After I had children, I realized I no longer had the stomach to read or watch anything remotely scary. Everything felt more personal. Don’t even get me started on the newspaper – crimes committed against children often cause me to skip the entire Metro section. I just can’t handle it. The scary stories I previously relished had become painful.
But I just couldn’t quit Stephen King. As a teenager, I would stay up late at night reading his books in the living room. I’d get so scared I could barely make it up to my bedroom, as every shadow and creak would have me frozen. His writing is so skillful, his stories so real — I know every one will be a home run. I can somehow still read, and actually enjoy, his frightening tales. [Except for the Dark Tower series – The Gunslinger was just too intense. *shudder*]
In the fall, I waited in anticipation for Doctor Sleep, King’s latest. I tore through it, scared silly. The main antagonist (“the queen bitch from hell”) was absolutely horrifying. But I couldn’t stop reading! After I finished the Doctor, I read The Shining and even watched the movie, too.
When I ran across this list of The 50 Scariest Books of All Time, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the next spooky tale. Oddly, I haven’t read the King book that starts out the list: It. I recently read Thomas Harris’ Hannibal, too. I’m surprised his titles are not on the list. I’m not sure if my scary reading block has been officially broken or if this is a temporary thing. I don’t read all horror now, but I am glad that it is once again a genre allowed in my reading repertoire.