Paul's Reviews > Olalla

Olalla by Robert Louis Stevenson
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bookshelves: audio, horror, classics, short-stories

A quick and easy read (or listen, in my case), but pretty uneven in its effect. Stevenson knows how to pile on the gothic atmosphere – we've got the mysterious old house, the degenerate descendants of a once-noble line, a creepy portrait with hypnotic effects, mysterious screams in the night and of course the mysterious title character who is unseen for the first half of the story.

But the writing itself is overdone, especially as the narrator describes his immediate love for Olalla once he finally meets her. The dialogue between the two is almost unbearable. Long stretches of the story seem unnecessary to the plot – yet at the same time the plot itself seems truncated and rushed.

The elements are all here for a terrific early gothic horror novel, but Stevenson instead writes a tantalizing and entertaining story that simultaneously leaves too much and too little unsaid.
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Reading Progress

April 7, 2018 – Started Reading
April 7, 2018 – Finished Reading
April 8, 2018 – Shelved
April 8, 2018 – Shelved as: audio
April 8, 2018 – Shelved as: horror
April 8, 2018 – Shelved as: classics
April 8, 2018 – Shelved as: short-stories

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