Have you binged on Stranger Things and been left with an appetite for more adventure, nostalgia and 80s pop culture references? Satisfy your craving with this selection of creepy, monstrous and thrilling stories.
1. We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson
If you enjoyed the creeping sense of dread throughout Stranger Things, pick up this masterful example of small-town horror. Starting with a crime that shocks and ripples through this tiny town, you won’t regret stepping into Jackson’s unsettling world packed with atmosphere and more than a hint of black comedy.
2. A Summer of Drowning by John Burnside
This haunting novel begins with twenty-something Liv reminiscing about the events of a strange summer a decade ago. Filled with teenage angst, a tense plot and strange Norwegian folk tales, A Summer of Drowning straddles a line somewhere between mystery, suspense and horror.
3. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
A children's classic that lives up to re-reading as an adult, it involves travelling through time and space to bring a kidnapped loved one back home from somewhere beyond this world – a theme that should be very familiar to fans of Stranger Things.
4. Black Hole by Charles Burns
Set in mid-70s suburban Seattle, Black Hole is a genre-transcending graphic novel that deals with suburban malaise, teenage alienation, relentless anxiety and the longing to escape. Illustrated in incredible detail, this graphic novel explores a specific moment of flux in American culture, as well as the kids caught up in it.
5. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
Lose yourself in a virtual reality treasure hunt filled with 70s and 80s sci-fi references. While there may not be any plot similarities between Cline’s breakthrough debut novel and Stranger Things, Ready Player One is filled with nostalgia and, fittingly, it is currently being adapted into a film by Steven Spielberg.
6. Ghost Stories by M.R. James
Pop a jumper on and grab a blanket because this book will chill you to the core. Written to entertain friends on Christmas Eve, these stories went on to transform and modernise a genre. Filled with the now-common signs of impending terror, James’s stories reveal a world where the familiar becomes diabolical and evil brushes against everyday life in the most unexpected of ways.
7. Night Film by Marisha Pessl
One of the things that makes Stranger Things so brilliant is the fact that it's filled with so many cultural references from the 80s. Night Film is similar in that way, with an addictive plot that effortlessly combines cult cinema and horror.
8. The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories by H.P. Lovecraft
Scare yourself with some of the best stories from the grandfather of weird fiction. Between these pages you’ll find things that lurk, scurry and move unseen. The title story involves three linked narratives which piece together the disturbing story of the monstrous extraterrestrial being known as ‘Cthulhu’.