7 in 7: 7 Classic Novels in 7 Days

Normally I don’t write book reviews, because they’re as plentiful as weeds and just as useful.  Check out my profile on Goodreads to view the handful of “reviews” I’ve done in the past.  You’ll notice I don’t comment on books I didn’t like, mostly because I tend not to finish those that didn’t resonate with me.

Last week I sifted through my to-be-read pile and realized there were several titles present that I should have read by now.  We all have those type of books, the “classics” you promised yourself to get around to one day and never have.  (For me, Ghost Story, Dracula and Rosemary’s Baby are still on that mental checklist.)  I set out to remedy that situation, so I pulled seven classic horror novels from the stack and have read one per day for the past week.

Every day I’ll write up a new review of each novel, warts and all.  If you’re looking for an in-depth critique, you’re better served elsewhere.  These are more my impressions, the stream-of-conscious thoughts I jotted down while reading the stories:  the things that struck me hardest, either as a reader or as a writer.  My criteria for choosing is that each book had to be short enough to read in a day — so no hernia-inducers like The Stand — only one book per author and preferably something scary.

I had a similar list when I was in junior high school; back then the classics included Psycho, I Am Legend, The Haunting of Hill House and Something Wicked This Way Comes, among others.  I went about tracking down each novel as though it was a scavenger hunt, and I greedily devoured them all.  It’s actually a fun exercise that I recommend to everyone.  At the very least it’s a great way to knock down your TBR pile to a manageable size.

Find out which ones left me saying, “This book is AWESOME!” and which ones made me shout, “This book is BULLSHIT!”  Feel free to add your own remarks about the books, or to admit which classic horror novels you’ve neglected so far.

Here’s my final list; reviews are forthcoming later this week.

The Exorcist – William Peter Blatty

The Girl Next Door – Jack Ketchum

Carrie – Stephen King

Jaws – Peter Benchley

Live Girls – Ray Garton

The Manitou – Graham Masterton

Invasion of the Body Snatchers – Jack Finney

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