Friday, October 23, 2015

Scary Stories Are My Bag

 “And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, slouches toward Bethlehem to be born?” W.B. Yeats

 Ahh .. Halloween approaches and here at the library are the scariest stories ever! Nightmares born not of over consumption of candy corn, but from examination of human potential gone awry.

With horror, everyone has their limit. I found mine with Mo Hayder’s The Devil of Nanking, a story based on the confused imaginings of a mistreated child. This is historic fiction unbound and a shocking view of humanity under duress.

Time for a non-fiction reality check? Check out The Sociopath Next Door by Martha Stout. In laboratory settings when asked to view pictures of people experiencing emotions, a typical sociopath’s brain emits signal patterns more commonly found in subjects solving arithmetic problems, and they don’t like to lose.

Speaking of sociopaths, has it been awhile since you’ve read Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris or Rules of Prey by John Sandford? Where, indeed, is Dexter?

I prefer metaphysics with my misgivings and offer up Neil Gaiman’s American Gods in keeping with our small town ethic. Joe Hill’s NOS4A2 will definitely rev you up while Preston and Child’s Cabinet of Curiosities might rivet your attention. Never overlook Stephen King or my favorite of his, The Stand. Finally a sweet little treat, Dean Koontz’s Brother Odd, to add to your bag of goodies.

Sometimes a good scare is just the ticket.

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