Before I start I just want to make it clear that I am not a horror fan, in any context. I don’t like horror movies or books or any other media. The closest I ever came to that was when I used to get the Point! Horror series out of my local library. I don’t get scared easily, but I just don’t like the concept behind such things. I hate gore. There is a lot of sick stuff out there I don’t want to know about.
Therefore, it is apparent that for this question I don’t have much of a selection. However, I think the scariest book I have ever read is probably on most people’s list. It’s 1984 by George Orwell.
1984 is the king of dystopian literature. It is terrifying because it is realistic. History and even current dictatorships have shown us how dangerous propaganda is, how subtle and not so subtle ways to control people can take over a nation, making them oblivious to what is going on. 1984 is a desolate novel, and there are no good intentions from those in power. They just want power and in order remain in power they have to control every aspect of human existence. Big Brother basically wants to not only rule the world, but destroy humanity. I don’t mean humans as a species, but the true humanity – people’s’ ability to sincerely be compassionate, to care, and – most prominently for the story love.
1984 is so scary because it is not only realistic and something that really can and has happened, but also because it is simplistic. George Orwell didn’t need to have a big ending to the novel as long as he could shatter everything the main characters believed in. There is no redemption or saving of the day. You leave the story with a bleak awareness that a line just got blurred with what could have happened in a story, and what would probably happen in reality.
That’s all I’m going to say. I definitely recommend that if you haven’t already, you really need to go read 1984.