Books

Top 5 books about monsters and parasites, selected by Ronald Malfi

Chilling horror is the order of the day for award-winning author Ronald Malfi's top picks

A dark forest and a pair of gleaming eyes

Image: Neil Rosenstech on Unsplash

The Silence by Tim Lebbon

Years before A Quiet Place hit cinemas, Lebbon introduced us to a breed of monster that hunts by sound. A chilling, familial drama where the horrors and tension are high, this novel received its own adaptation in 2019, starring Stanley Tucci.

The Troop by Nick Cutter

Five teenage boys and their scoutmaster contend not only with killer tapeworms but a sociopath in their ranks. If the worms alone aren’t enough to draw you in, the isolation, paranoia, and ultimate dissension among the ranks of this book’s characters pushes this one snugly into Lord of the Flies territory as well. 

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The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones

A seminal work by an author at the top of his game, Graham Jones imagines a modern-day Blackfeet legend come to life, antlers and all. 

The Ritual by Adam Nevill

What starts as four friends’ expedition through a Scandinavian forest – and their own psyches – ends in a powerful, tone-shifting denouement with a monster that will resonate with readers long after they’ve finished the book. 

Malignant Summer by Tim Meyer

A deliciously rich coming-of-age tome set against the backdrop of 1990s New Jersey (oh, the horror!), where the people of Hooperstown suffer an otherworldly, parasitic illness of the floral variety. 

They Lurk book cover

Ronald Malfi’s They Lurk is out now (Titan, £8.99). You can buy most of these titles from The Big Issue shop on Bookshop.org, which helps to support The Big Issue and independent bookshops.

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