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Dracula
by Bram Stoker (1897)


The original creaky coffin lid opening and shrill shriek as a wooden stake is driven through the heart are just two of the enduring images to be found in Stoker's Dracula. A gothic horror for the ages, the book is based on the legend of 'nosferatu', the vampire. Plenty of romance with obvious sexual overtones as well. The original is still the best.





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The Metamorphosis
by Franz Kafka (1915)


While Kafka's brilliant 'The Trial' (1925) borders on the fantastic, this one delves straight into it. A hard-working young man wakes up one morning to find he has transformed into a giant insect. His family doesn't seem terribly surprised, but they are put out by the terrible inconvenience the metamorphosis has caused. Probably has as many interpretations as it does readers.





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Something Wicked This Way Comes
by Ray Bradbury (1962)


Gothic fantasy at its most wicked. When Cooger & Dark's Pandemonium Shadow Show rolls into a small Illinois town to usher in the coming Halloween, two boys soon discover that wishes can sometimes turn into nightmares. Bradbury is a master storyteller and well known in all speculative fiction fields. This book remains a classic for the ages.





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The Magus
by John Fowles (1965)


Often ranked as one of the greatest novels of the modern era, The Magus tells the story of Englishman Nicholas Urfe who takes up a teaching post on a Greek island. He befriends the island's richest man and unknowingly becomes entrapped in the nightmarish 'godgame' - where staged deaths, erotic episodes and unspeakable violence blur the line between reality and fantasy.





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Swan Song
by Robert McCammon (1987)


In a wasteland born of rage and fear, populated by monstrous creatures and marauding armies, earth's last survivors have been drawn into the final battle between good and evil that will decide the fate of humanity. But the ancient force behind earth's devastation is scouring the walking wounded for recruits for its relentless army, beginning with Swan herself.





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The Stand
by Stephen King (1990)


A computer error triggers a plague that wipes out 99% of the world's people. As government and industry institutions collapse, the survivors are line up on the sides of good and evil and their respective leaders - 108-year-old Mother Abigail and the dark man, Randall Flagg. Regarded as one of King's best books, this genre-bending classic never lets up.





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Heart-Shaped Box
by Joe Hill (2007)


The second child of authors Stephen and Tabitha King, Joe Hill writes under a pseudonym in order to prove himself a worthy in his own right. Aging, self-absorbed rock star Judas Coyne has a thing for the macabre, so when his assistant tells him about a ghost for sale on an online auction site, he immediately puts in a bid and purchases it. Author with a ghost of a chance.





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The Graveyard Book
by Neil Gaiman (2008)


Bod would be completely normal boy if he didn't live in a sprawling graveyard, being raised and educated by ghosts, with a solitary guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor of the dead. But if Bod leaves the graveyard, then he will come under attack from the man Jack - who has already killed Bod's family. Multi-award winning young adult horror masterpiece.


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