Filling the Soul Hole
Part 2: Joy
In the last article I talked about how even the most seasoned horror aficionado can still experience empathy if they are connected with the right author. This article will seem even more grandiose because I am here to convince you it is still possible to feel joy. Oh hush, I hear your grumbling. Hear me out! We both have that empty little soul hole in our hearts. Sure it is gritty and partially mummified, but it is not too late. The authors I am recommending have experience in making even the gnarliest, most petrified of us crack a smile. A rusty chuckle will bubble up from deep down inside. Don’t be afraid! I know it’s been a while, but that is a laugh. You may have some sore muscles afterward, but these two authors really prove horror can lift your spirits. The humor is dark and twisted, but that’s why it’s so awesome.
David Wong- Slapstick Horror
You cannot come into a David Wong book expecting anything predictable to happen. If anyone tells you they predicted the frozen meat monster or the extreme quantities of silicone buttocks or even the soy sauce, then they are damn liars. Do the words in that previous sentence even make any sense? How do they all come together to form not just a book, but a whole trilogy?? I don’t know, BUT THEY DO. Wong’s John Dies series is hilarious, but don’t think that means he skips out on world-building, creating likable characters or even scaring the crap out of you. He somehow does it all. You have to go into these books with zero expectations. They are like a ride... you have to just go along and experience it. There are plenty of outright jokes and ridiculous situations to make a random giggle pop out. Apart from the humor, the monsters and scary situations really gave me the creeps, so it is a legit horror book on its own merit!
Grady Hendrix- Dark Humor
My first Hendrix book was a total cover read from the library. I saw this book that looked like a yearbook and that was enough to make me pick it up. I read the title “My Best Friend’s Exorcism” and that was enough to make me check it out. When I started reading, it caught me off guard… I was horrified to be laughing during this heartfelt story of a girl and her possessed bestie. Then I remembered I’m going to hell anyway and laughed my ass off for the rest of the book. Hendrix has consistently wowed me with his unique blend of horror and humor. He even found a way to make a non-fiction book about other books a delightfully demented page-turner. “Paperbacks From Hell” is a surprisingly thorough and well organized guide to all of those cool paperbacks waiting to be discovered at your local thrift store. Grady Hendrix’s books are all dark humor, but the dark: humor ratio is always a bit different to keep you on your toes.
There you have it! Your neglected vocal chords are capable of more than the usual guttural growl or feral moan. You can laugh! Wong or Hendrix can coerce a surly chuckle out of even the most hardened soul hole.
Beth Griffith lives in Maryland with her husband, three children and a pathetically small herd of cats. She enjoys reading smut and gardening. You can watch saucy smut reviews, read salty book reviews and keep tabs on her questionable life choices on Instagram @mrsbeverlygibbs