4 Authors Reveal The Book That Scared Them To Death

I came across an article on Oprah’s website:  Authors Reveal: “The Book That Totally Surprised Me”  10 Authors were asked to pick a book that thrilled them, surprised them, or scared them to death.  I’m going to share with you the books that 4 authors said scared them to death.  First though let me share with you the book that scared me out of my wits…

WatchersWatchers by Dean Koontz

When I was in middle school (grades 6-10 more or less) I was a huge fan of Dean Koontz.  His books often terrified me but the one that not only kept me awake long after lights out in boarding school but which I couldn’t even read at night was Watchers.

From a top secret government laboratory come two genetically altered life forms. One is a magnificent dog of astonishing intelligence. The other, a hybrid monster of a brutally violent nature. And both are on the loose…Bestselling author Dean Koontz presents his most terrifying, dramatic and moving novel: The explosive story of a man and a woman, caught in a relentless storm of mankind’s darkest creation… (GoodReads)

Junot Diaz terrified by Dawn by Octavia ButlerDawn (Xenogenesis, #1)

“This book still gives me nightmares and teaches you right quick that no trade is ever free.”

Lilith lyapo awoke from a centuries-long sleep to find herself aboard the vast spaceship of the Oankali. Creatures covered in writhing tentacles, the Oankali had saved every surviving human from a dying, ruined Earth. They healed the planet, cured cancer, increased strength, and were now ready to help Lilith lead her people back to Earth–but for a price. (GoodReads)

House of Leaves

Jenny Lawson terrified by House of Leaves by Mark Z Danielewski

“I still haven’t finished it because it scares the crap out of me. I put it in the freezer at night.”

The story remains unchanged, focusing on a young family that moves into a small home on Ash Tree Lane where they discover something is terribly wrong: their house is bigger on the inside than it is on the outside.  Of course, neither Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Will Navidson nor his companion Karen Green was prepared to face the consequences of that impossibility, until the day their two little children wandered off and their voices eerily began to return another story — of creature darkness, of an ever-growing abyss behind a closet door, and of that unholy growl which soon enough would tear through their walls and consume all their dreams.  (GoodReads)

Elin Hilderbrand terrified by The Road by Cormac McCarthyThe Road

“I was terrified to turn each page, but I loved it so much, I couldn’t help myself.”

A father and his son walk alone through burned America. Nothing moves in the ravaged landscape save the ash on the wind. It is cold enough to crack stones, and when the snow falls it is gray. The sky is dark. Their destination is the coast, although they don’t know what, if anything, awaits them there. They have nothing; just a pistol to defend themselves against the lawless bands that stalk the road, the clothes they are wearing, a cart of scavenged food—and each other.  (GoodReads)

We Need to Talk About Kevin

Gayle Forman terrified by We Need To Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver

“Lionel Shriver’s We Need To Talk About Kevin was both the most riveting and frightening book I’ve ever read. Spooky tales of anonymous serial killers or nuclear winters? Please. Those are nothing next to this intimate and chilling tale of a boy gone terribly wrong and the mother who witnesses it by degrees.”

Eva never really wanted to be a mother – and certainly not the mother of the unlovable boy who murdered seven of his fellow high school students, a cafeteria worker, and a much-adored teacher who tried to befriend him, all two days before his sixteenth birthday. Now, two years later, it is time for her to come to terms with marriage, career, family, parenthood, and Kevin’s horrific rampage in a series of startlingly direct correspondences with her estranged husband, Franklin. Uneasy with the sacrifices and social demotion of motherhood from the start, Eva fears that her alarming dislike for her own son may be responsible for driving him so nihilistically off the rails. (GoodReads)


4 thoughts on “4 Authors Reveal The Book That Scared Them To Death

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    1. After I saw the movie version I decided I would read the book because it was a really good movie but because of the type of story I bet it is an even better book! Not sure if it will be King/Koontz scary but there were definitely some really suspenseful moments and I came away feeling scared of a world like that! Lemme know what you think when you’re done reading it.


      1. I haven’t seen the movie, but the blurb of the book makes it sound good, and it came highly recommended to me from a reviewer whose opinion I trust. I’ll probably be reading it in March, and will indeed let you know! 🙂


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