18 December 2005

The Love of Fear

My parents encouraged the reading habit from a very young age. I was a slow learner, so 'very young' meant 8 years old. I don't have a learning deficiency, mind you, but young Malaysians are not as proactive in reading compared to their first world country counterparts.

But sorry for going off-course.

My favourite books are fiction, especially horror. Actually, horror books were the only kind of books I read religiously. It started with R.L. Stine's Goosebumps series, and I've spent lots of money buying the books. At RM10, it is quite a lot for a young man like me.

And when I entered adolescence, I graduated to the Fear Street series, also from R.L. Stine. It is basically a more grown up version of Goosebumps, but I loved it anyway. I think what attracted me most was the suspense factor. Though filled with many fake scares (similar to crappy horror movies) I couldn't get enough of it. Maybe it's because other children's books are too sweet and mild. The only other book series I followed was Enid Blyton's Famous Five, but not even that matched my love for horror books.

But somehow I lost that passion. At one point I just stopped. I'm unsure of the reasons why. Was it because it is too expensive compared to RM10 pirated video games? Was it because I could predict every twist and turn in the formulaic plot? I think it was because Fear Street got boring but I couldn't find something more complex to replace it. I did try Stephen King's books, but they were too long, too dry, and too expensive. So along the way I dropped horror and picked up on fantasy epics like Harry Potter, and more recently, The Chronicles of Narnia.

Interestingly, I do not share the same love for horror movies. The good horror movies (IMHO) like Jeepers Creepers and Texas Chainsaw Massacre scare me too much while the terrible horror movies like The Sisters (Korea) and The Eye II (Hong Kong) make me sleepy. I think there's too wide a divide, and so I don't care much for horror movies. Lame excuse, I know, but I can't have my image of a fearles crusader get crushed.

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