Annal: 2005 International Horror Guild Award for Novel

Results of the International Horror Guild Award in the year 2005.

Book:Lunar Park

Lunar Park

Bret Easton Ellis

Imagine becoming a best-selling novelist, and almost immediately famous and wealthy, while still in college, and before long seeing your insufferable father reduced to a bag of ashes in a safety-deposit box, while after American Psycho your celebrity drowns in a sea of vilification, booze, and drugs.

Then imagine having a second chance ten years later, as the Bret Easton Ellis of this remarkable novel is given, with a wife, children, and suburban sobriety—only to watch this new life shatter beyond recognition in a matter of days. At a fateful Halloween party he glimpses a disturbing (fictional) character driving a car identical to his late father’s, his stepdaughter’s doll violently “malfunctions,” and their house undergoes bizarre transformations both within and without. Connecting these aberrations to graver events—a series of grotesque murders that no longer seem random and the epidemic disappearance of boys his…[more]

Book:Beyond Black

Beyond Black: A Novel

Hilary Mantel

A paragon of efficiency, Colette took the next natural step after finishing secretarial school by marrying a man who would do just fine. After a sobering, do-it-yourself divorce, Colette is at a loss for what to do next. Convinced that she is due an out-of-hand, life-affirming revelation, she strays into the realm of psychics and clairvoyants, hungry for a whisper to set her off in the right direction. At a psychic fair in Windsor she meets the charismatic Alison.

Alison, the daughter of a prostitute, beleaguered during her childhood by the pressures of her connection to the spiritual world, lives in a different kind of solitude. She cannot escape the dead who speak to her, least of all the constant presence of Morris, her low-life spiritual guide. An expansive presence onstage, Alison at once feels her bond with Colette, inviting her to join her on the road as her personal assistant and companion. …[more]

Book:The Historian

The Historian: A Novel

Elizabeth Kostova

Late one night, exploring her father’s library, a young woman finds an ancient book and a cache of yellowing letters addressed ominously to ‘My dear and unfortunate successor’. Her discovery plunges her into a world she never dreamed of—a labyrinth where the secrets of her father’s past and her mother’s mysterious fate connect to an evil hidden in the depths of history.

In those few quiet moments, she unwittingly assumes a quest she will discover is her birthright—a hunt for the truth about Vlad the Impaler, the medieval ruler whose barbarous reign formed the basis of the Dracula myth. Deciphering obscure signs and hidden texts, reading codes worked into the fabric of medieval monastic traditions, and evading terrifying adversaries, one woman comes ever closer to the secret of her own past and a confrontation with the very definition of evil.

Elizabeth Kostova’s debut novel is an adventure of monumental proportions—a captivating tale that blends fact and fantasy, history and the present with an assurance that is almost unbearably suspenseful—and utterly unforgettable.

Book:The Horrific Sufferings of the Mind-Reading Monster Hercules Barefoot

The Horrific Sufferings of the Mind-Reading Monster Hercules Barefoot: His Wonderful Love and His Terrible Hatred

Carl-Johan Vallgren

A stormy night in 1813. Two babies are born to prostitutes. One child is a healthy girl; the other, a hideously deformed boy.

This is the picaresque fable of the love that grows between the mute monster Hercules, who possesses the power to read minds, and the beautiful Henriette—a love that will entwine their fates forever. Carl-Johan Vallgren paints a cast of grotesqueries in a magical and atmospheric tour of nineteenth-century Europe: the swags and tails of the Bordello, where Hercules is born; the squalor of the asylum, where he finds only pain; the sinister grandeur of the Jesuit monasteries in which he finds both shelter and peril; and the phantasmagoria of the freak show with which he travels. The Horrific Sufferings of the Mind-Reading Monster Hercules Barefoot tells a tale of social oppression,official corruption, and religious persecution, but is, at its heart, an amazing love story. Moving, uplifting, at times dark and macabre, this novel stretches the bounds of imagination, presenting the bizarre as the everyday and leading you through it like a child wide-eyed in wonder at a carnival.

Book:The Stone Ship

The Stone Ship

Peter Raftos

Set in a university managed by a Kafkaesque bureaucracy, The Stone Ship follows the adventures, misalliances, and misdeeds of the suicidal Shipton and the ghost who saved his life; and who demands a favor in return. As Shipton’s experiences within the university are played out on the fringes of an administration that destroys lives with paperwork, rioting librarians hunt for students and academics dwell in the half-light of scholarly delusions.

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