Yesterday, 8 November, was Bram Stoker’s birth date.
Happy Birthday Mr. Stoker! You may no longer be here, but your book creepily lives on forever in my mind.
This will not be a vampire book list. Vampires are, in my consideration, a secondary theme in Stoker’s work. It’s the undefinable ‘creepy’ and ‘thriller’ aspects that make Dracula so unique.
The following list contains reads that will make the heart pound and the body shake. Fear my friends, it’s a powerful being.
Dracula by Bram Stoker.
The list is named after him, therefore he gets to be on it! What makes Dracula so scary is its believability. There are newspaper articles, captain logs and diaries littered throughout the narration that add a sense of ‘reality’ to it.
Mice by Reece Gordon.
A thriller in the very real sense of the word. A home invasion is turned on its head when our teenage protagonist and her mother (both mice-like in appearance and demeanor), attack and kill their assailant. What happens next… well you’ll just have to read to find out. Total psychological thriller.
Brother/Sister by Sean Olin.
Brother/Sister begins as any good crime novel should. There is death, murder, suspicion. In fact it isn’t until the very last paragraph of the novel that you realise you’ve been lead on a pretty little chase. Nothing is as it seems, and the last sentence turns the book’s world on its head. I finished the last page, sat in shock for about 15 minutes and then opened the book from the beginning again questioning ‘how could I have missed it?’. Very well crafted.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t throw Stephen King into the mix. I’m constantly surprised by how many teenagers are reading Stephen King. He is the master at ‘thriller’ and ‘creepy’. Perhaps start the teenager in question off with a King novella or short story, see if that whets their appetite.
Night Beach by Kirsty Eagar
A very very creepy and atmospheric novel with a paranormal bent. In particular the image of the monster and his belt of human scalps will stay burned into my memory for years to come.