The Gothic Novel Book Club discussion

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Nomination Threads > Books for October!

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message 1: by Paulina (new)

Paulina (paulinabibliophile) | 192 comments Hey people,

So we're going to mix it up October. Hark?! Did someone say short stories? You've asked for it. We ignored you. Then we thought about it. Then we aruged about it, and, finally, it has come to pass! Hooray! We're putting up two authors for you to consider. Feel free to suggest other short story authors or stories themselves.

Mr. Edgar Allan Poe is our first nominee. The supposed father of the short story genre. His genius definition of an SS? Can be read in one sitting, no more than two hours. Shall we peer into the dark recesses of his mind this fall? Perhaps. Muahaha. P.S. I'm gonna say The Raven is a short story. We can debate about this later.

Mr. H.P. Lovecraft is our second nominee. Before you all start leaping out of your desk chairs in rage, I realize this is technically horror. A lot of the same themes carry over and between horror and gothic. Again, something we can argue about later, if Lovecraft is chosen.

Go nuts!


message 2: by Louise (new)

Louise Ooooh! I nominate M.R. James!

From Wikipedia: He is best remembered for his ghost stories, which are regarded as among the best in the genre. James redefined the ghost story for the new century by abandoning many of the formal Gothic clichés of his predecessors and using more realistic contemporary settings. However, James's protagonists and plots tend to reflect his own antiquarian interests. Accordingly, he is known as the originator of the "antiquarian ghost story".

I have a set of his complete ghost stories but Ghost Stories of an Antiquary is probably easier for everyone to get hold of. And if we're only reading a single short story I'd go for "'Oh, Whistle, and I'll Come to You, My Lad'"


message 3: by Paulina (new)

Paulina (paulinabibliophile) | 192 comments That sounds great! I'll probably read that regardless now. Thank-you for adding to the teetering pile of "to-reads" by my bed!!

It depends on the suggestions and comments we get here, but ideally we wanted to pick an author and do a few of his/her short stories. That being said, there is no problem with doing 4 or 5 short stories from different authors. Again, it depends on what you all prefer.


message 4: by Louise (last edited Sep 05, 2012 04:58AM) (new)

Louise Not sure it makes the best bed-time reading! I leant my copy to a friend a while ago and she couln't get to sleep all night after reading one. Would definitely recommend M.R. James though.

I agree that it's probably ideal to pick one author and do a few of his/her stuff.

A couple more story collections possibly worth considering:

In a Glass Darkly by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu - 3 short stories and 2 novella's (one of them being Carmilla, which has been nominated as a group read before). I don't think we'll want to read this as Le Fanu's our September author and we might be a bit sick of him by October, but thought I might as well throw it in.

The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories by Angela Carter - reimagined fairytales. Not all of these are strictly 'gothic' but I'd say that most of them are, and The Bloody Chamber and The Lady in the House of Love are definitely worth a read.


message 5: by Paulina (new)

Paulina (paulinabibliophile) | 192 comments Gasp!! **sputters into her coffee** Why didn't I think of Angela Carter!?! The Bloody Chamber is a great book. I would consider it gothic. Again, we're delving into the horror and fantasy genres a bit, but still gothic. Genre-jumping is a-okay in my book!


message 6: by Denise (last edited Sep 05, 2012 03:23PM) (new)

Denise (Dulcinea3) | 154 comments That's what I like about this group. Some people would probably want to stick to a very strict definition of what constitutes a Gothic work, but here I find it is a bit looser. Kind of, "if it feels Gothic, it is Gothic"!

Since I'm currently trying to keep from acquiring more books and read some of the many that I already have, I am fine with Poe or Lovecraft, if either is chosen. I have Poe's complete works, but only one volume of Lovecraft stories, so if he is chosen, my participation would depend on which stories are selected.


message 7: by Stephen (new)

Stephen (GammaG) | 205 comments Mod
I have one volume of Lovecraft's stories and a complete volume of Poe's. Paulina and I will choose the short stories of each writer before the poll is made.


message 8: by Paulina (new)

Paulina (paulinabibliophile) | 192 comments No one else has any ideas? How about "A Rose for Emily." That one certainly scared the bejezzus, to use the technical term, out of me.


message 9: by Paulina (new)

Paulina (paulinabibliophile) | 192 comments Yea! Faulkner. A great story. I would recommend it, even if we don't get to read it here.

As for your second question, the format of our October reads is based on what you guys would prefer. It comes down to 2 options;

1. We pick one author and do 4 or 5 of his/her short stories.
2. We pick 4 or 5 short stories, all from different authors.
Us mods are happy to make that decision for you if no one has a preference, but I thought you should at least get the option.


message 10: by Louise (last edited Sep 14, 2012 06:02AM) (new)

Louise As someone without an ereader, getting physical copies of several different books might be a nightmare. I'm lucky in that I probably have a lot of whatever we pick somewhere in my various anthologies but if we do a mix of authors I'd like at least half (am not going to demand all as that would leave out modern authors who might deserve a bit of love) to be out of copyright so that their stories can be easily found online.

Apart from that caveat though I have no objection to doing multiple authors.


message 11: by Stephen (new)

Stephen (GammaG) | 205 comments Mod
Thank you everyone for your comments about short stories. Paulina and I have decided we're going to choose at least two short stories by Poe and Lovecraft - I will choose Poe's and Paulina will choose Lovecraft's. As for the other writers, I think it's best to stay away from Le Fanu. Nothing against him, but we're reading him now for September and I think it would be over-kill to do him again one month later. It just wouldn't make sense. Therefore, Paulina and I will each choose at least two short stories by MR James and Angela Carter.

There won't be a poll. I don't think it's really necessary.


message 12: by Paulina (new)

Paulina (paulinabibliophile) | 192 comments Now the real problem. How the hell do I only choose two... fml...


message 13: by Stephen (new)

Stephen (GammaG) | 205 comments Mod
I wrote "at least two". You can choose more than than, if you want. Just go with your original choices.


message 14: by Paulina (new)

Paulina (paulinabibliophile) | 192 comments Okay...I guess I'll leave it at three then. But jeez that was hard.

P.S. Let me know if you guys are having trouble with finding the stories. I can dig up some online copies. I KNOW you can find everything H.P. Lovecraft ever wrote easily. Just a quick google search away.


message 15: by Paulina (new)

Paulina (paulinabibliophile) | 192 comments You mean full-length "gory." lol


message 16: by Stephen (new)

Stephen (GammaG) | 205 comments Mod
You're too punny Paulina :P


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