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Top 5 Wednesday: Terrifying Non-Horror Novels

October 25, 2017

 

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly book meme brought by T5W on Goodreads.

 

If you're like me, then a book or movie or television show doesn't need "horror" slapped on it to terrify you. The world's just a strange place, and we humans are strange creatures, and sometimes there doesn't need to be a monster jumping out at us to make us lose it. 

 

But, you know, that's just how I relate to the world sometimes. I'm always getting startled by the smallest things. I'll be in getting ready for work in the morning, and Sam comes in just to ask me something--you know, the way a normal person would--and I will scream and jump--you know, the way normal peopled don't usually react.

 

So, on this Wednesday before Halloween, to conclude the month-long Halloween themed post, I'm writing about the top 5 books that scare the shit out of me by just existing. None of these books are necessarily supposed to scare you. 

 

(Click on the cover to go to the book's Goodreads page.)

 

Gone Girl is technically a thriller, so there are certain genre-specific scenes that might make you jump a little, but those aren't the things that terrify me. What scares me so much about Gone Girl are the depictions of some of the darkest parts of the human soul.

 

The Wall is about a woman who awakens one morning to find that she is the only person left alive; everyone else has vanished. She has to find a way to make a life for herself on the one side of a wall, as she watches everything on the other side rot away.

 

The Handmaid's Tale is so terrifying because it isn't really that hard to imagine. It's only sort of a dystopian/apocalyptic story. I think many consider this an actual horror novel.  

 

Lily Bart in The House of Mirth is one of the saddest, most tragic characters I've ever read in my life. I also read this book at a pretty vulnerable time when I was certain life would never get better, and I didn't quite know how it could get much worse. It's a gorgeous book, but the train wreck that Lily's life becomes will haunt me forever.

 

Joyce Carol Oates has written a ton of pretty terrifying/horrifying books, but I chose Black Water because of its premise. Kelly Kelleher is trapped in a car filling with water after the Senator has crashed them into a lake and has either abandoned her or gone for help. It's a short book that weaves the present narrative with all the events that led this good girl to this moment.

 

 

And Some Extras Cos Sometimes I Don't Wanna Count

(click cover to read my review):

 

What are some of the books that have surprised you by being deceptively terrifying? Let me know below! 

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