It’s become an annual tradition here in October Country to share my Essential October Reads, those works that best capture the essence of the Halloween season for me. This year I’ve asked some of my favorite authors to share their own Essential October Reads with us.
I love October, fall, and Halloween. It’s my favorite time of the year and the one time in which nobody gets to turn their nose up at horror (not that they should, ever). Up until a few years ago, I would have said my favorite Halloween read was Something Wicked This Way Comes, for reasons any fan of Bradbury knows well. It’s the quintessential Halloween story, sumptuous, evocative, and moving, and of course, chilling in the way it forces adulthood onto its child protagonists.
But now I have another favorite and it came from left-field. I’ve been a fan of Norman Partridge’s work for almost a decade but he’s at the top of his game with Dark Harvest, a book that transcends horror into modern classic territory. It’s a dark fable, with shades of Jackson and Bradbury, told in an impeccable folksy style that makes it impossible not to read. I love many horror stories, but few linger in the memory as much as this one did. So much so that it has become, like Bradbury’s classic, a perennial favorite.
Kealan Patrick Burke is the author of more than a dozen novels and novellas and more than a hundred short stories. His latest book, Nemesis, is the concluding chapter in the Timmy Quinn series. It’s available now in a limited edition hardcover, and a digital edition will be released on Halloween.