Five Books Everyone Should Read Before They Die

"Madness and reason do battle with good and evil in this classic tale of magic and the fantastic..." Neil Spring picks his must-reads


1. The Signalman, Charles Dickens
Set at a signal-box on a lonely stretch of railway line, where the wires “sing in the wind”, this is a chilling ghost story filled with premonitions of disaster.

2. The Turn of the Screw, Henry James
James skilfully weaves the strange and the sinister into everyday life, in this take of a governess haunted by evil.

3. Misery, Stephen King
Claustrophobia, loneliness and unrequited love bedevil psychopathic nurse Annie Wilkes and her prisoner, writer Paul Sheldon, in this unforgettable take of psychological horror.

4. Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, Susanna Clarke
Madness and reason do battle with good and evil in this classic tale of magic and the fantastic. Destined to become a classic.

5. The Shadow over Innsmouth, HP Lovecraft
Mystery lurks in the remote, coastal town of Innsmouth in New England, where human sacrifice sustains a community of undersea creatures. Terrifying.

 

 

Neil Spring’s The Ghost Hunters (Quercus, £7.99) is out now

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As published in The Big Issue, 17th November 2013

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