Appetite for Destruction: 7 Food Horror Books
I'm a little bit of a messy eater, so if I snack while I'm reading the food has to be very smudge-free, otherwise, I'm likely to leave more on the page than just my feelings. Some of my favorite go-to snacks are: Nuts & Seeds, Popcorn (not too buttery!), and pretzels. There's something so satisfying about the relaxing nature of eating and reading at the same time. But twice as nice is eating and reading about food! Food horror is totally a thing. Don't believe me? Check out these recommendations of horror with an emphasis on food.
Two of my favorite things. Pizza & Horror. Max Booth III has a quirky, unexpected sense of humor, so it was perfectly fitting he rolled out this pizza-themed anthology. The stories range in style and tone; some are weird and cosmic, while others build suspense to a thrilling conclusion. All of them have something or other to do with pizza. Plenty of cheesy goodness.
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This book is so much fun. If you love teenage high jinks and pranks between the "cool kids" and the outcasts, you'll love how Nico Bell puts a dark twist on this classic trope. Home Economics class has never been so dangerous! I'll admit, when I first saw the cover, I was skeptical that food could be scary, but there's nothing silly about what happens in Food Fright.
YOU are food. A garbage dump becomes a feeding ground for insects with an insatiable appetite for human leftovers. To get the feasting bugs under control, they are sprayed with an intense formula causing them to mutate! No longer is trash a suitable meal, the bugs want larger prey...US! This classic horror story was given a fresh lease on life by Valancourt books and Grady Hendrix.
This book has one of the best narrators in horror. Jody is this kid who has a unique worldview. Being inside his mind is both hilarious and sad. He has a small group of misfit friends, street kids, who all gather at this guy named Robbie's. Robbie is pretty much a horrible influence on these kids—he makes them these awful milkshakes and shares a sinister plan involving Halloween Candy. A smart, coming-of-age, dark comedy.
I read this book a long time ago when I found it in a library sale bin for a quarter. I will never forget it. Most likely my first introduction into extreme horror. This is story is about a father who is a food critic for a travel guide. He brings his fifteen year old son on a restaurant tour with him. While dining at a sub-standard restaurant they learn of a secret, exclusive eating society. Cult-horror paired with disturbing eating habits written by Masterton, what could ever go wrong? (Answer: Everything. This book is so wrong.)
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The Cane family is picture perfect: A successful career military man is married to a beautiful wife and they have five teenage daughters. The youngest dies tragically in a car accident but comes back to life with a strange new hunger. The family rallies around Rose's strange new "needs". Amy Lukavis did not skimp on the scares with Daughters Unto Devils, so I'm excited to devour this one.
The Seven Deadliest, edited by Patrick Beltran and D. Alexander Ward, is an anthology with a focus on the classic Seven Deadly Sins: Avarice, Wrath, Pride, Jealousy, Sloth, Lust and the one that fits our theme—Gluttony. This story could easily be a Black Mirror tale or a graphic novel—it's just so incredibly visual and disturbingly delicious. A unique method to take care of your problems—eat them.
It's my opinion that we have an intimate relationship with food. We get nostalgic about certain food smells from our childhood. We associate specific meals with each holiday—turkey dinner for Thanksgiving, ham for Christmas. Some foods soothe our weary souls and make us feel better, like chicken noodle soup when we're sick, macaroni & cheese when we're sad, or ice cream to forget a bad break-up. It makes sense that food can also be connected to horror. Feel free to drop some more recommendations in the comments or hit me up on Twitter!
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