Wednesday, May 21, 2014

What I Read Wednesday

I recently discovered that many old horror movies were actually books first. This is good because I can't watch scary movies, but I can definitely read scary books (just not so much at night when I'm alone).

Rosemary's Baby
The interesting thing about books that were made into movies a long time ago is that they become a part of your collective mind. Although I've never seen this movie and never will, I knew that the general gist was that Rosemary wanted to get pregnant and somehow ended up pregnant with a demon child.
This book was fascinating. It was suspenseful in the way that Shirley Jackson is suspenseful. It's not overt and in your face, but by the end of the book, you're biting your lip. What the author did that was also brilliant is that as Rosemary's pregnancy progresses and she begins to suspect that her baby may be taken as a ritual sacrifice by those around her, all of whom she suspects to be devil worshippers, you feel Rosemary's mania. I found myself suspecting everyone, too, because it seemed that everyone was out to get Rosemary and her baby.

Psycho: A Novel
Just like the last book, although I've never read this one or seen the movie, I know who Norman Bates is. Some of the surprise of the novel was taken away by knowing the movie, but I still enjoyed this book. The glimpse into the mind of Norman Bates and those around him was horrifying. This novel is built mostly on internal dialogue and conflict, with a lot of psychological aspects. Again, it's a slow suspenseful build, but it's a good one.

Psycho II
I didn't realize that Psycho was an entire series, but the library helpfully gave me a compilation of all of them. I love libraries. In this book, Norman Bates is back and in an insane asylum. He escapes by killing a nun and dressing in her habit, then the story unfolds into an ambiguous narrative where you are unsure if Bates is dead or alive. Meanwhile in Hollywood, the filming of a movie on Norman Bates is interrupted by vandalism on the set and, eventually, murder.
I did not enjoy this one as much as Psycho. I felt like the author changed some nuances of Norman Bates' character, but it was still overall a good fluff read.

Psycho House (Tor Horror)
I don't know that I would have read this one if it wouldn't have been included in the compilation. In the final Psycho edition, a man has recreated the Bates motel to use as a tourist location. But as always, where Normal Bates is involved, murder follows. I definitely felt this was the weakest of the three books and was maybe a stretch for the author. Kind of like those Halloween movies--how many can you really have?!

I've also been slogging my way through Afterparty and I'm trying really hard to like it because it seems like the type of book I would like (dystopian), but it's just not clicking. I'm still trying, but it's slow going.

What are you reading?


One crazed mommy said...

I gave up on Dr. Sleep - once I set it down and not reading it for 4 weeks...I just can't pick it back up yet. It put me into a rut. I just recently started reading Chasing The Sun - here is the synopsis from Amazon:

Andres suspects his wife has left him—again. Then he learns that the unthinkable has happened: she’s been kidnapped. Too much time and too many secrets have come between Andres and Marabela, but now that she’s gone, he’ll do anything to get her back. Or will he?

As Marabela slips farther away, Andres must decide whether they still have something worth fighting for, and exactly what he’ll give up to bring her home. And unfortunately, the decision isn’t entirely up to him, or up to the private mediator who moves into the family home to negotiate with the terrorists holding Marabela. Andres struggles to maintain the illusion of control while simultaneously scrambling to collect his wife’s ransom, tending to the needs of his two young children, and reconnecting with an old friend who may hold the key to his past and his wife’s future.

Set in Lima, Peru, in a time of civil and political unrest, this evocative page-turner is a perfect marriage of domestic drama and suspense.

InTheFastLane said...

I am currently reading The Painter - Like you I do not love it the way I loved The Dog Stars. I like it, and it makes we want to move back west and paint things even thought I have no artistic ability. But, I am getting bogged down in the slow pace and the constant descriptions of the nature. I like these visual pictures, but just not that often. I need more action.

One crazed mommy said...

Oh...and Rosemary's Baby...I watched that movie when I was 7 months pregnant with my daughter (my first) - it wasn't really a scary movie, per se...but it was a bit creepy and I kept finding myself stroking my!

Barb Ruess said...

Kind of fun that you had a week of scary books! :)

I read A Grown Up Kind of Pretty. I would classify this as a fun read. There are dirty secrets being uncovered in this small town and it's fun to discover them along with the characters. Written from the perspectives of three generations of women in the same family. Joshilyn Jackson writes characters with strong voices and I love that.

I just started The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry and would like to stop working and go right back to it.

Lyndsay W said...

Just finished The Wind is not a River. I must have been interrupted too many times when I started it because I just wasn't into it. But then really grabbed me about a third of the way in and I didn't want to put it down until the end. (And then the end!! The end!!! GAH!)

Just started Fan Girl.

Theresa Mahoney said...

I remember reading The Exorcist when I was about 13. That damn book scared the heck out of me far worse than the movie ever did. I thought the Devil was going to come popping out of the book at night to come and get me lol.

Lucero De La Tierra said...

Right now I'm reading one called Alien Species Intervention by J.C. Accinni. Interesting plot so far about an abused woman who came from a simple background that comes across what she thinks is an odd woodland creature. Life turns around and she's surviving on her own, but I get that feeling bad things are going to start happening. Who knows, I could be wrong.