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Top 10 Horror Literature: Rod Usher ‘The Other’

Here is the last of the Top 10’s that Rod Usher of The Other has provided with! He’s already given us his Top 10 horror rock songs as well as his Top 10 horror poster taglines. Now, Rod Usher has chosen to share his Top 10 horror literature with all of you readers! If you check after the jump, you can see one incredible list!

Click HERE for a review of ‘New Blood’, the new album from The Other!

‘Shock your parents – read a book’
Mary Shelley – Frankenstein (1818)
If you think you know the story of ‘mad scientist’ Victor Frankenstein and the monster he created, think again. Most of the movie-version you know differ greatly from this classic novel which was written when Shelley was only 18. Even close to 200 years after it’s inital publication this story of a creature made of body parts is still a great read and it’s influence on literatur and pop-culture can not be overestimated. If you don’t feel sorry for the misunderstood antagonist, you have no heart!
E.A Poe – Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque (1840)
American Gothic Fiction wouldn’t be the same without one of Americas greatest authors. Instead of castles and ghosts, Poe’s horror came from inside the mind. He created the unreliable narrator of such stories like ‘The Tell-Tale-Heart’, ‘The Fall of the House of Usher’ or ‘The black Cat’. The Other adapted four of his stories and made them into songs (e.g. ‘The Burial’ from our current album ‘New Blood’) and Poe was obviously the inspiration for my stagename.
R.L. Stevenson – The strange Case of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde (1886)
An inspiration to many of my lyrics and a groundbreaking novalla about repressed primitive urges and society’s morals. It’s motif of the split-personality, where a person’s good and evil side become seperate characters, has influenced literature and Hollywood to no end.
Bram Stoker – Dracula (1897)
Forget the cheesy romantic flick that Coppola directed, this is the real deal. Written in diary-style, ‘Draculaæ never let’s you out of it’s grip (or fangs) up to the last page. A follow-up was recently published by Stokers great-grandnephew Dacre, but the reviews weren’t very favorable. 
Nathaniel Hawthorne – The Scarlet Letter (1850)
You may have read it in school and probably hated it back then. Give it another try. It’s a literary classic set in puritan New England and it deals with moral issues that are still relevant today. It may not be HORROR, but it sure is pretty dark and depressing.
H.P. Lovecraft – The Outsider and Others (1939)
This 1939 original has a 7.500 Dollar Price-Tag on Amazon but don’t worry, there’s lots of collections out there that feature Lovecraft classics such as ‘The Call of Cthulhu’, ‘The Rats in the Walls’, ‘The Colour out of Space’, ‘The Dunwich Horror’ and many more. H.P. Lovecraft may have been a weird individual with racist tendencies but he sure knew how to write a great horror tale and introduce themes that would later be picked up by lots and lots of genre writers, the dangers of new technologies being one of them.
Shirley Jackson – The Haunting of Hill House (1959)
If you like haunted houses, this one’s for you! A scientist invites a group of people to stay at a the haunted ‘Hill House’ in hopes of finding evidence for the existence of the supernatural. He get’s more than he bargained for… Made into a great movie adaption called ‘The Haunting’ in 1963. The 1999 remake has little to do with the novel. Don’t confuse with ‘The House on haunted hill’ starring Vincent Price.
Richard Matheson – Hell House (1971)
You may know Richard Matheson as the author of ‘I am Legend’ and of quite a few Roger Corman directed E.A. Poe adaptions starring Vincent price, but ‘Hell House’ is his masterpiece. The story concerns four people who stay at the ‘most haunted house in the world’ to investigate the possibility of life after death. It’s a scary as hell read. Check out the movie-version ‘The Legend of Hell House’.
William Peter Blatty – The Exorcist (1971)
Blatty did, what King did later: He took an ancient monster – in this case the devil himself – and put him in a contemporary world, where he posessed a little girl. The novel is even more gory and gruesome than the great movie, so go ahead and read it even if you think you know the story by heart.
Stephen King – The Shining (1977)
King’s great tale of isolation and madness. Read it carefully to discover the underlying social and political commentary from the crimes against native americans to Watergate and political corruption. The novel even surpasses the brilliant Kubrick movie. Stephen King is solely responsible for my interest in horror and „The Shining“ was the first horror novel I’ve ever read.
Bonus: Joyce Carol Oats – American Gothic Tales (1996)
40 stories from the 200 year history of American Gothic Fiction. This is the best collection of the classics, starting with an excerpt from Charles Brockden Brown’s ‘Wieland’ and then leading straight into Washington Irving’s classic “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”, followed by one highlight after the other.



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