Stine, R. L. 2003. Saat-saat Seram. Jakarta: PT Gramedia Pustaka Utama.
Rating 3,5 stars
(review in Indonesian, click here)
(review in Indonesian, click here)
Why I read this book in the first place?
I got up one day and decided to read this book because I wanted to participate in Blogger Buku Indonesia (BBI) monthly event, posting bareng (members post reviews in the same day). For November, the themes were Graphic and Horror. For Graphic, I’ve already posted review of Generasi 90an by Marchella FP, but I only reviewed it in Indonesian. And Nightmare Hour by R. L. Stine is my entry for Horror, obviously. To see Indonesian review for this, here.
FINALLY, after kept it for ten years in my shelf, unread, I managed to finish this book. I don’t know, I’m not a fan of horror anymore I guess. While back then, when I’m 13 or so, I was an official member of Goosebumps fans club. I occasionally received swag from them, sent to my house. Various kind of it, but the most EPIC from them all would be a human-sized poster of a skeleton sits menacingly calm in front of cupboard full of books, having a cup of tea, and IT GLOWS IN THE DARK! Like I said, epic. So, buying Nightmare Hour at that time was only normal for me. But, there’s a reason why I was hesitant to read it until this long....
Nightmare Hour is an anthology of ten short stories by R. L. Stine who is famous for his Goosebumps series. The story-telling style and creepy level in this book is pretty much the same with other Goosebumps books. What you’ll find different is the little insight from Stine where he tells readers about where he gets the idea of each short story. It surprised me how bizarre Stine’s way of thinking must be. I mean, you don’t think about some horror story after eavesdropping stranger's non-sense talk in the bus, do you? Well, he does. Is he just pure creepy or is he really a horror genius?
In Nightmare Hour, reader will also find some illustrations that begin each of the story. I found some of them as cool and okay, but some of them are kind of disturbing. And honestly, my reason to postpone in reading this book for such a long time is because of this one particular illustration,
There’s also one story that made me a bit scared now of clown. And its illustration really doesn’t help...
But, you do get the different sensation in reading horror, right? Reading a book demands us to recreate the event in our head and mind, and at the same time, at least we feel involved with the story. So, imagine if you read horror, you must put yourself willingly to be frightened, because that’s what horror genre book is all about, to frighten the reader. Ugh, I’m so aware of this feeling because I haven’t read horror again since God-knows-when.
One of the story that indeed made me shuddered is entitled Topeng Hitam (The Black Mask? I don’t know the exact title, but that’s that. I read the Indonesian translated version and clearly don’t bother to check the real title for the short story). It’s about a group of middle-grade kids who like to play together in the basement of Kid A. One day, they find a black mask which is able to show you the unseen people if you wear the mask. The next day, the Kid A, who live in the house with the said basement, is face to face with a guy he doesn’t know but he'd seen him before... when he wore the black mask. And the story goes on and all the kids die. Typical horror. Almost all the main characters in Nightmare Hour’s short stories are end up in disaster.
This book gives ten horrifying short stories that some of them succeed to discomfort me in the end. But, don’t take me as a standard in horror, really. My imagination is quite vivid when I read books, so I might be a little too carried away when reading this and spooked myself more than it probably should. But I did find some of the stories are just okay and not scary at all.
However, I decided, I like this book. It’s a good thing that this book is formed as short story anthology, so the stories are rather brief and not scaring me too long. It’s still an enjoyable read. But I don’t intend to read another horror again in the near future. I need a break.
When I finally done with this book...