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LISTS: Horror Adaptations

The Exorcist DVD coverThe Exorcist, Hellraiser, Dracula, The Mist – what do these wildly different horror movies have in common? They were based on books! Stoker to King and plenty between have made it to the silver screen.

To see what other horror works have been made into movies, click here.

By Readers' Advisor on October 4, 2013 Categories: Horror, Lists, Movies and TV

LISTS: Found Footage Horror

Blair Witch Project DVD coverFilms like Paranormal Activity, The Blair Witch Project and Cloverfield are examples of the found footage-style of horror. This subgenre is marked by shaky camera work, characters who talk off screen, and film recordings discovered (usually) after the movie’s protagonists have died or gone missing.

Click here for the aforementioned films and more found footage horror.

By Readers' Advisor on August 23, 2013 Categories: Horror, Lists, Movies and TV

An Interview with Lonesome Wyatt

Lonesome Wyatt photoLonesome Wyatt is the Ambrose Bierce of underground country. He plays the kind of music you’d hear while walking down a dirt road headed deep into the woods weaving your way through haints and shadows. When he isn’t touring with Those Poor Bastards, Wyatt’s penning pulp novels to support their albums or working on his side project, Lonesome Wyatt and the Holy Spooks. His music is dark, atmospheric, desperate, and pained by life and the people in it. Murder ballads, ghost tales, broken hearts, bad relationships, benders, lost souls – it isn’t exactly uplifting, and yet, this isn’t a man who is weltering in misery. There’s a difference between shouting out wrongs and awfuls and wallowing in them.

Lonesome Wyatt is a mad-eyed architect of exquisitely desperate music. The Library was able to steal some of his time for a short talk about his reading habits and upcoming projects.

 

Mount Prospect Public Library: What was the last good book you read?

Lonesome Wyatt: The last two books I read were The Mammoth Book of Frankenstein and Farewell, My Lovely and they were both very enjoyable.

MPPL: Is there any genre or author you refuse to read? Why or why not?

LW: I don’t like to read things about teens or romance unless it’s from the 1950’s or earlier. I’m just not interested.

MPPL: How often do you read? What genres are your go-tos?

Mammoth Book of Frankenstein book coverLW: I read around 2-3 hours every day. My favorite genres are mystery, horror, western, science fiction and anything strange or offbeat.

MPPL: You’ve mentioned in other interviews that Poe and Lovecraft have been inspirations to you…what other writers (or musicians…or artists) inspire you?

LW: I like the author Robert Lowry a whole bunch. His book The Big Cage really got me going. Also Nightmare Alley, They Shoot Horses Don’t They, and all those classic noir stories are very inspiring.  The Silver Surfer 1968 series and the Ghost Rider 1970’s series have a lot of great stuff in them too. That’s what comes to mind right now, but the list of brain expanding and inspiring creations is almost endless.

MPPL: What book could draw you into joining a book club?

LW: I don’t know. I’m pretty sure it would have to have a monster or robot on the cover though.

MPPL: When was the last time you were in a library? Do you think libraries are still important in today’s world?

LW: I go to the library at least once a week. It’s one of my favorite places. You can get almost anything you want to read or watch without having to spend your hard earned dough on it. We always went to the library when I was growing up and I discovered some great things just browsing around. Libraries are full of an endless supply of fertilizer for the imagination. They are immeasurably important.

MPPL: Both books and music are becoming more and more a digital culture. Do you think anything is lost when the physical world gets digitized?

LW: I have absolutely no interest in digital stuff. I can’t understand the appeal. This old goat prefers paperback books and either vinyl records, cassette tapes, or CDs as a last resort.

MPPL: We heard tell that there’s a Halloween album in the works. Tell us more…and is there a novel to go with it?

A Bitter Havest album coverLW: Some of my favorite albums are those old Halloween ones from the 60’s and 70’s. It’s a real shame that no one makes that kind of stuff anymore. Nothing beats listening to them in the gloom of the basement on a 1978 Fisher Price record player. It’s just perfect. They’re often refreshingly weird and unique.

Anyhow, those old records really moved me and I wanted to try to make something special out of that initial spark of inspiration. This record is like the musical equivalent of a homemade Halloween costume; kind of strange and clunky, but made with real heart. I’m awful fond of the thing. There’s no book with this one. It’s just a collection of stories and songs about monsters and death.

MPPL: What else is upcoming for you and Those Poor Bastards in 2013?

LW: Those Poor Bastards are playing some shows in August, then I’ll be releasing that Halloween album in October, and finally an Edgar Switchblade 7” will arrive in December. It should be a pretty frightening year.

 

For more information on the fantastic and foreboding art of Lonesome Wyatt, check him out on tour or at his website. Gotta have Lonesome Wyatt in your life right now? Stop by the Fiction/AV/Teen desk at the Library for Gospel Haunted by Those Poor Bastards or Lonesome Wyatt’s duet album with Rachel Brooke, Bitter Harvest.

By Readers' Advisor on August 15, 2013 Categories: Horror, Music

LISTS: Zombies

World War Z book coverMMM…BRAINS! Watch out – there’ a zombie!

Oh wait, no, it’s Brad Pitt fighting zombies in World War Z, the summer blockbuster opening this weekend based on Max Brooks’ first novel. If you don’t want to go to the theater on opening weekend, let the Library fill your zombie needs.

Click here for zombie novels and here for obscure zombie movies you might not have seen yet.

By Readers' Advisor on June 21, 2013 Categories: Books, Fantasy & Sci-Fi, Horror, Lists, Movies and TV

There’s More Than One of Everything

Fringe DVD coverFringe is more than you think it is. Yes, it began with X-Files-like investigations into strange events, and you’ll certainly find episodes with the best storytelling elements of science fiction, fantasy, and even horror. However, it grows beyond formulaic genre fare. Fringe became a complex and poignant exploration of parenthood, identity, and humanity. Terrific performances, most especially that of John Noble as the repentant, Red Vine-loving mad scientist, expose the beating hearts beneath dual worlds. Not many series boast episodes that include a noir musical, an LSD-fueled jump into animation, or a twenty-five-year fast-forward into dystopia, but that’s par for the course on a show that embraces the full spectrum of human emotion, from the creepy to the heart-tugging.

By Readers' Advisor on January 28, 2013 Categories: Fantasy & Sci-Fi, Horror, Movies and TV, Mysteries/Thrillers/Suspense

Joe Hill’s Favorite Key

Joe Hill has won acclaim by creating dark, disturbing stories, like Heart-Shaped Box, and most notably, Horns – which is being made into a movie starring Daniel Radcliffe. In addition to his fiction, Joe Hill writes comics. Locke and Key follows Tyler, Kinsey, and Bode  after the murder of their father, when they are forced to move into Keyhouse, a supernatural estate located in Lovecraft, Massachusetts.

By Readers' Advisor on January 12, 2013 Categories: Books, Horror

What the Monsters Are Thinking

The Monster's Corner book coverHannibal Lecter. Dexter Morgan. We have a fascination with what motivates monstrous characters, sometimes even taking it so far as to root for them. If this is true for you, be sure to visit The Monster’s Corner, a collection of “stories through inhuman eyes,” edited by Christopher Golden. Top horror and dark fantasy authors pen original tales from the point of view of frightening creatures, and, after all, we can’t really judge until we’ve walked in their shoes, right? Standouts include the grisly “Less of a Girl” by Chelsea Cain, the clever “Jesus and Satan Go Jogging in the Desert” by Simon R. Green, and Kelley Armstrong’s “Rakshasi,” elegant in both tone and perspective. Satisfy your appetite for creepy with any one of these disturbing stories.

By Readers' Advisor on October 29, 2012 Categories: Books, Horror

There’s Someone At Your Chamber Door

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
“Tis some visiter,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door –
    Only this and nothing more.”

The opening to Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven” is one of the most recognizable, atmospheric starts to a poem ever. Vincent Price is one of the most legendary horror actors ever. Put them together and  a macabre beauty is made.

By Readers' Advisor on October 27, 2012 Categories: Books, Horror, Literary

LISTS: Killer Vampires and Werewolves

13 Bullets book coverWhat should vampires be? According to Stephen King, “Killers, honey. Stone killers who never get enough of that tasty Type-A. Bad boys and girls. Hunters. In other words, Midnight America. Red, white and blue, accent on the red.” In other words…not sparkly, angst-filled romantics.

If you agree with King and want to read vampire novels where your bloodsuckers are monstrous and mean, click here.

Bonus list: Then click here for equally atrocious werewolf tales.

By Readers' Advisor on October 26, 2012 Categories: Books, Horror, Lists

A Fourth Grade Field Trip Turned Deadly

The Missing book coverA fire destroyed the Bedford paper mill and, since then, the surrounding woods between Bedford and Corpus Christi have died. Lois Larkan uses these woods as a “teachable moment” and takes her class on a field trip to see the ecological disaster. Distracted by a break-up, Lois doesn’t notice that one child gets left behind until it’s too late. Little James Walker has had plenty of time to wreak havoc in the woods. James stumbles upon and releases a malevolent evil into the world…and it’s a contagion…a sentient contagion. Anyone who comes in contact with it becomes a flesh-eating monster. Can Corpus Christi (and the world) survive? Find out in Sarah Langan’s horror-edged thriller The Missing.

By Readers' Advisor on October 18, 2012 Categories: Books, Horror, Mysteries/Thrillers/Suspense