Oh, the Horror! (08/30/2022): The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires

The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires (cover)

The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix

Fried Green Tomatoes and Steel Magnolias meet Dracula in this Southern-flavored supernatural thriller set in the ’90s about a women’s book club that must protect its suburban community from a mysterious and handsome stranger who turns out to be a real monster.

Patricia Campbell’s life has never felt smaller. Her ambitious husband is too busy to give her a goodbye kiss in the morning, her kids have their own lives, her senile mother-in-law needs constant care, and she’s always a step behind on thank-you notes and her endless list of chores. The one thing she has to look forward to is her book club, a close-knit group of Charleston women united by their love of true crime and paperback fiction. At these meetings they’re as likely to talk about the Manson family as they are marriage, motherhood, and neighborhood gossip.

This predictable pattern is upended when Patricia meets James Harris, a handsome stranger who moves into the neighborhood to take care of his elderly aunt and ends up joining the book club. James is sensitive and well-read, and he makes Patricia feel things she hasn’t felt in twenty years. But there’s something off about him. He doesn’t have a bank account, he doesn’t like going out during the day, and Patricia’s mother-in-law insists that she knew him when she was a girl—an impossibility.

When local children go missing, Patricia and the book club members start to suspect James is more of a Bundy than a Beatnik—but no one outside of the book club believes them. Have they read too many true crime books, or have they invited a real monster into their homes?


Next Meeting:
August 30th @ 7:00 PM at Virtual

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Oh, the Horror! (07/26/2022): Tender is the Flesh

Tender is the Flesh (cover)

Tender is the Flesh by Agustina Bazterrica

Working at the local processing plant, Marcos is in the business of slaughtering humans—though no one calls them that anymore.
His wife has left him, his father is sinking into dementia, and Marcos tries not to think too hard about how he makes a living. After all, it happened so quickly. First, it was reported that an infectious virus has made all animal meat poisonous to humans. Then governments initiated the “Transition.” Now, eating human meat—”special meat”—is legal. Marcos tries to stick to numbers, consignments, processing.

Then one day he’s given a gift: a live specimen of the finest quality. Though he’s aware that any form of personal contact is forbidden on pain of death, little by little he starts to treat her like a human being. And soon, he becomes tortured by what has been lost—and what might still be saved.


Next Meeting:
July 26th @ 7:00 PM at Virtual

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Oh, the Horror! (06/28/2022): Jaws

Jaws (cover)

Jaws by Peter Benchley

With the 1974 publication of the novel Jaws and the release a year later of the film based on the book, an American cultural phenomenon was born. Today, the remarkable bestseller by Peter Benchley still towers as a thrilling classic of suspense, drama, and the eternal conflicts of man against nature … and man against himself.

As the movie continues to broadcast all over the world, entire generations may know the Jaws story only through its cinematic rendition. Those unfamiliar with the literary forerunner are in for a wonderful surprise, for the novel contains many twists of plot and character that were omitted in the film. Peter Benchley’s Jaws is an extraordinary experience of its own, a masterpiece as mesmerizing today as it was in 1974, when it first took us into the watery world of a creature designed by nature to kill … and into the terror it brings from the silent darkness of the deep.


Next Meeting:
June 28th @ 7:00 PM at Virtual

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Oh, the Horror! (05/31/2022): Bunny

Bunny (cover)

Bunny by Mona Awad

Samantha Heather Mackey couldn’t be more of an outsider in her small, highly selective MFA program at New England’s Warren University. A scholarship student who prefers the company of her dark imagination to that of most people, she is utterly repelled by the rest of her fiction writing cohort—a clique of unbearably twee rich girls who call each other “Bunny,” and seem to move and speak as one.

But everything changes when Samantha receives an invitation to the Bunnies’ fabled “Smut Salon,” and finds herself inexplicably drawn to their front door—ditching her only friend, Ava, in the process. As Samantha plunges deeper and deeper into the Bunnies’ sinister yet saccharine world, beginning to take part in the ritualistic off-campus “Workshop” where they conjure their monstrous creations, the edges of reality begin to blur. Soon, her friendships with Ava and the Bunnies will be brought into deadly collision.

The spellbinding new novel from one of our most fearless chroniclers of the female experience, Bunny is a down-the-rabbit-hole tale of loneliness and belonging, friendship and desire, and the fantastic and terrible power of the imagination.


Next Meeting:
May 31st @ 7:00 PM at Virtual

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Oh, the Horror! (04/25/2022): The Devil of Nanking

The Devil of Nanking (cover)

The Devil of Nanking by Mo Hayder

With the redolent atmosphere of Ian Rankin and the spine-chilling characters of Thomas Harris, Mo Hayder’s The Devil of Nanking, takes the reader on an electrifying literary ride from the palatial apartments of yakuza kingpins to deep inside the secret history of one of the twentieth century’s most brutal events: the Nanking Massacre. A young Englishwoman obsessed with an indecipherable past, Grey comes to Tokyo seeking a lost piece of film footage of the notorious 1937 Nanking Massacre, footage some say never existed. Only one man can help Grey. A survivor of the massacre, he is now a visiting professor at a university in Tokyo. But he will have nothing to do with her.

So Grey accepts a job in an upmarket nightspot, where a certain gangster may be the key to gaining the professor’s trust. An old man in a wheelchair surrounded by a terrifying entourage, the gangster is rumored to rely on a mysterious elixir for his continued health. Taut, gritty, sexy, and harrowing, The Devil of Nanking is an incomparable literary thriller set in one of the world’s most fascinating cities-Tokyo-from an internationally bestselling author.


Next Meeting:
April 25th @ 6:00 PM at Virtual

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Oh, the Horror! (02/22/2022): Ring Shout

Ring Shout (cover)

Ring Shout by P. Djeli Clark

IN AMERICA, DEMONS WEAR WHITE HOODS.

In 1915, The Birth of a Nation cast a spell across America, swelling the Klan’s ranks and drinking deep from the darkest thoughts of white folk. All across the nation they ride, spreading fear and violence among the vulnerable. They plan to bring Hell to Earth. But even Ku Kluxes can die.
Standing in their way is Maryse Boudreaux and her fellow resistance fighters, a foul-mouthed sharpshooter and a Harlem Hellfighter. Armed with blade, bullet, and bomb, they hunt their hunters and send the Klan’s demons straight to Hell. But something awful’s brewing in Macon, and the war on Hell is about to heat up.

Can Maryse stop the Klan before it ends the world?


Next Meeting:
February 22nd @ 7:00 PM at Virtual

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Oh, the Horror! (01/25/2022): Into the Drowning Deep

Into the Drowning Deep (cover)

Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant

The ocean is home to many myths,

But some are deadly…

Seven years ago the Atargatis set off on a voyage to the Mariana Trench to film a mockumentary bringing to life ancient sea creatures of legend. It was lost at sea with all hands. Some have called it a hoax; others have called it a tragedy.

Now a new crew has been assembled. But this time they’re not out to entertain. Some seek to validate their life’s work. Some seek the greatest hunt of all. Some seek the truth. But for the ambitious young scientist Victoria Stewart this is a voyage to uncover the fate of the sister she lost.

Whatever the truth may be, it will only be found below the waves.

But the secrets of the deep come with a price.


Next Meeting:
January 25th @ 7:00 PM at Virtual

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Oh, the Horror! (12/28/2021): A Head Full of Ghosts

A Head Full of Ghosts (cover)

A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay

WINNER OF THE 2015 BRAM STOKER AWARD FOR SUPERIOR ACHIEVEMENT IN A NOVEL

A chilling thriller that brilliantly blends psychological suspense and supernatural horror, reminiscent of Stephen King’s The Shining, Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House, and William Peter Blatty’s The Exorcist.

The lives of the Barretts, a normal suburban New England family, are torn apart when fourteen-year-old Marjorie begins to display signs of acute schizophrenia.

To her parents’ despair, the doctors are unable to stop Marjorie’s descent into madness. As their stable home devolves into a house of horrors, they reluctantly turn to a local Catholic priest for help. Father Wanderly suggests an exorcism; he believes the vulnerable teenager is the victim of demonic possession. He also contacts a production company that is eager to document the Barretts’ plight. With John, Marjorie’s father, out of work for more than a year and the medical bills looming, the family agrees to be filmed, and soon find themselves the unwitting stars of The Possession, a hit reality television show. When events in the Barrett household explode in tragedy, the show and the shocking incidents it captures become the stuff of urban legend.

Fifteen years later, a bestselling writer interviews Marjorie’s younger sister, Merry. As she recalls those long ago events that took place when she was just eight years old, long-buried secrets and painful memories that clash with what was broadcast on television begin to surface—and a mind-bending tale of psychological horror is unleashed, raising vexing questions about memory and reality, science and religion, and the very nature of evil.


Next Meeting:
December 28th @ 7:00 PM at Virtual

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Oh, the Horror! (11/23/2021): The Yellow Wallpaper

The Yellow Wallpaper (cover)

The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s 1892 short story, The Yellow Wallpaper is a valuable piece of American feminist literature that reveals attitudes toward the psychological health of women in the nineteenth century. Diagnosed with “temporary nervous depression – a slight hysterical tendency” by her physician husband, a woman is confined to an upstairs bedroom. Descending into psychosis at the complete lack of stimulation, she starts obsessing over the room’s yellow wallpaper: “It is the strangest yellow, that wall-paper! It makes me think of all the yellow things I ever saw – not beautiful ones like buttercups, but old foul, bad yellow things. But there is something else about that paper – the smell! … The only thing I can think of that it is like is the color of the paper! A yellow smell.”


Next Meeting:
November 23rd @ 7:00 PM at Virtual

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