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American Gothic

3.37 of 5 stars 3.37  ·  rating details  ·  216 ratings  ·  20 reviews
No one could suspect C. Gordon Gregg. He was a solid and respected citizen, and when he built his multi-turreted castle as a hotel for the Fair, no one seemed to notice that all the guests who stayed in the hotel were young, attractive women who always left the city under unusual circumstances. No one realized the horrors that were occurring in that strange hotel - except ...more
Paperback, 222 pages
Published 1974 by Fawcett Crest
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Fictionalized account of the story of HH Holmes, which is more completely told in The Devil in the White City Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America by Erik Larson. Bloch turns the story into somewhat less of an adventure than the truth, by adding a plucky, inquisitive, young, female journalist, quite in tune with the mid-1970s in which the book was published, but out of place in the 1890s in which the book is set, turning the villain into a more Blackbeard-ish character. A ...more
I had no idea. I recently finished the non-fiction book The Devil in the White City, which is about the Columbian Exposition of 1893 set against the doings of serial killer H. H. Holmes, and, at the time, I thought that was the end of it. But I was looking for a book to read yesterday and my hand went to American Gothic. I didn't bother to read the blurb, just started reading. Within four pages: "The castle," "Chicago," "G. Gordon Gregg" -- well, I was hooked.

Bloch, of course, takes a number of
Erin (Series Addict)
I try to collect Bloch books when I can. If you don't already know, he's best known for writing the bestselling novel, Psycho, later turned into the unforgettable movie by Hitchcock. A lot of his work is very good, as his writing style is simple to read but strangely creative at the same time.

American Gothic is nowhere as fortunate in the talent department as Psycho was, or actually as decent as his other works. Based on the H.H. Holmes murders in the turn of the century Chicago, the novel stays
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I try not to give 5 stars, but I was impressed. I liked the use of a strong willed heroine, which was rare in Bloch's time of writing. But not uncommon for Bloch (Lila Crane, Elinor Harris, Lori Holmes, and possibly Diana Rideaux and Daisy.)
Steven Shinder
Just like how he turned Ed Gein into Psycho's Norman Bates, Robert Bloch turns H.H. Holmes into G. Gordon Gregg. Compared to Psycho, however, this story is not as suspenseful or exciting.
Jessica Hamburger
I couldn't hate G. Gordon Gregg and I didn't find him charming either. Crystal is one-dimensional, Jim is boring and I didn't care that he lost his job. The ending wasn't built up and dramatic as I was hoping. All in all, it was okay.
Brenda Hicks
Creepy read by the author of Psycho. Based on the true life story of HH Holmes who authorities speculate could have murdered, dissected and burned or buried over 200 victims during the Chicago Columbian Exposition. Gonna have to read some cowboy poetry now to get these images out of my head, dangit.
This was actually a light, breezy read. The story isn't great but it is interesting enough, and it moves quickly enough to propel the reader through it. Disappointingly sexist in some aspects (that aren't related to the fact that it's set in the late 1800s). What is really fascinating and isn't revealed until the novel is finished is that it is based on a true story.
alessandra falca
Un impostazione classica: un castello, omicidi, mistero. Bellino ma nient'altro. A tratti aveva delle cadute di tono. Bloch è colui che ha scritto Psycho che poi Mr. Hitchcock ha trasmutato in film. "Gotico Americano" è anche un dipinto di Grant Wood famosissimo. La storia che viene narrata è quasi tutta vera. Bellino ma non appassionante.
I was not a huge fan. However, I really never felt like putting this book down. It was tritely eerie and enticingly predictable. It reinforced my whole serial killer concern... Stay away from the seemingly harmless and the devilishly charming ones girlfriend.
I got bored in the $1.00 store one day when I was around 12 years old and picked up this book to buy. To my surprise, I really liked it. I plan to read it again sometime soon since that was so long ago. I'd like to refresh my memory on it.
This novel was based on a true story (the same story Devil in the White City was based on). The whole thing was predictable and not written as well as Bloch's other novels. Although, maybe some of my dislike came from already knowing the story.
Based on the chicago worlds fair murder spree of the late 1800s, I am almost done reading it. Solid book, written in 1974could hold its own against modern literature.

If you like a well written psycho thriller, worth the 222pages.
Amy Bugbee
This is the fictionalized account of HH Holmes, who I would say rates as one of the worst human beings to ever walk the Earth. He killed hundreds, if not thousands back in the late 19th century, mostly in Chicago.
Terrific, short novel. I read the first page and couldn't put it down. It's based on the same case as The Devil in the White City. America's first serial killer, H.H. Holmes.
I really expected to love this book, but it just whetted my appetite for Psycho and the Devil in the White City.
Nenia Campbell
This Is Halloween '12 Challenge #2

As I was reading American Gothic, I thought to myself, "I've read this EXACT SAME STORY somewhere else before."

It turns out I was right, but more on that in a bit.

I can see why American Gothic has sunken into obscurity. It's a story about G. G. Gregg, a charming chemist with a penchant for gambling and a taste for murder. Gregg is a black widower- he kills his wives, and the woman who work for him, inside a large, gothic castle that has all the people talking. T
Enjoyable. Loosely based on H.H. Holmes (Herman Mudgett).
Ashley F.
Very creepy and suspenseful. A great read!
Kristina Eves
Kristina Eves marked it as to-read
Mar 24, 2015
Amy Gagel
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Mar 05, 2015
George Papachristodoulou
George Papachristodoulou marked it as to-read
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Robert Albert Bloch was a prolific American writer. He was the son of Raphael "Ray" Bloch (1884, Chicago-1952, Chicago), a bank cashier, and his wife Stella Loeb (1880, Attica, Indiana-1944, Milwaukee, WI), a social worker, both of German-Jewish descent.

Bloch wrote hundreds of short stories and over twenty novels, usually crime fiction, science fiction, and, perhaps most influentially, horror fict
More about Robert Bloch...
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