It’s been years since I’ve read some of my favorite horror books. Time to do it again.
I think the part of V.C. Andrews’ Flowers in the Attic that I read were the bits underlined by a friend, passed to me under the desk in class. I have no memory of the scenes themselves or my reaction to them, I just remember the secrecy and the sense of taboo. I should probably be grateful that I don’t remember any of the details. My delicate sensibility wouldn’t be able to take it.
I remember more about my horror reading in the 80s and 90s. I can picture the wall of horror in Waldenbooks, all black covers with raised lettering. Some had clowns, or knives, or ragged hands reaching out from the dark. My favorites were in the style of those V.C. Andrews books, the cut-out showing the happy family and when you flip to the inner cover – oh no, it is actually a house of TERROR!!!! Boy, I loved just walking around and flipping the covers.
While I can only recreate this experience in pieces at used book stores (my own copies have all been lost in multiple moves from coast to coast), I can recreate the experience of reading these stories, coming back to them after two decades and seeing them with different eyes (older, yes, but hopefully smarter). I’m curious how they hold up, how problematic they will seem. I want to re-evaluate the stories that influenced me from a writer perspective.
I want to see if the thrill comes back.
This summer, I’m going to start with the 1980s, as some of my favorites live here. I’m thinking about re-reading one and reading a book I should have read at the time. I reserve the right to add more. Feel free to make suggestions in the comments.
Oh, and I will try to be as regular as possible, but I’ll be writing a lot this summer.