Deb's Reviews > Gothic!: Ten Original Dark Tales

Gothic! by Deborah Noyes
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Jan 23, 2008

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bookshelves: dystopian-gothic, short_stories
Recommended for: Gaiman fans and Poppy Z. Brite readers looking for a softer note
Read in January, 2008

This anthology of short modern gothic tales is an older litgeek's version of that "Scary Stories" trilogy that was published in the 1980s by Alvin Schwartz. (The illustrations in those books were creepier than the stories)

Most of the stories are well worth reading in the dark by yourself. They don't hold a candle to the heebie-jeebies that horror stories evoke, the kind that make you uncomfortable in your own skin and lead you to jump at shadows, but the gothic genre is a kissing-cousin and makes a noble effort. I finished the story "Morgan Rodhmar's Boys" while smoking out on a cold porch at 1 in the morning, then came back inside and huddled under the covers for a bit--but not because I was all that cold or tired. The story's ending evoked ancient childhood fears of the Vampire in the closet and made me feel like I had to protect my neck.

Silly, yes? But that's what proper gothic tales do. They make you fear the unknown that you know doesn't really exist.

Not all the stories are mystically magical and mind-blowing, hence the three stars.

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