Horror Film and TV Companion Novels: Notes From the Upside Down and When Clowns Attack

Like most of you, I fell head over heels into full blown obsession when I devoured Stranger Things last year, and I’ve been counting down the days until season two hits Netflix. You’d better believe I’m going to gobble up the new season as soon as humanly possible, a big old horror binge I’ve been waiting all year for. Deeeelicious.

Earlier this year the lovely folks at Ebury sent me something to help pass the time between seasons one and two: a copy of Notes from the Upside Down. I’ve absolutely adored dipping into this little gem over the last couple of months and, if you haven’t already treated yourself to a copy, it’s exactly what you need to help you get through the last few weeks before season two arrives.

Each chapter is named after a different Stranger Things episode and, as that format suggests, each chapter in the book focuses on the respective episode. Inside information about what inspired the episode title, the music, references to other TV and film, guest stars and so on are all included, as well as other little tidbits like one of my favourite sections: ‘The DNA of Stranger Things: Stephen King’, which delves into the horror master’s influence on the series.

There are also appendices to sink your teeth into, which give you even more information about the show, the actors and the music in Stranger Things. My favourite appendix, however, has to be the 80s movie playlist, which highlights some absolute corkers like Silver Bullet (if you haven’t seen it…treat yourself).

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Finally we have When Clowns Attack by Chuck Sambuchino, who must have had a pretty disastrous clown appearance at his birthday party, given how much he despises clowns.

With Pennywise (It) and Twisty (American Horror Story) both featuring heavily in pop culture, it seems as though terrifying clowns are having a bit of a moment…which is bad news for basically everybody, because who isn’t creeped out by these pale-faced slices of abject horror?

While it’s not explicitly confirmed as a companion to either It or American Horror Story, it’s come out close enough to the release of both It (2017) and AHS (Cult – also featuring Twisty) that I’m classing it as one. So, deal with it.

Our first book, Notes from the Upside Down, takes a step away from its subject matter and presents itself as a guide to the show, as well as the world the show is built around. However, When Clowns Attack doesn’t break character at any point – as far as it’s concerned, it’s a non-fiction guide to navigating the world of clowns and surviving an inevitable attack from our malevolent jester pals.

Featuring guides on clown anatomy (oversized pants, wigs and face paint are three key factors, of course), defence (clown weapons, clown gangs and when clowns attack are all valuable features here) and protection (spotting the plainclothes clown…naturally), you’ll have everything you need to educate and protect yourself against any type of clown attack.

While When Clowns Attack will likely leave any coulrophobics out there sobbing (there is a lot of clown imagery, as you’d expect), this would be a great stocking filler or secret santa gift for the horror loving book reader in your life.

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Both books are available now from Amazon or your local bookshop:

For more information about either book, head over to their Goodreads pages:

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