The Lighthouse was one of the best movies of 2019 and I recently re-watched it. I kept thinking about the idea of long isolation (I wonder why?) and the effects it must have on the mind. But The Lighthouse is about so much more than just isolation – there is an existential undercurrent to it.
So here is a list of 8 books which you can read if you liked The Lighthouse.
Author – Kobo Abe
Published – 1962
A Sisyphean novel dealing with isolation, existentialism and psychology, The Woman in the Dunes was the first of its kind. An entomologist is given shelter under a sand pit but when he wakes he realizes that the people have very different plans for him. As the advancing sand dunes threaten his pit, he must keep shoveling and his only companion is a woman. Perfect for the fans of Waiting for Godot and The Lighthouse.
Author – Dennis Lehane
Published – 2004
Teddy Daniels and his partner Chuck Aule arrive at the Shutter Island, to investigate the disappearance of a patient in the Ashecliffe Hospital for the Criminally Insane. The lines between what is real and what is in the mind slowly begin to blur as Teddy questions what he sees. Nothing is as clear as it seems in the hospital.
Author – Ruth Ware
Published – 2020
Nothing speaks ‘psychological horror’ better than being stranded. When a company retreat to the mountains is hindered by an avalanche, the friendly colleagues begin to turn against one another in a need for survival. One by One is the newest release from the woman of thriller, Ruth Ware.
Author – Stephen King
Published – 1980
Probably the first book that comes to mind when one thinks of ‘isolation’ and ‘psychological thrillers’, The Shining needs no introduction. Jack Torrance, a writer, agrees to take a job as the caretaker of the Overlook Hotel but things begin to lose control as time passes by alone with his family. Danny Torrance, his son notices the oddities but nothing is in his control.
Related Post – The Searcher by Tana French
Author – A. J. Finn
Published – 2018
The Woman in the Window is arguably one of the most popular thrillers of the 21st century. Anna Fox lives in relative isolation and spends most of her time looking out the window and harmlessly spying on her neighbors. Until one day when she sees something she was not supposed. A psychological thriller that will have you questioning the sanity of the characters, its a perfect read along to The Lighthouse.
Author – Edgar Allan Poe
Published – 1839
One of the most popular works of Edgar Allan Poe as well as a popular and genre defining horror novels, The Fall of the House of Usher tells the story of the illustrious Usher family and the fate that befalls the remaining members of it.
Author – Dan Simmons
Published – 2007
A maritime thriller set in the Arctic, The Terror is faintly reminiscent of books like And There Were None and movies like The Exterminating Angel. HMS Terror is stranded in the Arctic Circle and as winters pass, people begin to question their sanity and fight for survival.
Author – Knut Hamsun
Published – 1890
Knut Hamsun is an important figure in the literary world especially after the publication of his autobiographical novel, Hunger. The book deals with manifestation of artistic expression in the face of destitution and isolation. While not really a thriller, the idea of the book is along the lines of existentialism of The Lighthouse.
Did you like the movie The Lighthouse? Write down in the comments below if you have any books to add to this list.