Thankful Thursday: No One Gets Out Alive, Guest Post from Read By Dusk

This week I am featuring a book reflection from Aina, the mastermind behind Read by Dusk. This is not a typical Thankful Thursday, instead a book that Aina appreciates for its scariness. Enjoy! You can read more from Aina at her blog Read by Dusk.

Horror books have been my companion ever since I first discovered the Goosebumps series by R.L. Stine as a child. I was immediately hooked and collected as many of the series as I can. Eventually, I graduated to books by other authors like Christopher Pike, Stephen King, and Shirley Jackson. While horror books generally have the objective to scare readers, I’ve always viewed them as a tool to tell stories about people and their worst fears. What scares one reader may not scare another. In fact, a horror book doesn’t need to be scary to be compelling. But when the writing, characters and setting combine to create something scary, it can be so satisfying to read.

Being an avid reader of horror fiction means I don’t usually get scared of horror stories, and that’s not my aim when I pick up the latest horror release anyway. But there have been books that caught me by surprise and terrified me when I least expected it. One book, in particular, is No One Gets Out Alive by Adam Nevill, which is my favourite haunted house book of all time!

The haunted house is one of my favourite tropes in horror. I’ve read plenty of creepy, shocking, and memorable haunted house stories. But No One Gets Out Alive left a huge impression on me because it combines the threats of both human and supernatural. It tells the story of Stephanie Booth, a cash-strapped retail worker who takes a new room in shared accommodation. But she hears voices in the fireplace and sounds of crying in other rooms. The landlord seems to be plotting something too. Soon, she is trapped between the dangerous landlord and the existence of something otherworldly that calls out to her.

“But if it’s not alive, what use is a knife?”

What scared me about this story is not just the disturbing supernatural occurrences that haunt Stephanie, but also the way she must confront the despair of human nature. The writing is descriptive enough to make you feel as helpless as she does in the face of so much filth, violence, and death. Her loneliness feels palpable and relatable. I could easily imagine being in her situation. The fact that her situation does happen to people in real life makes it even scarier. It’s a bleak story that gives me nightmares, but it’s written with such care and compassion that I couldn’t help but root for Stephanie the whole time.

The book has been adapted into a Netflix film of the same name with some differences in the story. I didn’t find the movie as subtly creepy as the book, though it’s still a great horror film! What I find special about No One Gets Out Alive is how Stephanie is caught in a completely horrifying situation, yet she never gives up. The book is a showcase of the horrors of human behaviour and uncanny supernatural attacks, but it’s also an incredible portrayal of a woman fighting for survival. So, while the book scares me, it also gives me hope. If you’re looking for a book that would scare you too, give No One Gets Out Alive a try!

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Check out past Thankful Thursday posts:

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