wrote great prose, but had an EXTREMELY macabre imagination!

Several years later, out of curiosity, I actually read The Exorcist, by William Peter Blatty. I never saw the movie. Heck, just READING the book was terrifying enough!! I did finish it, because I just couldn't put it down, paradoxically. I don't understand why....I guess it was just morbid fascination, lol. But I do regret ever reading it! After I finished that horrible book, I couldn't sleep well for an ENTIRE week!! My mind kept going over and over all the gruesome images, and I had to actually PRAY for at least an hour each night, in order to be able to go to sleep.... Can you imagine what would have happened if I had actually seen the movie? Well, I've read that, when the movie was first shown in theaters, their staff actually had to have nurses with stretchers stationed at the theater entrances, because there were people in the audience who actually FAINTED. Others threw up, and felt very sick. Now, what kind of ENTERTAINMENT is that?!

There's another book that also terrified me, to some extent, but not as much as The Exorcist. It was The Forbidden Game, by L.J. Smith. This was a YA read. The book is actually an omnibus edition of a trilogy of books. It was very compelling reading, as the plot has many twists and turns, and is very imaginative. Everything ended well in the end, though. There was a very interesting villain in all three books. I found him fascinating, as there were elements of goodness in him. So the author actually made me love him! He was actually more of a tormented quasi-hero. Very strange indeed! I wonder why "bad boys" are always so interesting, lol.



https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7100490-the-forbidden-game?ac=1&from_search=true#


Aside from these few 'excursions' into the horror genre, I tend to stay away from it. In fact, I totally DETEST this genre. I don't see the point of writing such books, or making horror films, for that matter. I don't enjoy being frightened AT ALL. In fact, in the past two days, I've been living in FEAR of what Hurricane Matthew could do to us here in Miami, Florida, which is where I live. Now that nothing has happened, thank God, the feeling of relief I am experiencing is incredible!! Feeling afraid is NOT a pleasant feeling for me, and I certainly don't like having a book or movie make me feel it. Heck, why would I PAY for terrifying reads or movies when I can have nightmares for free? Lol. 

Another thing that really bothers me about the horror genre is that, in the end, the good guys don't always win. In the three Poe stories mentioned above, they certainly don't! In "The Tell-Tale Heart", the psycho criminal commits a gruesome murder. He's caught in the end, but I assume he is then taken to a mental institution. As for the other two stories, the criminals get away with their crimes.

In The Exorcist, the priest mentioned in the book ends up losing his faith entirely, and the devil wins in the end. I find this to be morally unacceptable, not to mention unsatisfactory.

My favorite HATED writer is Stephen King. I once made the mistake of reading one of his stories. It wasn't even a full-length book, mind you. Again, I was totally terrified!!! Gee, I must be a masochist, to have read two works by horror writers, and not required for school, when I loathe this genre! 

Well, anyway, the story was about a family -- consisting of a mom, dad, and two children -- who bought a house in a beautiful residential development, in a beautiful valley. Everything was going very well for them, when, one day, they found out that the reason everything was going so well was that there was a REQUIREMENT for living in the valley: they had to make AN ANNUAL SACRIFICE TO THE DEVIL. Needless to say, they were horrified at learning this, and immediately began to plan their escape, in secret. They succeeded in escaping from the valley one moonless night, on foot, with nothing but the clothes on their backs. Well, as they were walking along the road, and had already put a considerable distance between themselves and the valley, a van came along, and the occupants offered them a ride. The van was decorated all over in colorful psychedelic designs and peace signs, and the couple inside -- a man and a woman -- were friendly, aging hippies. So the family piled in. The hippies drove off with them, and everybody was having a grand old time, singing 60s songs, chatting, and laughing. The family was in the back of the van. But suddenly, the hippies stopped the van, turned around, and STARED at the family. Their eyes were GLOWING. Their friendly smiles turned into hideous grimaces, with horrible, pointed teeth. Before the shocked eyes of the family, these hippies suddenly became DEMONS, and the van was just as suddenly transformed into a gigantic MOUTH that swallowed up the entire family.....

Now, what's the point of writing and publishing such a story? I sure don't see it. I got nothing worthwhile from reading it, except a nauseating, uneasy feeling. And yes, it totally terrified me!

I HATE STEPHEN KING!!!!

Oh, how I hate this man's writing!!! I think it's totally SICK and DISGUSTING. I have only read that one story, the title of which I don't remember. However, reading it let me know right away what type of plots this writer concocts in his twisted mind, and so, I completely stay away from his work.

I'm sorry if I have offended any Stephen King and/or horror fans, but you were warned at the beginning of this post. If you've read this far, then you can't blame me for feeling upset.

I do enjoy reading paranormal romance and urban fantasy, which might have some similarities to the horror genre, but only superficially. The good guys DO win out in the end, and these writers do not create plots that will primarily induce fear in their readers. Examples of books I love, from these genres, are The Twilight Saga, by Stephenie Meyer,  the Vampire Academy series, by Richelle Mead, and the Nightshade series, by Andrea Cremer. There are also the various books I've read by Christine Feehan, Amanda Ashley, Lynsay Sands, and Kerrelyn Sparks. These last two actually inject humor into their plots.



https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7402393-nightshade?ac=1&from_search=true


Another thing I detest with all my heart is....ZOMBIES. These creatures are, unfortunately, also featured in urban fantasy novels.  Well, I refuse to read any books featuring them, even if there's humor injected into the plots!

As you can see, I have very strong feelings about the horror genre. Therefore, I steer clear of it! To me, a good Halloween read would be an urban fantasy novel containing a paranormal romance. Suspense and mystery are okay, but NOTHING macabre, morbid, grotesque, GRUESOME, or GORY. These are HUGE turnoffs, and I will stop reading a book containing these elements IMMEDIATELY.

Okay, I'm stepping down from my soapbox now. Lol. I think I need to re-read "Twilight", the first book of the saga, again!!!! I LOVE how the good vamps kick the butts of the bad ones in the book!!!       

   

What are your thoughts on
this topic?
Please leave a comment!
If you're participating in this meme,
I'll go comment on your 
own BBH post.
If not, I will then comment on one 
of your blog posts!
Thanks for visiting!!! 





13 comments:

  1. At least now I understand why you dislike all the horror books I post. Thanks for the warning, but I read on anyway. I was interested in hearing what you had to say and you put it quite nicely. Hey, that's the nice thing about reading, there is something for everyone! I LOVE Stephen King but it doesn't bother me that you don't. We aren't all alike and that's what I love about the bloggers I visit on a regular basis. So thanks for sharing your thoughts and opinions. If people get offended, that's their problem. Even though I enjoy horror, and in fact, am in the middle of one right now, I also enjoyed your post. Hope you are staying safe in the hurricane dear friend!

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    1. Hi, Barb!

      I'm glad you didn't get offended by the very strong opinions I expressed in this post! And I appreciate your graciousness in letting me know that you were interested in what I had to say, even though I included a warning. Not everyone is like you, though, which is why I decided to include the warning.

      You're so right that there are reading genres for everyone! While I do enjoy your blog, I must be honest about the horror books you post about. However, as you know, I've never posted anything blatantly negative or offensive. Instead, I've written cute things like, "I'm too chicken to read this!" (which, of course, is true, lol). Everyone has their own taste in books.

      You're such a nice person, Barb!! That's why I consider you a friend, as I know you consider me. <3 :)

      You have left me several comments in the past few days, so I must apologize for not commenting back right away. I will be sure to remedy that just as soon as I possibly can!!

      Thanks also for wishing me the best during this trying time, with this monster hurricane!! Thank God, absolutely NOTHING happened in our area! We just had a bit of rain, and some nice, balmy breezes. Lol. But I prayed up a storm (no pun intended), and I am SO grateful to God for answering!!

      I will be visiting you VERY soon! Thanks for such a LOVELY comment!! <3 :)

      Delete
  2. You bring up so many interesting points here Maria. I do not think that criticizing literature should offend anyone. one reason that books exist is to talk about them, in both positive and negative ways.

    I have read some horror, but is not a favorite genre of mine. With that I have usually enjoyed what I read.

    I think that that horror can be worthy on two levels. I do believe that art must sometimes reflect the dark side of existence. I also think that folks enjoy a little bit of a "safe" scare, that is, sitting in bed reading about frightening things that in reality cannot hurt them.

    When I was younger I read a lot of Stephen King's early novels. I think that he is not a great writer writer. With that, in his defense, though he writes about terrible things, he his books contain strong moral themes. They delineate good verses evil as well as right verses wrong. He always champion the good side.

    I am really glad to hear that the hurricane missed your area and that you and your family are safe.

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    1. Hey, Brian!

      Thanks for the compliment!! :)

      You're right that criticizing literature shouldn't offend anyone, but I'm sure someone somewhere might very well get offended by reading my post, hence the warning. Unfortunately, not everyone can accept differing points of view.

      You do have a point when you say that art "must sometimes reflect the dark side of existence", but I personally don't enjoy reading such books. Real life is already chock-full of horrible people and events. I have had some bad experiences with toxic people myself. And look at the devastation wreaked by the two world wars, not to mention the Holocaust. Now we've gone through this hurricane, which took a very heavy toll on lives and property in Haiti....

      The thing is, for me, it's necessary to fill my mind with positive thoughts. Therefore, I can only handle negative events depicted in literature if I can see the triumph of good over evil. I just don't see that in the horror genre. I do see it in books like the Harry Potter series. Voldemort IS defeated in the end. In The Twilight Saga, the Volturi are clearly portrayed as the bad guys, and they definitely do NOT get the upper hand in the end. The Cullens and the Quileute werewolves do.

      You say that Stephen King "always champions the good side". Well, I saw no evidence of that in the story above. Since I can't read his novels, what I will do is check out the plot synopsis of one of them in Wikipedia, to see if the good guys do win out in the end.

      Regretfully, Ray Bradbury, one of my favorite writers, includes elements of horror in some of his work, which I found in two of his short story collections -- "The Illustrated Man", and "The Martian Chronicles". Of course, I refuse to read his novels, "The October Country", and "Something Wicked This Way Comes". It's really too bad, because he's a very imaginative writer, and his prose style is AMAZING! I LOVE "Fahrenheit 451", for instance!

      Thanks for your concern regarding the hurricane! Nothing much happened after all. We just had a bit of rain, and some very nice breezes, thank God! I prayed a lot! I was not only concerned about safety for myself and my husband, but also for my precious books! We have a sliding glass door leading to our balcony, and no shutters to protect it with. My husband put duct tape all over the door. But again, nothing happened. What a HUGE relief!!!

      Thanks SO much for the SUPER nice, and thought-provoking, comment!! :)

      Delete
  3. I'm not a huge horror fan either - especially when it comes to gore-y horror. I'll take creepiness over a blood bath any day. I haven't read any Stephen King though I'm going to try one that's been billed more of a traditional mystery soon. While I enjoy Poe he's definitely on the macabre and twisted side. I knew a woman who named her daughter Annabel Lee after Poe's poem and it was all I could do not to ask her if she had actually read it and why that seemed like a good idea! I mean yes she's called beautiful but the basic point is pretty creepy.

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    1. Hi, Katherine!

      I'm so glad you're not a big horror fan, either. Yes, it's ESPECIALLY unpleasant when there's a blood bath involved!! I HATE that type of thing!

      What I like about Poe is his writing style. Period. But I don't enjoy reading him. As you say, "he's definitely on the macabre and twisted side". I'm surprised he never became a serial killer!

      A woman you know actually named her daughter "Annabel Lee"? WOW. She's probably never read the poem by Poe. It IS a "pretty creepy" poem! Oh, well....

      Thanks for the nice comment!! :)

      Delete
  4. I'm a big horror fan, so I especially love Poe! I love his gothic tales! I've never read The Exorcist, but I've seen the movie, which is super scary! I want to watch the new TV show based on it and read the book! I've never read Stephen King, but I'm curious! Happy reading! :D

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    1. Hi, Maggie!

      Well, there are reading genres for everyyone, aren't there? Personally, I CAN'T STAND the horror genre! I can handle urban fantasy, especially if it contains paranormal romance, like the examples I gave in the post.

      I included a warning at the beginning of the post, in case anyone got offended.

      Thanks for the comment!! Happy Reading to you, too!! :)

      Delete
  5. Oh my - those books do sound scary.

    Good old Edgar!!! Wonder if Mr. Poe's works are still required reading.

    I second that on Stephen King....I can't bear reading anything by him.

    I hope your Saturday is good.

    Happy Hopping!!

    Elizabeth
    Silver's Reviews
    My Blog Hop Answer

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    1. Hi, Elizabeth!

      Yeah....I don't know what made me read "The Exorcist"....and the worst thing was that I couldn't stop reading! It was weird. And how I wish I had NEVER read it, or that I could have stopped before getting very far!

      As for the books contained in "The Forbidden Game", they had some scary moments, but they weren't as bad as "The Exorcist". Still, I really shouldn't have read those, either....

      That story by Stephen King ensured that I would NEVER read anything by him again!! I wish I hadn't read that, either.... This guy has a VERY twisted, sick, imagination! He's as bad as Poe, or perhaps worse!

      I, too, wonder if Poe's work is still required reading in high school. It really shouldn't be. Teens are not children, but they still have very impressionable minds. I still remember those horrible stories!!

      I'm glad that, like me, you dislike the horror genre. There are other, more positive genres to read!!

      Thanks for stopping by and leaving such a nice comment!! <3 :)

      Delete
  6. My feelings about the horror genre are mixed, really. I like it in some instances, but not in others. Goriness I can do without, but I do enjoy a good psychological thriller on occasion. Of the ones I do enjoy, it often is about seeing an average person overcome some big obstacle or taking down a big monster (human or otherwise). It's also a way of facing my own fears and beating them (however symbolically), even if in a fictional world. There's a sense of justice in that as well as much needed hope.

    Human behavior has always fascinated me, seeing how the human mind works, what motivates people and drives people--as well as how they react in extreme situations. I find that all very interesting.

    And then the myth and legends and folklore! Horror can be more than just what it may appear on the surface. There is often history there and world building that intrigues and appeals to me.

    Then there is the fact that I like the strong emotions that a good horror novel invokes. In my job I face real life horrors every day. Reading (and writing) is one of my outlets for those emotions I have to compartmentalize to do my job properly. This is also why I am drawn to what some call depressing books--books that make me cry. It's cathartic--a release of sorts to be able to experience very natural and strong emotions through my reading.

    Anyway, these are some of my reasons for dipping my toe in the horror genre now and then--at least off the top of my head. The genre certainly isn't for everyone--and that can be said for any type of book, can't it?

    Stephen King is hit and miss with me. I think he's a great story teller and I find him entertaining to read and listen to when he's writing articles or talking about his life and views, but of the small few books I've read by him, I've liked some and not so much others. I don't see myself reading his entire backlist ever--but maybe a book here and there as it appeals to me. When I was in high school, I read a lot of John Saul's work, which I think counts as horror. I'm a big fan of Edgar Allan Poe. Bram Stoker's Dracula is one of my favorite horror novels for its subtlety and writing.

    Urban fantasy and horror are closely related, sometime crossing over into the other in not so obvious ways--vampires and werewolves are very much creatures of horror fiction, after all. I prefer urban fantasy over horror more often than not, honestly. But my reasons for reading it are pretty much the same.

    I don't have nightmares when I read horror novels or novels with horror elements in them, so that's never really been a concern for me.

    I didn't find your post offensive at all, by the way. Your opinion is very well-stated, Maria.

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    1. Hi, Wendy!

      WOW!! Loved reading your very detailed comment!!

      I'm glad we can agree on the goriness. It's totally nauseating!!

      I'm really not much into thrillers, either, but I can tolerate them better than outright horror. And yes, it's gratifying to see someone who has tremendous odds stacked against them win out in the end! I can totally see how that vicarious experience would be cathartic, and give the reader a sense of justice, too, even if the events are only fictional. This is exactly how I feel about the Harry Potter series! Harry starts out being an underdog, although he's already famous n the wizarding world. But then he triumphs gloriously, in book after book!! And this series really spans more than one genre. The books are not only fantasies, but thrillers, as well.

      Human behavior fascinates me, too! I used to think that I might study psychology as a profession, but then I decided against it. I'm much too sensitive, so dealing with people's problems would really affect me. Lol. Of course, I could have become a research psychologist, but those jobs are hard to come by.

      I love myth and folklore, too, but I can find those in fantasy and urban fantasy, as well as paranormal romance.

      I can't handle the strong emotion of fear. It's SO unpleasant for me!! I think it takes a VERY strong person to read horror novels, and I'm not that person. It's amazing that you don't have nightmares after reading such novels! I certainly would!

      I know it might strike some people as odd that I like to read about vampires and werewolves in urban fantasy, but not in horror. Well, that's because these creatures don't behave in quite the same way in both of these genres. In horror novels, they're total monsters, while in urban fantasy, they come across as more "human", as well as more humane. There's a HUGE difference between Edward Cullen, in The Twilight Saga, and Dracula, for instance. I will NEVER read the novel by Bram Stoker!!

      I'm glad you didn't find the post offensive! I still put up a warning at the beginning of it, though, because some people might have indeed found it offensive. Thanks so much for the compliment on it!

      Thanks for stopping by and leaving such a SUPER AWESOME comment, Wendy!! Hope you're having a GREAT week!! <3 :)

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    2. P.S. As for Stephen King, I have only read that one story by him. It was more than enough to make NEVER pick up one of his books!! What a HORRIBLE, stomach-churning experience that was!!

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