The best horror novels that don’t have obvious plots and endings

Why am I passionate about this?

I have always been interested in and captivated by horror and the darker genres, drawing and painting initially and later on as a writer. I am a full-time tattooist now but I still enjoy writing, and I produced several short stories as well as finished my vampire/Egyptian mythology novel Pharaoh during the coronavirus lockdown when I was unable to work in the tattoo studio. I still draw and paint, and it can be fun illustrating and producing artwork for my fiction, where sometimes one feeds off another.


I wrote...

Pharaoh

By Paul Stuart Kemp,

Book cover of Pharaoh

What is my book about?

When the vampire Kether Mica’tore suffers relentless dreams of the apocalyptic destruction of Kar’mi’shah, he returns to London to find the portal home both claimed and forcibly closed by humans. Enraged and suffering near-fatal wounds at the hands of those humans, he finds himself alone in a city without allies, and uses half-remembered ancient magics to construct a nightmarish creature to help him battle those that would stop him.

Detective Constable Horseman is investigating a series of brutal murders that can only have been committed by vampires. Struggling to cope with their now accepted presence he must somehow come to terms with, and ultimately arrest, those responsible for such atrocities. 
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The books I picked & why

Book cover of The Great and Secret Show

Paul Stuart Kemp Why did I love this book?

A monstrous book in every sense and the one that first got me interested in writing. Metaphysical and repulsive in equal measure, it is an epic tale spanning many lives in midtown America, with the sequel Everville even better. Absolutely mind-bending from the master of beautiful and fantastical horror.

By Clive Barker,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Great and Secret Show as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

From master storyteller Clive Barker, comes this intricately woven and meticulously constructed epic where past and future meet.

In the little town of Palomo Grove, two great armies are amassing; forces shaped from the hearts and souls of America. In this New York Times bestseller, Barker unveils one of the most ambitious imaginative landscapes in modern fiction, creating a new vocabulary for the age-old battle between good and evil. 

The Art, the greatest power known to humankind, is the focus of struggle between the evil spirit, Jaff, and a force for light, Fletcher. Jaffe hopes to…


Book cover of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values

Paul Stuart Kemp Why did I love this book?

Not horror at all, but possibly the best and most life-changing book I’ve ever read. It combines how we perceive the world around us with examples of the author’s approach to mechanics, a deep classical understanding and maintenance of his motorcycle and why others might avoid such maintenance. Hard going but should be read by everyone.

By Robert M. Pirsig,

Why should I read it?

10 authors picked Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Acclaimed as one of the most exciting books in the history of American letters, this modern epic became an instant bestseller upon publication in 1974, transforming a generation and continuing to inspire millions. A narration of a summer motorcycle trip undertaken by a father and his son, the book becomes a personal and philosophical odyssey into fundamental questions of how to live. Resonant with the confusions of existence, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance is a touching and transcendent book of life.


Book cover of Frankenstein

Paul Stuart Kemp Why did I love this book?

Forgot the films, read the book. Told in an epistolary format, the novel is short but fantastically crafted, and crammed with graphic details and the science of the day. I don’t think any film has or could do it justice. A must-read, if only to use your own imagination as Shelley saw it.

By Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley,

Why should I read it?

43 authors picked Frankenstein as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

One of the BBC's '100 Novels That Shaped Our World'

'That rare story to pass from literature into myth' The New York Times

Mary Shelley's chilling Gothic tale was conceived when she was only eighteen, living with her lover Percy Shelley on Lake Geneva. The story of Victor Frankenstein who, obsessed with creating life itself, plunders graveyards for the material to fashion a new being, but whose botched creature sets out to destroy his maker, would become the world's most famous work of horror fiction, and remains a devastating exploration of the limits of human creativity. Based on the third…


Book cover of Black Valley

Paul Stuart Kemp Why did I love this book?

An amazing and surprising read. When a madman is buried alive by five teenagers who take the law into their own hands, it is hardly a new idea for him to come back for revenge upon them. But Jim Brown takes it several stages further with more dark twists than you could possibly think of.

By Jim Brown,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Black Valley as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

On the night of a raging electrical storm, a group of teenage boys gather on a secluded hill in Oregon to bury one of their own...alive. It isn't murder, because the "victim" is a willing participant. For sneering, knife-wielding punk Whitey Dobbs it's just a gang-initiation stunt. For the others, however, it's a carefully planned act of revenge – designed to give Whitey Dobbs the fright of his life. But even the best-laid plans can go wrong. And when this joke is over, nobody will be laughing...except maybe Whitey Dobbs.

Twenty-two years later, the events of that stormy night are…


Book cover of The Binding

Paul Stuart Kemp Why did I love this book?

This period novel is so disguised that when its dark heart actually reveals itself it is utterly shocking and sickening. You think you have it covered but then no, you got it all wrong buddy, this is the real horror, and it’s more human and understood than anything supernatural could be. Superbly written, wonderfully crafted characters, and quite literally a page-turner.

By Bridget Collins,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Binding as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

LOSE YOURSELF IN THE BREAKOUT SENSATION OF THE YEAR
SHORTLISTED FOR WATERSTONES BOOK OF THE YEAR 2019

'Brilliant' Joanna Cannon
'Spellbinding' Guardian
'Magic' Erin Kelly
'Immersive' Sunday Times
'Gorgeous' Stella Duffy
'Astounding' Anna Mazzola

Emmett Farmer is a binder's apprentice. His job is to hand-craft beautiful books and, within each, to capture something unique and extraordinary: a memory.

If you have something you want to forget, or a secret to hide, he can bind it - and you will never have to remember the pain it caused.

In a vault under his mentor's workshop, row upon row of books -…


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Book cover of Liddy-Jean Marketing Queen and the Matchmaking Scheme

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