Best Pyschological Horror Books
Psychological horror has some of the scariest monsters around: people. These stories will expose some of the most heinous acts that people can perpetrate on others and themselves. They show the demons associated with these behaviors, sometimes literal sometimes not. While there may be ghosts, demons, even vampires and werewolves lurking in these pages, they are no match for the monsters conjured up in the character’s (and often the reader’s) minds. Psychological horror can include all sorts of other genres from science fiction and magical realism to mystery and thriller.
In these pages, you’ll meet psychopaths and serial killers. You’ll find that not only do you like them and feel sorry for them, but also, you sometimes even agree with them. These character’s can be quietly going mad like Merricat in We Have Always Lived in the Castle and the narrator of Houdini Heart, or they can be loudly declaring their insanity to anyone who will listen, such as Patrick in American Psycho and Imp in The Drowning Girl. Several of these characters have had horrible things done to them, others suffer from imagined slights. These characters are haunted by guilt (the Chowder Society in Ghost Story) obsession (Johnny in House of Leaves), and fear (Simon in Between), and they’re not always honest about what’s going on around them (if they even know themselves).
A lot of times, you’ll see the world from the point of view of a very twisted individual, or someone who has completely lost touch with reality. Most of all, these books will give you the feeling that you don’t know what’s really going on.They will unsettle you; they will worry you. These books will keep you on edge long after you’ve turned the last page. Read with caution; these books may drive you insane.
Winner of the 2012 Bram Stoker Award for Outstanding Achievement in a Novel, the Drowning Girl is the story of India Morgan Phelps (Imp, for short) as she tries to tell it.
Coming from a long line of women with mental problems, Imp, herself, is being medicated for schizophrenia. She tries to puzzle out her own ghost story. She is haunted by Eva Canning, a girl who looks mysteriously like the woman in a painting titled The Drowining Girl. Eva appears to Imp as both a mermaid and a werewolf on separate occasions, and Imp is not sure if these hauntings are real or the product of her obsessions with the girl. Then, Eva abruptly disappears. Was the girl a ghost of the muse who inspired the painting or something more sinister? Imp herself isn’t sure, and that is the point of the book. The reader is taken on the journey as she tries to explain her experiences with Eva Canning.
Why this book will drive you insane? Apart from the fact that the narrator is insane? Fantasy and reality, myth and fact, past and present are seamlessly blended together so much so that the reader, like Imp, feels the world dissolving around them..
Victoria “Vic” McQueen has always had a gift for finding lost things. As a kid she rides her bicycle across the Shorter Way Bridge, a bridge that exists only in her imagination, to find whatever has been lost, but when Vic tries to become lost herself, she runs into Charles Manx and his Rolls-Royce Wraith who kidnap children and take them to Christmasland. There, Manx feeds on the children’s youthful energy, turning them into monsters and trapping them in a never-ending horrific Christmas eve. Somehow, Vic manages to escape Christmasland, burning down Manx’s house in the process. Now, years later, Vic’s grown up. The bicycle has become a Triumph motorcycle, and she’s got to find someone else who is lost. Her son. Manx has come back for revenge, and now, Vic’s son, Wayne is trapped in Christmasland. Why will this book make you insane? Vic’s childhood is unhappy, and the Shorter Way bridge exists in her imagination. It makes you wonder if the events that happened with Charles Manx weren’t just the product of her imagination, particularly when the police and FBI do not believe Vic when she tells them that Manx has kidnapped her son. As an adult, Vic is depressed and self-destructive, possibly as a result of the trauma she suffered as a child, but what was real and what was imagined?
Tanavarie Due's first novel The Between was nominated for a Bram Stoker Award in 1996. It tells the story of Hilton James. When he was a child, Hilton almost drowns. He is saved by his grandmother who dies in his place. Now, 30 years later, he’s wondering if maybe he should have died. After his wife Dede is elected the first African-American judge in Dade County, she starts receiving racist hate mail. Hilton becomes obsessive about protecting his family, but more chilling that the monster stalking his family in real life are the monsters stalking them in his dreams. As Hilton’s dreams become more intense and realistic, he starts to lose his grip on reality and lash out at his family. Are these dreams a sign? Should Hilton have died all those years ago? And can he protect his family from the real life threat stalking them as well as the monsters in his dreams?
Why this book will drive you insane? Hilton’s sanity is shaken by the nightmares and our faith in him as a narrator. Is he schizophrenic? His therapist believes he is. Is this a chronicle of one man’s descent into madness or are the monsters in his dreams real? Somewhat less chilling is the explanation for these events that are tied into Hilton’s near death experience, but the idea that this could actually happen is frightening.
Johnny Truant moves into the apartment of the recently deceased Zampano. There, he finds a manuscript that is a study of a movie called “The Navidson Record”, a movie about a family who comes home from vacation to find a mysterious change in their home. Their house seems to be growing. At first, it’s just a small room that has been added, then, a long, dark hallway. Efforts are made to document the house’s growth and changes, and these drive the characters insane, leading to murder and death. As Johnny reads about the film and discovers no evidence of the film or the house, except for Zampano’s manuscript, he becomes obsessed. His life starts to deteriorate around him and he starts to feel like something inhuman is lurking behind him. The story is told mainly through Johnny’s notes and Zampano’s manuscript and footnotes. Transcripts from the film and interviews are inserted as well as letters from Johnny’s mother, who is in a mental institution after attempting to strangle Johnny when he was young. The novel itself uses many different color of ink to stress different words and ideas, and there is writing in the margins. As the novel progresses the writing becomes more erratic, showing Johnny’s deteriorating mental state.
Why this book will drive you insane? So many characters in this book are clearly losing it or have lost it, Johnny's mom, Johnny, the Navidson's, possibly Zampano, you can't help but join in. The form of this book, told in letters, transcripts, excerpts, all broken up in different fonts, typefaces, notes in the margin and different colors also lends itself to making the reader go mad.
The ghosts at the Overlook hotel aren’t exactly the friendly sort: there’s a lady rotting in the bathroom in Room 217, gangsters, and murderous topiaries with flat, blank faces. And they all want Danny Torrance. You see, Danny has a gift. Hallorann, the chef at the Overlook, calls it “the shining”. Danny can sense people’s hidden thoughts and motivations as well as catch glimpses of the future, told to him by his imaginary friend Tony. Tony tries to warn Danny of the terrible events that will befall him at the Overlook, but Danny has no control over the situation when his father, Jack, decides to pack up the whole family and live there during the winter as a caretaker. The Overlook is haunted by all of the tragic events that took place within its walls, and Danny is a touchstone that sets all of the evil in the house going. When the forces in the house decide that they want Danny as a permanent guest, they attack the weakest link in his family: his dad. Jack is a recovering alcoholic with a short fuse, and as the house manipulates Jack into madness, Danny and his mother are become increasingly afraid of him.
Why this book will drive you insane? If you’ve seen the Stanley Kubrick adaptation of the book, you already know the answer. Just how much of the supernatural events at the Overlook are, in fact, supernatural? Or are the only monsters in Jack’s increasingly erratic imagination?
Rudd Theuer is a troubled teen. His father committed suicide not long ago, and his mother is crazily religious. (Think, Carrie’s mom, but with Mormonism.) Rudd’s just found his half-brother, Lael, who doesn’t seem all that interested in striking up a relationship with him, and Rudd has a school assignment where he dredges up a decades old murder steeped in Mormon tradition and committed by none other than Brigham Young’s grandson. When he shares what he’s found with Lael, the two boys embark on an investigation of the murder that leads toward a darker obsession. What’s worse is that Rudd is experiencing blackouts and losing time, and Lael may know more than he’s letting on. When Rudd is found near death and senseless after the brutal and ritualistic murder of a family of campers, he and the only surviving member of the family, a girl named Lyndi, form an odd relationship and as they grow closer, Rudd’s world becomes more fragmented.
Why this book will drive you insane? Rudd’s trapped in a living nightmare that may or may not be of his own making. His mother denies Lael’s existence. Could he have made up the Korths? What is real or imagined in Rudd’s world and who is the real author of the atrocities committed?
What is the most terrible thing that you ever did? Those are the words that are asked one night at a meeting of the Chowder Society, a group of four friends with a terrible secret.
Each man in the group comes out with a horrifying tale of something that has happened in their life, particularly Sears who tells the story of a young student whom he cared for that was suspected of killing his brother. The Chowder Society used to be five members, but a year before the book begins, the fifth member, Edward Wanderly died of apparent fright at a party. Since then, The Chowder Society members have all been having terrible dreams and have been occupying their time with ghost stories. As their feelings of foreboding increase, they decide to call in Edward’s nephew Don, an occult writer who they believe can help them. He tells them the true story behind his novel, and they, in turn, share their dark secret with him, but as mysterious deaths in their town continue, the Chowder Society (and Don) soon discover that all their stories may actually be connected.
Why this book will drive you insane? It’s not really clear if all of the men in the story are haunted by supernatural beings or from the guilt that comes from their past misdeeds. Though the supernatural characters are real enough, they may be fed by the guilt that these men feel and their belief that something is haunting them.
On the surface, Amanda has the perfect life. She is a happy, successful architect who is in love with her husband, Ed. Then, odd things start happening. They start as unexplained noises in her apartment, a memo to her boss replaced with obscene insults, a book on demon possession delivered to her door instead of the book on architecture that she ordered. Amanda is haunted by strange dreams of a seductive woman with dark hair and pointed teeth, a woman whom she remembers as a childhood imaginary friend. As the story progresses, Amanda starts smoking again. She accidentally, or not so accidentally, burns her husband with a cigarette; she steals; she has one-night stands with strange men. Amanda sees her perfect life slowly slipping away out of her control. She turns to the book on demon possession and finds that she fits every description in the book. Is Amanda being possessed by a demon? Or has she finally lost her grip on reality? She turns to doctors and psychiatrists, but they seem more sinister than helpful.
Why this book will drive you insane: Two reasons. The first is that we have a front-row seat to Amanda’s possession or descent into madness. The second is that Amanda is so relentlessly normal that you begin to wonder just what exactly is lurking under the surface of the person sitting next to you. Could the neighbor be possessed by a demon? Soon, like Amanda, you are seeing demons everywhere.
Simon Lester is a film critic who’s fallen on hard times since the film magazine he was working for was shut down in disgrace. His landlords, also his girlfriend’s parents, want him out of their daughter and grandson’s lives and they’re not shy about showing it. Things look promising when an old professor of Simon’s offers him a job writing a book about forgotten film stars. The figure that most draws Simon’s attention is Tubby Thackery, a professor turned comedian turned silent film clown. Tubby’s performances have always been slightly macabre, and people have been known to laugh themselves to death at his films. The problem is, there are none in existence, and Simon’s research meets barrier upon barrier until he discovers an underground cult of Tubby Thackery fans and some very disturbing films that have never seen the light of day. As his research progresses, Simon begins to hear ghostly laughter and see the faces of grinning clowns everywhere. Is his obsession with the silent film star driving him mad or is Tubby Thackery reaching out to him from beyond the grave?
Why this book will drive you insane? Clowns are creepy in general, and Tubby Thackery is one of the creepier clowns, particularly as he is not living at any point during the book. Though we never see this character, like Rebecca in Daphne du Maurier’s gothic horror, Tubby infects the entire atmosphere of the story until the reader, much like Simon is haunted by him.
American Psycho has been adapted into a movie starring Christian Bale, and more recently, a musical starring Matt Smith. It has been heralded as a critique of the materialism of society and reviled for being just gross, but it’s also a great work of psychological horror.
Patrick Bateman is a psycho.On the surface, he is a Wall Street banker obsessed with fashion, grooming, and finding the perfect business card. Incidentally, it’s Patrick’s obsessions that first make the reader start to doubt his sanity. Then, the killings start. After murdering his colleague, Patrick begins to lure others to his former colleague’s apartment and killing them in ever-increasingly gruesome ways, occasionally delving into cannibalism and even necrophilia.He begins to experience hallucinations, such as being stalked by a park bench, that cause him to go one a shooting spree. When the police show up, he hides in his office and phones a confession in to his lawyer.
Why will this book drive you insane? Even when Bateman confesses to the horrific murders, no one, not even his lawyer, believes him. The apartment where he conducts the murders is mysteriously cleaned and being shown by a real estate agent. Is Bateman really a killer or are the killings just the dark fantasies of his emotionally-damaged mind? Even by the end of the book, you’re not sure.
Teddy Daniels and his partner Chuck Aule are U.S. Marshalls called to Ashecliff Hospital to investigate the disappearance of an inmate, Rachel Solando. Solando’s disappearance is disturbing in that the Hospital houses the criminally insane and the island is inaccessible except by ferry. How did she escape, barefooted, in the harsh terrain and make it off the island? What is the purpose of the clues that she’s left behind about her disappearance? As Teddy starts to unravel these clues, he is met with resistance by the hospital staff. Without answers, Teddy decides to leave the island, but escape from Shutter Island is impossible. At first, an impending hurricane prevents Teddy’s departure, then he discovers the hospital staff has more sinister motivations for him. Chuck disappears, and the hospital staff tries to convince Teddy that he never had a partner, that he came to the island alone. More troubling still is that Rachel reappears, claiming she was merely lost. Slowly, Teddy’s reality starts crumbling and we find out that he is a patient at Ashecliff Hospital… or is he?
Why this book will drive you insane? As Teddy’s reality crumbles, the reader is right there along for the ride, but we’re not really sure if his reality is actually crumbling. There have been rumors of brainwashing experiments going on at Ashecliff, we are told. Is Teddy truly a mental patient or a victim of the hospital staff’s sinister machinations? The questions will haunt you long after you’ve finished the book.
No ghosts or goblins or vampires here, just the story of a woman who is quietly going insane. There are wendigos, but those are contained in a story-within-a-story that was written by our unnamed narrator.
Houdini Heart is about a woman who was a well-known author who, under tragic circumstances that are only partially her fault, is forced to flee her glamorous life in Malibu, CA. She heads to a small town in Vermont to a hotel called the River House which she believed was magical while she was growing up. Her mission is to write one final story before taking her own life. Like our unnamed narrator, the River House is haunted, but are these the ghosts of the narrator’s imagination? Even the narrator herself is not sure, as she constantly worries that someone in the hotel will see her madness bleeding through and put a stop to her plans to end her life. Woven through the story are references to Shirley Jackson, Stephen King, H.P. Lovecraft, and the narrator’s own work, The Windigo’s Daughter.
This book was shortlisted for the 2012 Bram Stoker Award. for Outstanding Achievement in a novel. Why this book will drive you insane? Long after you’ve put the book down, this book will haunt you. You’re never really sure what, if anything, happened in River House.
One of the first novels of psychological horror, Psycho tells the story of Norman Bates, a troubled young man who is dominated by his strict and mean-spirited mother. Norman and his mother, Norma run a small hotel that is slowly being driven into the ground when the highway in their town diverts traffic away from the hotel. Enter Mary Crane, a woman on the run with $40,000 in the back of her car. Mary is hoping to use the money to start a new life with her fiance, Sam, when she stops at the Bates Motel. Bad idea. While Norman may seem just a little strange and socially awkward, he’s hiding a dark secret. His mother doesn’t like Mary, and pretty soon, Mary’s head ends up on the floor of the hotel’s shower. Of course, Mary is missed, and all clues lead to the Bates Motel. As more and more people start showing up, Norman’s secrets start surfacing, and his grip on reality collapses.
Why this book will drive you insane? You can’t help feeling a little sorry for Norman, just as Mary’s sister Lila does. Should you sympathize with a guy who is capable of such atrocities? Maybe not. Another scary fact, Bloch was inspired by the real-life case of Ed Gein, and it wasn’t until after the novel was published that all of the similarities between the book and the case came to light.
The Wasp Factory is messed up from the titular wasp factory, a clock face enclosed in a glass box in which the main character traps wasps who then scurry to various gruesome deaths at each number on the clock to the revelation at the end of the book. The story is told from the point of view of Frank Cauldhame, a seriously disturbed sixteen year old boy who lives on an island with his father. He protects this island with his own brand of shamanistic rituals such as the wasp factory, which he uses to divine the future, and the sacrifice poles on which he hangs the bodies of animals that he’s killed. Frank also admits to the reader, in a very matter-of-fact way, that he’s killed three of his young relatives, but it’s his brother Eric who is in a mental hospital. After seeing something horrific as a hospital volunteer, Eric was institutionalized for brutalizing town dogs. But Eric’s escaped from the asylum and making his way back to the island. Frank is unsure whether he welcomes this news or fears it. and as Eric’s arrival gets closer, family secrets are revealed, dark and horrifying secrets.
Why this book will drive you insane? Despite the fact that Frank is a truly heinous person, you actually start to sympathize with him and even understand his actions.
Francie’s family is pretty dysfunctional. His father, who was abused as a child, is an alcoholic, and his mother is suicidal. The only family success story seems to be Uncle Alo, his father’s brother, who lives in Dublin and returns to Francie’s small town as a hero. In contrast, Francie’s neighbor’s, the Nugents, are the perfect family. Their son Phillip goes to a private school and takes music lessons. They’re television works. When Francie hears Mrs. Nugent refer to his family as pigs, he begins obsessing about pigs as well as about the Nugents themselves. When Francie learns that his hero Uncle is actually a porter, that pushes him over the edge. He runs away to Dublin, and that tips his mother’s fragile psyche over the edge. She commits suicide, and Francie blames the Nugents. He starts retaliating against them, at first in small ways like stealing Phillip’s comics. But when Francie vandalizes the Nugents’ home, he is sent to reform school where is abused. Francie finally escapes the school and returns to his hometown where he gets a job slaughtering pigs. When his only friend disowns him, Francie’s mania and violence only escalates to its inevitable conclusion.
Why this book will drive you insane? Francie completely draws you into the madness of his world, where you can’t tell what is fantasy and what is reality, but at the same time, the reader can see the world outside of Francie’s crumbling worldview.
Andrew Thomas is a successful thriller writer who, at the start of Desert Places, is about to go on an adventure more gruesome and dangerous than any he’s ever written about.
It all starts with a letter, hand-delivered to his mailbox which informs him that the body of a missing teacher has been buried on his property and that if he doesn’t do everything the killer demands, the police will receive a phone call telling them that Andrew is the killer and specific details about the crime, including the murder weapon, mysteriously missing from Andrew’s home. At first, Andrew thinks it’s some kind of sick prank played by an over-eager fan. Then, he discovers a knife missing from his kitchen, and then, he discovers the body. Having no choice but to follow the killer’s insane demands, Andrew travels to a motel outside of Denver where he is kidnapped by his twin brother Orson, whom he has not seen in twenty years. Orson takes Andrew to a secluded home in the desert and forces him to perform unspeakable acts of violence and torture.
Why this book will drive you insane? Orson expects Andrew to join him in his grisly new hobbies, and Andrew may or may not be interested...
Imagine waking up one morning to discover that you are being arrested for a crime that you didn’t commit, and that the people arresting you can’t even tell you. A lot of Kafka’s works seem to start like that. (The Metamorphosis: Imagine waking up and you’re a cockroach.) That is the case with Joseph K., a middle-class bank CFO. One day, he wakes up, and he’s being arrested. The arresting officials can’t tell him the charges, and we never actually do find out what the charges are, only that they are serious. Jospeh K. is given a date and an address to appear in court, which turns out to be a run-down tenement building. HIs work and relationships start to suffer as a result of his preparations for the trial. His behavior becomes increasingly erratic. He consults an incredibly unhelpful lawyer, his landlady, prostitutes, even a priest as the process of the trial slowly takes over his life. No one is incredibly helpful in explaining the charges brought before him or what he can do about them, and some are downright corrupt.
Why this book will drive you insane? With so little information to go on and nothing that is straightforward, the reader is left feeling as helpless as Joseph throughout much of the story.
On his way home from a party, Michael is partially drunk, and his wife is sleeping in the back seat of their car. Michael accidentally dozes off but is awakened in time to keep himself from running over a little girl wandering on the dark highway. Michael and his wife are understandably concerned about a little girl alone at night on the street. They agree to take her to her home, a seemingly abandoned mansion on Wildwood Rd. When Michael brings the little girl inside, his nightmare begins. Whispers in the house seem to be everywhere, but it’s the little girls whisper “Find me” that haunts him. Michael becomes obsessed with finding the little girl, including an attempt to revisit the mansion. When his wife is suddenly cold and harsh to him, Michael knows that the key to rekindling their love is finding the little girl, but mysterious figures in black prevent him at every turn. Slowly, he meets others with connections to the little girl and the house and discovers what he must do to save his wife, the little girl, and countless others from their terrible fate.
Why this book will drive you insane? Wildwood Road preys on common fears. Michael fears his own insanity, as well as the possibility that he may not have really known his wife.
Blindsight is the hard sci-fi take on psychological horror. Set in a future where humanity doesn’t deal with the unpleasantness of in-person interactions and everyone is surgically enhanced, Blindsight tells the story of what happened after a day when 65,000 alien satellites suddenly blocked out the sky and then disappeared. Enter the crew of the Theseus, a modified and engineered team to make contact with the alien race, but this team is far from perfect. The narrator, Siri Keaton, is a man with half a brain and no ability to feel empathy (a result of having a computer for the other half of his brain). Other members of the crew include a soldier named Amanda, a group of multiple personalities known collectively as The Gang, Isaac a biologist who is obsessed with modifying his nervous system, and Sarasti, a possibly psychotic vampire. Yep, you read that right. Vampire, but Watts seems to make it work with an explanation involving magic and genetics. When the group encounters the Rorschach, an alien vessel, the crew begin to explore, but mysterious hallucinations affect each member of the crew. What exactly is going on on the Rorschach? And what do the seemingly indifferent aliens want?
Why this book will drive you insane? Watts asks a lot of interesting questions about the nature of consciousness in the novel which will leave the reader wondering what exactly took place on the Rorschach?
We Have Always Lived in the Castle is the story of the Blackwood Family, which now consists of Mary Katherine (Merricat), her sister Constance, their elderly Uncle Julian, and their cat Jonas. They live in isolation due, in part, to their wealth and status and in part, because the rest of their family was mysteriously poisoned by arsenic. Constance was tried for the murders but acquitted due to lack of evidence, but to the townspeople, she got away with murder. Constance is now afraid to leave the Blackwood home, Uncle Julian is obsessed with recounting the events of the murders, only Merricat and Jonas come and go as they please. Merricat obsessively follows a routine of protective spells that keep her home free of nosy neighbors and unwanted visitors, until Cousin Charles shows up, insinuating himself into the family, and making no secret of the fact that he is after the money that Merricat and Constance’s father has left behind.
Why this book will drive you insane? Merricat is a very sympathetic little sociopath, obsessed with order and keeping everything from changing. You can’t help but feel the way she does about the outsiders in her life from the obnoxious villagers who follow her chanting a sinister rhyme to the overbearing Charles who disrupts the ordered world that Merricat has made.
With its deliciously creepy cover and title and its tales of horrible acts that the children of Hemmersmoor perpetrate upon each other, this book could also well belong in the creepy kids subgenre as well.
The story begins with 4 friends, now adults, visiting the grave of their childhood friend. We are then drawn back into the childhood of these for friends in the timeless German village of Hemmersmoor. It’s not a idyllic childhood unless rape, incest, murder, ghosts, and a carnival that steals souls are your thing. All of these things happen in Hemmersmoor. During an annual food festival, all the villagers tongues turn black, causing the villagers to believe that they’ve consumed human flesh. They turn on the creator of the offending dish in full force. Another story tells of a boy who sells his sister’s soul for admission into a creepy carnival. All these vignettes are woven together in the lives of the four friends with betrayal and revenge and guilt heaped upon each other.
Why will this book drive you insane? What’s going on in the town of Hemmersmoor? There’s mention of a curse, but is that the case, or are all the inhabitants just completely insane?
Anders and his wife Cecilia visit his childhood home on a small island near Domaro with their young daughter one winter. While visiting the lighthouse on Domaro, their daughter, Maja, vanishes without a trace. Unhinged by her disappearance, Anders becomes an alcoholic, driving his wife away and eventually returning to Domaro. He moves in near his grandmother and her boyfriend Simon, a retired magician, who are both concerned for his well-being and keeping secrets from each other as well as from Anders. It is these secrets that may well hold the key to finding Maja. Ander’s can feel Maja’s presence on the island and becomes obsessed with finding her. Pictures from the day of her disappearance point him toward something mysterious in the sea, and as he searches, Anders discovers more people have disappeared from Domaro, and that the town has a fear of what lurks beneath the ice and waves.
Why this book will drive you insane? Anders obsession is catching. As readers, we are pulled along into his mad search for his daughter, but we are also privy to secrets of the island that Anders does not know through his grandmother and Simon’s stories. Through them, we learn that Anders is dealing with a force much larger than himself, and a force that is greatly tied in with the history of the island.
When a renowned concert pianist, introduced only as Mr. Ryder arrives in a small European town for a music festival, he has no memory of what he is supposed to be doing, the schedule of the performance or any of the townspeople. He gradually learns about the music festival and that he is also supposed to give a speech, something that will help the town recover its morale after idolizing a musician with whom they had creative differences. As Ryder prepares for the concert, he is frequently approached by townspeople looking for help. Ryder is annoyed, but he considers it his duty to help these people Throughout the novel, we learn that the townspeople are not strangers but people known to him in his daily life. such as his wife and son, as well as his childhood friends. While never truly horrifying, The Unconsoled definitely calls to mind Joseph K’.’s struggles in The Trial where nothing was explained to either the reader or the narrator.
Why this book will drive you insane? Much like Ryder, the reader has no idea what is going on in the unnamed European town. Is any of this really happening? Or is Ryder a victim of his own delusions of grandeur? Strange bending of time and space also serve to enhance the nightmarish quality of the story leading the reader to wonder if Ryder, himself, may be having the nightmare or living it.
Unwind by Neal Shusterman is a truly disturbing YA blend of science fiction and horror. Set in a dystopian society after a series of civil wars dealing with abortion rights, the warring parties have reached a treaty in which parents can choose to have their children unwound at the age of 13. Unwinding is a process in which the child becomes an organ donor, sometimes voluntary, sometimes not. Unwind follows the story of three children who have been chosen to be unwound. The first is Connor, a teen whose parents have deemed “too much trouble”. When he discovers that his parents have decided to have him unwound, he tries to run away. In the process, he comes across Risa, an orphan being unwound due to budget cuts, and Lev who believes that it is his religious obligation to be unwound.The group flee police pursuit, hide out among other runaways and try to fight their fate, but eventually, they are forced to face the horrors of the harvest camps.
Why this book will drive you insane? The whole idea of unwinding is pretty chilling in and of itself. We meet Cy-Fi, a character who has received an organ donation and whose thoughts are temporarily taken over by the part of his mind that belonged to the Unwind. Cy-Fi is constantly fighting with the other part of himself and its disorders like kleptomania which lead to larger questions about the whole process and identity.stery.
The Terror is actually the name of the ship, but also could be used to describe the monster stalking its crew while the ship is mired in ice. The Terror and its companion ship, the Erebus set sail from England in 1847 to find the Northwest passage. It is a dangerous excursion, and though the crew packs on enough food for three years, they do not pack nearly enough fuel. Disaster strikes and the two ships become frozen in place far in the north. To make matters worse, their food supply is tainted by unsanitary canning practices. Freezing, starving, and edging toward madness and mutiny, the crews of Erebus and Terror continue their duties despite the fact that there is a creature picking them off one by one and a strange, tongueless Inuit woman who appears and disappears from the Terror. When the Erebus is crushed in the ice, what remains of the crews strike out across land in search of rescue. But will any of them make it out of the frozen wasteland alive?
Why this book will drive you insane? The Terror is actually based on carefully researched real-life events when Captain Franklin and his crew disappeared in attempt to find the Northwest Passage. While the monster stalking the crew may not have been real, one can only imagine that the monster is a stand-in for the madness and mutinous feelings the crew must have been feeling as they slowly wasted away.