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Originally posted by Hadrian
Here's my Dan Simmons deal, fwiw: I bought Song of Kali based on terrific reviews and indications it was so incredibly scary. I'm always looking for a book that is really scary ... and 95% of the books people recommend as scary books are so not scary. It was pretty good for a good while. It definitely built up some really eerie suspense and was pretty creepy. But, and it's been a while, the last fifth or so totally sucked beyond belief (to me) and completely ruined the book, as a whole. So much so that I vowed never to read anything by him again. I hate sucky pay-off. Yes, I can still appreciate the parts that I liked, but not very much. As such, I've avoided him like the plague, despite being interested in his sci-fi and The Terror. I finally did by Carrion Comfort, again because a lot of people have said it's the scariest book ever. I never learn. I imagine one day I'll start it and we'll see where we go. I would think that if it was worth it, the book would be a lot more popular than I think it is ... but of course this is not always a valid rule by any means.
Only two books that ever scared me (and in both, it was only a scene or two): Pet Sematary and 'Salem's Lot; plus, there was one scene in The Stand that I still think about that disturbs me. Desolation wasn't scary so much, but it did disturb me. And I'm not even a King fan so much anymore. But he just used to right some scary stuff.