Why yes, I’m on Goodreads. Anyone who knows anything at all about me knows I love books almost as much as movies. It was in perfect innocence, therefore, that I stumbled across this list: 48 Books That Scared The Bejesus Out Of Readers.
It was a good list. I own and have read most of the books on it. Sadly, I made the mistake of reading the Comments. In my defense, the original post ended with, “Check out some of the best in horror below, and be sure to tell us, What’s the scariest horror novel you’ve ever read??” So, of course, I went looking for titles I may need.
I was fine until I got to the following from Han (names altered to protect the terminally clueless): “Does that mean the Name of Jesus has to be abused again?” Normally I could just shake my head and move on, but Han wasn’t done. “If you don’t believe in God don’t abuse His Name. thanks.”
Soon this was echoed by Gracey (get it? “Grace”y? I’m a yuk tsunami): “Same goes for ‘bejesus’. Not okay” and K.T. “Hey, I’ll be frank. Can you please not use Jesus’s name in vain? I’m Christian and I was very disappointed to see such disrespect on the front page of a professional website that I trusted to be classier than that.”
Well now all bets are off, and I’m not the only one who felt that way. They were quickly deluged by needling like, “Oh my god, jesus christ these comments are funny,” and, “for christ’s sake, no Lovecraft?”
Naturally I mentioned some titles.
- The Book Of Cthulhu– ed. Ross Lockhart
- The Book Of Cthulhu II– ed. Ross Lockhart (collections of stories inspired/influenced by Lovecraft)
- The Case Of Charles Dexter Ward– H.P. Lovecraft (someone commented that Lovecraft is creepy and atmospheric, not scary…not sure what Lovecraft she’s been reading besides At The Mountains Of Madness)
- Demons By Daylight– Ramsey Campbell (criminally underrated)
- Haunted– Chuck Palahniuk (couldn’t stop reading this…it was that bizarro)
- Hot Zone– Richard Preston (one of the most terrifying things I’ve ever read, and it’s real)
- The House Next Door– Anne Rivers Siddons (one of Stephen King’s favorite books)
- Night Shift– Stephen King (never gets old…I read it every few years)
In my reply, I called it My christ-on-a-bike List. I know. I know. This doesn’t help anything, and I’m no better than the people who annoyed me. I’m just exacerbating the problem. Same kinda thing happened once at a laundromat. Someone was playing loud jeebus music and singing along. I had my laptop on hand, so I started blasting “TV Set” by The Cramps.
The last comment I read was another lament from Gracey: “Wow – there are some deeply ugly people on Goodreads.” What I didn’t say in reply (yet) was, “Maybe try that whole Matthew 7:1-3 thing–judge not, mote that is in thy brother’s eye, and all that. Forgiveness, ain’t that y’all’s shtick?” Perhaps I’ll get to that later.
And hey, I’ll be the first to admit that much of this is a character flaw on my part. I’ve been goading self-righteous religious types since, like, 1980. Probably has a great deal to do with my infantile response to authority.
What can I say? Apparently I’m 12. Oh well…