...But Are They the Best?
Favorite, Fun, Inspiring and Thoughtful Poetry featured on my Blog where you will find the full text of my reviews.
You've been warned. Give your child these names and they'll be scarred for life.
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Iago: Don't be fooled by Aladdin's feathered friend, the original Iago is one of Shakespeare's most sinister villains who deceives and schemes, causing tragedy for others.
Grendel: It probably isn't high on your list anyway..., but give your kid this name and people will be expecting a man-eating monster. Not cool.
Cruella: Let's face it, people will always be a bit suspicious of a Cruella. And puppies will cower in her presence.
Estella: Miss Havisham is the real villainess here, but that'll never catch on as a first name. However, her adopted daughter, Estella, is raised to be cold, unfeeling, and cruel to men, so you might want to think twice about that name too.
Patrick: Wall Street investment banker by day, murdering sex maniac by night. He confesses at one point: "I like to dissect girls, did you know I'm utterly insane".
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BONUS BOOK: "The Turn of the Screw" (1898) a gothic novella by Henry James. This book doesn't completely fit with the rest of the books in this list, it's one that I feel certain helped spawn them. Without Henry James' then ground-breaking psychological suspense novel, we probably wouldn't have had a razor-sharp Shirley Jackson. A young governess, caring for two kids begins to see ghosts that mean to corrupt them.
"The Haunting of Hill House" (1959) by Shirley Jackson. Shirley's novel is the seminal haunted house story of the twentieth century. Read it as a ghost story, as a psychological suspense novel or as both, it's a different story each time. How cool is that? It has influenced, I think for the better, some of the best haunted house novels that followed.
"Hell House" (1971) by Richard Matheson. Of all the books in the list, Matheson's fierce tale of haunting seems most in direct contrast with Shirley's classic story. Hill House may have one ghost, Belasco House has many -- that kind of contrast. Reading them one after another was enlightening. A physicist and two mediums, tackle Hell House and discovers that every question answered lead to new mysteries.
"The Shining" (1977) by Stephen King -- This book is often cited as one of two truly scary Stephen King novels. Jack Torrance is the new off-season caretaker of The Overlook Hotel. While snowed in, he hopes to break through his writer's block and begin his next story as he reconnects with his family. The Overlook seduces Jack, not unlike Hill House, but the hotel doesn't really want Jack -- it wants his son Danny.
"Soulstorm" (1986) by Chet Williamson. If "Hell House" contrasts against "Hill House", "Soulstorm" contrasts against them both. A billionaire seeking proof of life after death has five people sealed up in the mansion on Pine Mountain. They soon discover that it's haunted. Why it is haunted and by whom will surprise the reader. The story works great on its own but is richer if you read Jackson and Matheson first.