Guaranteed to make your bed shake! —JF
The #1 New York Times bestseller that inspired a legendary film: An 11-year-old girl is possessed by a demon in this chilling read inspired by a true story. With nearly 59,000 five-star ratings on Goodreads.
Originally published in 1971, The Exorcist, one of the most controversial novels ever written, went on to become a literary phenomenon: It spent fifty-seven weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, seventeen consecutively at number one. Inspired by a true story of a child’s demonic possession in the 1940s, William Peter Blatty created an iconic novel that focuses on Regan, the eleven-year-old daughter of a movie actress residing in Washington, D.C. A small group of overwhelmed yet determined individuals must rescue Regan from her unspeakable fate, and the drama that ensues is gripping and unfailingly terrifying. Two years after its publication, The Exorcist was, of course, turned into a wildly popular motion picture, garnering ten Academy Award nominations. On opening day of the film, lines of the novel’s fans stretched around city blocks. In Chicago, frustrated moviegoers used a battering ram to gain entry through the double side doors of a theater. In Kansas City, police used tear gas to disperse an impatient crowd who tried to force their way into a cinema. The three major television networks carried footage of these events; CBS’s Walter Cronkite devoted almost ten minutes to the story. The Exorcist was, and is, more than just a novel and a film: it is a literary landmark. Purposefully raw and profane, The Exorcist still has the extraordinary ability to disturb readers and cause them to forget that it is “just a story.” Newly polished and added to by it author and published here in this beautiful fortieth anniversary edition, it remains an unforgettable reading experience and will continue to shock and frighten a new generation of readers.
Praised by Dean Koontz as “the best novel in the genre I can remember,”Song of Kali follows an American magazine editor who journeys to the brutally bleak, poverty-stricken Indian city in search of a manuscript by a mysterious poet—but instead is drawn into an encounter with the cult of Kali, goddess of death.
A chilling voyage into the squalor and violence of the human condition, this novel is considered by many to be the best work by the author of The Terror, who has been showered with accolades, including the Bram Stoker Award, the International Horror Guild Award, and the Hugo Award.
I unleashed my creativity, but it ran away.” —Mark Anderson
- Article: When Times Square was sleazy via CNN
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- Otto Penzler’s 5 Crime and Mystery Picks for Summer via LitHub
- Joseph Campbell word for word on The Hero’s Journey via Go Into the Story
- 10 Famous Book Hoarders via LitHub
- REVIEW: The Halloween Children by Freeman and Prentiss via PulpBuzz
- How to Start Writing Your Book Again After a Long Break via The Write Practice
- 100 Sci-Fi/Fantasy Novels to Geek Out Over via Half Price Books
- All back issues of Omni magazine now available online via BoingBoing
- 10 Psychological Thrillers That Will Absolutely Terrify You via HuffPost
- The Top 100 Mystery Novels of All Time MWA via LibraryThing
- Dames, detectives and dope: why we still love hardboiled crime via The Guardian
The authors of The Halloween Children are sneaky geniuses in the art of storytelling—adepts who snatch your attention, get you invested and immersed in the tale and then hint at something sinister in a subtle way that provokes dread, horror and suspense. It’s as if they flick a juicy “thought drop” into the pool of the reader’s imagination and then let the ramifications ripple into obsession, inciting intrigue and fear for the fate of beloved characters.
Harris, the Stillbrook Apartment complex’s handyman, is good father, but in all honesty, he favors the side of his son, Matt, where child discipline is concerned. His wife Lynn is searching for herself and struggling with inner turmoil, on edge and ruminating over their marriage––should they divorce?––and within the family’s dynamics, her daughter Amber delights her to no end, but her son Matt needs to be watched. Then there’s matter of the creepy neighbors, the tenants of Stillbrook: a spooky no-neck woman in a wheelchair who may be faking her injuries, the Durkins’ exotic, thousand-dollar bird that shrieks unearthly squawks that sound like someone being tortured—or murdered. Which is strange because there actually had been a grisly death within the complex that was kept hush-hush by management.
The story unfolds through Harris’ journal, Lynn’s journal (as assigned by a marriage counselor she’s been seeing in secret), recordings, digital transcriptions, email and interviews. The immediacy of this technique makes for a taut, fast-paced, enjoyable read. The Halloween Children kept my eyes glued to the glow of the screen, licking my lips and swiping digital pages into the wee hours after midnight. This horror novel is a treat!
It started as a game. Six college kids at a party. Then someone suggested they try the Ouija board. The board that Corie had hidden in the back of her closet and swore never to touch again. Not after what happened last time. Not after Jake’s death…
They were only playing around, but the Ouija board worked, all right. Maybe too well. A spirit who called himself Butler began to send them messages—and make demands. Butler promised them a hidden treasure if only they would follow his directions and head off to a secluded spot in the mountains…a wild, isolated spot where anything could be waiting for them. Treasure or death. Or Butler himself.
What could be a more fitting accompaniment to today’s spooks-and-sweets-filled festivities than Andrew Nette’s splendid selection, in Pulp Curry, of vintage paperback fronts featuring Satanism, witchcraft, and black magic? The cover shown above, from the 1952 Dell paperback edition of Catherine Turney’s The Other One–a story of humiliation, possession, and the supernatural–isn’t among those Nette showcases, but it certainly could have been. The artwork is by Bob Hilbert, more of whose illustrations can be seen here.
By the way, The Other One was adapted in 1957 as a big-screen horror flick titled Back from the Dead. Turney herself inked the screenplay. According to this Los Angeles Times obituary, she had previously been the “chief architect of the script for [1945’s] Mildred Pierce, which earned [star Joan] Crawford an Academy Award.” Turney subsequently wrote for TV series such as Maverick and Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color.