Saturday, October 08, 2005

Halloween Books

The Night Country is as much about being haunted by guilt, doubt, and responsibility as it is about being plagued by ghosts.
--Barnes & Noble Review
Before we get too deep into October, I'd like to recommend my favorite Halloween book, which I discovered last year. (Not a coincidence that it's my favorite, as I have a very short memory.)

The Night Country by Stewart O'Nan is a ghost story told by the spirits of three teenagers who died in a car crash on Halloween night. This eerie tale takes place one year later and gets inside the minds of those left behind--the police officer on the scene and the one teen who survived the accident intact (another suffered severe brain damage that completely altered his personality).

The novel isn't so much scary as it is poignant. It has great touches of dark humor that explore the personalities of the dead characters, who are as real to the reader as the living ones. It's just a beautiful novel.

I highly recommend listening to the audio version (you can get it from Amazon or your local library) as I did. The reader captures the attitudes and inflections of the teen narrator.

There's mine. What's your favorite Halloween book?


It's probably cliché to pick a Stephen King novel, but I'm doing it anyhow. I always liked The Dead Zone. I liked the underlying premise, and the way the plot unfolded. I also really liked the way Johnny's visions were described, especially one towards the end of the book where he senses events from over one hundred years in the past.

Posted by: Blogger Andrew at 10/09/2005 2:56 PM

I love The Dead Zone. That's one of his best. Right now I'm reading Bag of Bones, which is really well written.

Posted by: Blogger Jeri at 10/09/2005 10:05 PM

I don't read a whole lot of horror or scary books. I used to read a lot of King, so I might have to suggest The Shining or the story The Sun Dog from Four Past Midnight.

Probably the best Halloween book we have is a "kids" book: Scary Godmother. It's really a short graphic novel by Jill Thompson. (I see on Amazon that there are several other Scary Godmother books and a DVD I haven't seen- wonder if they're any good.)

Posted by: Blogger Sharon GR at 10/10/2005 11:02 AM

I meant if the books are just as good and the if the DVD is any good. Sometimes they can take a really good children's book, such as Olive the Other Reindeer and turn it into a very mediocre DVD.

Posted by: Blogger Sharon GR at 10/10/2005 11:05 AM

I can't handle the truly scary books anymore. My problem is, I want to read all of King's Dark Tower books, which are dark fantasy rather than horror, but each of the 7 books has tie-ins to some of his other novels. Being the obsessive completist that I am, I'm trying to read all those, too, for a total of 22 books. Over the course of two years, that is. After three months I've read one-and-a-third.

Posted by: Blogger Jeri at 10/10/2005 10:55 PM

Post a Comment


This Side of Salvation

This Side of Salvation, Jeri's new contemporary YA novel!

Now available in hardcover and ebook.

“A smart, well-rounded, and unpredictable tale...bringing to light issues of belief versus free will, spirit versus body, and family versus self.” —Booklist, **Starred Review**


Order from Indie Bound, Barnes & Noble, or



"Shattered," a Shade novella!

Available here on this website as a free download in all major ebook formats, as well as a printable PDF (now with photos!).

More about "Shattered"

About the author

Jeri Smith-Ready

Jeri Smith-Ready is a Maryland author of books for teens and adults.

Learn more about Jeri...

Photo © Geoffrey C. Baker

Sign up for Jeri's newsletter

  • First draft of secret new project

Current Reads