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The fear factor

I am one of those maybe, 90 per cent of people with a perverse relationship with fear.  Within reason I like to be scared.  I like the frisson of the idea that something terrible could happen.  But I don’t want to feel like it could actually happen. So for me, that means: rollercoasters, skydiving, scary movies with company = in; anything that makes me feel like I might drown, scary movies alone, walking home late in the dark = out.  I know everyone’s buckets will be different.  That’s the deal with humanity and all that.

Before I go to Sleep was pretty scary.


Right on the cusp of how scary I can actually feel like I enjoyed.  I think this is due to a combination of two factors.  1. Generic scariness – this book is billed as a “satisfying thriller” (and the cover is hardly candlelight and flowers) hence, surely, it should scare anyone a little. 2. Kate bucket scariness.  Because it deals with someone who has lost their memory.  And as anyone who knows me well knows, I particularly fear any kind of illness where you lose full control of your life.  So scary squared.

I don’t tend to read books that are billed as being scary.  And I am not quote sure why this is.  As a teenager I did.  I think I have read every Point Horror going.  But somewhere along the line, maybe, life contained enough real fear and challenge that I didn’t need that in a novel anymore.  But to be honest, that’s just a massive guess.  I have no idea why I stopped reading scary books.  But I now remember that you sleep better when you don’t.

I think this novel was the perfect re-entry into scary fiction.  It wasn’t perfectly written.  Sometimes the prose felt a little clunky and the characters somewhat one-dimensional.  Memories at specific times felt squeezed in or forced.  But still the plotline remained dynamic – you wanted to read the next chapter.  And the fear built – at the start it felt more morose than scary.  Then you got the nagging sensation something wasn’t right – and so it grew from there.  Your fear developed apace with the protagonists, which left you completely immersed in her world.  I read this novel in 24 hours.  I needed to know what happened.

This isn’t a novel which calls for deep insight, so I will leave it at that.  But it is worth a read.  If scary novels are in your ‘yes’ bucket.  I think they are back in mine now.  Sleep be damned.


About bloggingthelonglist

An avid reader, but I tend to stick to what I know I am comfortable with. Trying to break out of the comfort zone...

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