When I was in elementary/jr high, there were two main horror trains a young reader who had outgrown kids’ books could hop on: Stephen King or John Saul. For some reason, it was a choice. You were team King or Team Saul – except we didn’t team everything back then – you could not be both. I chose the Saul train (bahaha) because I was not a fan of King’s style. I’m still not. I’ve given it the old college try several times. I mean how can that many people be wrong? Nope. I still am not a fan of Mr. King’s novels –but I do tend to like his made for tv crap. Rose Red is awesome. I rewatch it every couple years. But back to today’s topic. So yeah, I decided I was going to read Saul.
I started with Suffer the Children. A pair of creepy siblings. A town where kids keep going missing. The good daughter is the crazy, killy one. The bad daughter is the sane one who gets blamed. There’s a lot of disturbing crap that happens. Like some super disturbing crap. Mostly involving kids. And dead kittens.
Then there was Comes the Blind Fury – A blind girl is tormented to death like a century ago. New girl moves into her house and you know, things go from there. Less overtly disturbing than the last one, but more of a comment on how awful people can be to each other – without being possessed.
There are lots of these books. He, like King, was prolific. I re-read some of these two as an adult, and while I still appreciate the creep factor, the writing isn’t as up to snuff as I remember. I read some of the newer ones (over a decade ago) and admittedly they suffer for horror novel predictability. However I feel about the novels now, I enjoyed the crap out of them as a teenager.