I've just finished reading "The Woman in Black" after seeing the film and stage play. The book is excellent, though I didnt find it as scary as the play! Good for a quick read, I finished it in a few hours.
I found 'Shallow Grave' very, very difficult to like - basically because I didn't give a toss what happened to any of them. Ditto the dross that was, 'Never Let Me Go' and ditto Gatsby.
But I love, 'Lolita' for example, even though I find none of the characters likeable and can't really empathise with any of them. I guess that the genius of the writing makes you want to watch in a sort of horrified fascination, maybe?
That was a very serious question, by the way. I very honestly don't get why many people feel the need to like (or empathise with) the characters to care what happens in the book they are reading.
Does this work with films, too? I watched "Mr Brooks" last night, with Kevin Costner & Demi Moore and really liked it. I'm thinking of the characters now and can't imagine I'd like or empathise with any of them. I'd be interested to hear what you think of that film if one day you watch it.
Gah Cote. I didn't say that I HAVE to like characters but I do at least have to care a bit about what happens to them. And I didn't care at all about the sisters in Duma Key. Plenty of really unlikeable characters in literature who the writers are still able to make people empathise with in some way - A Clockwork Orange and a lot of Chuck P's stuff would be examples. Characters who do horrible things but who you still end up bothering about a bit. I saw Attack The Block recently and felt the same way about the teen gang in that.
I'm with you Cote when it comes to Duma Key. I love the creeping terror in the way the paintings develop. I love the way King deals with the character recovering from serious head trauma - it's very well done indeed, and I suspect it's very personal to him too. I love the bits which are written from the child's perspective, and I don't need a detailed exposition of who and why Perse is - it's scary enough as it is.
And I actually like Edgar because he is a flawed human being, and I don't think the women in the book are one dimensional at all, just damaged.
Sexy characters are not a prerequisite unless I am indulging in vampire porn.
I liked the main character and the old lady and the dude who looks after her. But I thought the whole siblings thing was boring and the girls were completely one dimensional. And I can't be doing with him when the 'terror' is something which he can't actually describe - things in the wilds but with no sense of what etc. In 'Lisey's Story' the 'thing with the piebald sides' is equally inadequately defined and thus ineffective imho.
And nobody in either of those two novels is half as sexy as Roland!
I think of the very few of these books I have read, "Pet Sematary" by Stephen King probably stuck in my mind. And that was over 20 years'ago. I don't know if a zombie type theme would be your thing, if I recall correctly one character was a young boy so you may prefer to avoid this one.