Sunday, July 31, 2022

Eight unconventional coming-of-age horror novels

Born in North Carolina, raised in Arizona, and now residing in New York, Nat Cassidy in an award-winning playwright, director, actor, musician, and author.

His new novel is Mary: An Awakening of Terror.

At CrimeReads Cassidy tagged eight "coming-of-age horror novels that aren’t about teenagerhood." One title on the list:
The Return, by Rachel Harrison

As I said at the top, the first thing most people probably think of when it comes to coming-of-age horror stories is kids on bikes. A key element to the subgenre is the friend group. Our friends are how we mark our own growth, as well as how we understand our place in the world—and as Stephen King, the post-Bradbury Pope of Coming-of-Age Horror Fiction himself said, “I never had any friends later on like the ones I had when I was twelve. Jesus, did you?” The answer to that question is no. But the same question could be asked about the friends you have in your 20s, and that answer just might be ‘no, and thank god.’ Our college-era friends know a very specific version of ourselves, and the friendships from that age that last are likely to be among life’s strongest. That’s where Rachel Harrison’s brilliant novel comes in. It explores the uniquely complicated dynamics of the friend group that crosses from late adolescence into adulthood: what it’s like when they start to make more money than you, start to be able to hang out in different ways than you can, start to get married, start to move past you. You all still have the same references—and have likely seen each other at your most pathetic and broken—but life starts taking you in different directions and turning you into new people. The Return’s depictions of that brutal, confusing, painful transition into Real Adulthood are no less harrowing than the more supernatural horrors that follow.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue