Ankur Shukla

@ankurshukla

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This is how I like my horror stories

To set the context, I like reading horror novels and its not because they scare me. On the contrary, horror stories usually do not scare me. There are very few horror novels where I have genuinely felt scared. Stephen King's The Shinning is one such books where it got me at some parts. There are some wildly acclaimed scary books, to the likes of Salem's Lot (King) or The Woman in Black (Susan Hill) or The Heart Shaped Box (Joe Hill) et al, where I was promised a good scare and it didn't! I also do not usually like post apocalyptic stories plainly due to the the fact that most are left open ended (which I call as lazy landings). Blake Crouch's Wayward Pines trilogy was a huge disappointment for me for the same reason even after people vouching for it over reddit!

This bring me to Josh Malerman's Bird Box. It is a horror novel set in a post apocalyptic world! I heard a lot of praise for the book and now Netflix is releasing a live action adaptation in December, so I reluctantly picked it up over the Thanksgiving break and started listening. I was instantly hooked! It is a well crafted, stunningly portrayed and eerily written book. I have a habit of listening to my book at wee hours of the night with lights off. This is perhaps the second book ever, where I stopped listening at a point, scared! Malerman creates amazing handful of characters and peels the story in layers like an onion. It is a short read (< 9 hrs at 1X speed) but very very effective! Also it has some parallels to this year's hit A Quite Place. Set around two vastly different setups , a claustrophobic house with 5 people, and navigating wild without sight, the author excels in creating panic and paranoia that anyone reading can relate to! If you are looking for a good story with genuine scares and gut wrenching moments, Bird Box is the book to pick up!

btw, I do not watch horror movies because I hate jump scares!!


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