The Gothic Novel Book Club discussion

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Uncle Silas > General

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message 1: by Stephen (new)

Stephen (GammaG) | 205 comments Mod
In this topic please feel free to discuss however you feel about the novel. This could be at anytime during your reading too - it doesn't have to be at the end. :)


message 2: by Autumn Is Azathoth (last edited Sep 02, 2012 06:35AM) (new)

Autumn Is Azathoth (HauntedReadingRoom) | 10 comments I just picked up a copy for Kindle this AM-happy this is the group read-I've been meaning for so many years to read Le Fanu. I don't find the cover art scary-but I am at the edge of being scared by the blurb:) I am currently reading Christopher Ransom's debut novel The Birthing House in which one of the Antagonists is a very frightening (to me, and to the Protagonist) female ghost, and I'm thinking of how frightened I was by the female ghost in Susan Hill's wonderful The Woman in Black-and making connections psychologically about the scary nature of certain female ghosts. Now, presumably (as far as I know at this point, anyway) Madame de la Rougierre is NOT ghostly-but she sure does sound frightening: implacable, determined, sort of a human Atropos--so in addition to reading and discussing Uncle Silas, I shall be doing some deep thinking about these links.


message 3: by Louise (last edited Sep 05, 2012 04:26AM) (new)

Louise Thanks again for starting these more general threads. Haven't managed to grab a copy of this book yet, probably won't until the last half of september, but am really looking forward to reading it. Have read some of Le Fanu's short stories/novellas before and I've mostly enjoyed them.


message 4: by Paulina (new)

Paulina (paulinabibliophile) | 192 comments Did anyone else have immense difficulty in finding this book?? Of course, I'm speaking to those of you reading actual, physical books. Not the ebook version. After searching through at least half a dozen book stores, I broke down and ordered it. Sigh. Now I must wait!


message 5: by Louise (new)

Louise Not just you. My local bookshop has a very small classics section and my library doesn't have it either. I do know where I can pick up a copy, but might not be able to pick it up until near the end of the month.They don't make it easy.


message 6: by Paulina (new)

Paulina (paulinabibliophile) | 192 comments Haha. Reminds me of Shadow of the Wind. Le Fanu is apparently Julian Carax! Just makes me want to read it more.


message 7: by Paulina (new)

Paulina (paulinabibliophile) | 192 comments Oh please, tease away. I'm always up for some petty banter. :P

And I do realize the cost benefits of an ereader, but I just can't read off a screen. I need to hold the book in my hand. I'm one of those weird people who likes the smell of books. Call me crazy...(not an invitation Nancy, it's rhetorical!)


message 8: by Mary Ellen (new)

Mary Ellen (raven51) Just starting ch. 9, and I'm really enjoying the book. Madame's accent, however, drives me crazy. She IS supposed to be French, correct? That's the craziest French accent...


message 9: by Paulina (new)

Paulina (paulinabibliophile) | 192 comments Still don't have my book....grrrr


message 10: by Louise (new)

Louise Unfortunately not had the chance I thought I would to get a hold of it (I swear I've been seeing it in bookshops for ages and thinking 'I need to get a copy' but when I actually go to buy it it's never there!). Am still hoping to pick it up soon but think I might have to have to save it for next month. Life's been a bit crazy here but it's definitely a book I still want to read and discuss.


message 11: by Kim (new)

Kim I'm about halfway done - I keep putting it down and going to other things then coming back. I know I will finish it, I am just having a hard time liking some of the characters. Also, some of the conversations are so incredibly repetitive it really makes me crazy. I think this is the first book where I've been reading the narration and skimmng the conversations! LOL I do like the story though


message 12: by Paulina (new)

Paulina (paulinabibliophile) | 192 comments Finally got my copy!! Woohoo! I gave in an ordered it online. Can finally start reading this thing. Guessing the discussion for this book might dribble over into October.


message 13: by Sara (new)

Sara I had no trouble finding the book, as my local library has a few copies. I actually finished it a week or so ago, but was waiting to see if anyone else was going to lead the conversation.

Honestly, I found the narrative a bit dry and the dialogue somewhat stilted, compared to other works I've read. I knew going into it that it was going to be more akin to Radcliffe with a mystery based in reality and not the supernatural, but with a protagonist I never grew to like and a denouement that I predicted long before the final reveal, I was rather disappointed.


message 14: by Matthew (new)

Matthew Hunter Hi everyone,
Whew! It took awhile, but I finished Uncle Silas a couple of days ago. I've attached my review in case you're interested. I believe it's spoiler-free.

http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...

I enjoyed the book, though I'm in agreement that Madame's accent (and for that matter, the accents of the motley crew that call Bartram-Haugh home) made things difficult. I also felt that Le Fanu could have done more to fill in the blanks. For example, why were all of these folks connected with the Bartram-Haugh Ruthyns hanging around at Knowl? How did Madame know Dudley early on, and what's her true connection to Silas?

There's plenty to love about Uncle Silas as well. It forced me to dip shallowly into researching Swedenborgianism. I even picked up one of his books in the library just to learn why the heck people were so suspicious of him and his followers. Maybe Le Fanu's cautioning readers against making assumptions about people and their religious sects?

Hope y'all enjoyed the book as well.


message 15: by Matthew (new)

Matthew Hunter Nancy wrote: "what is Le Fanu trying to say? Does idealisim lead to tragedy? It is a bit operatic as the villians are so vile and the goodies so painfully honorable. I think it is hard to identify with charact..."

I agree with you about Aunt Knollys being a favorite. I do have a soft spot in my heart for Austin Ruthyn as well, though his motives, actions, and cause of death have an opaqueness surrounding them. And Milly made me laugh, though she ended up being a pawn of sorts.


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