The Gothic Novel Book Club <Hiatus> discussion

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The Book Thief > please explain how this book is Gothic lit?

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Stephen Hegedus | 205 comments Mod
Nancy, the main reason this book was chosen as March's book for the Gothic book club is because of its theme of death. Death narrates this novel and not only that but it plays a very important role in the novel. It's also a very dark story about World War II - a very dark time in history.


message 2: by Denise (new)

Denise (dulcinea3) | 154 comments Nancy, I think Stephen just accidentally picked the wrong 'The Ghost Writer' that you had suggested. I have just replaced the Roth book with the Harwood one - sorry for the confusion, and for anybody who voted for the Roth book!


Stephen Hegedus | 205 comments Mod
Nancy, I'm just curious: what made you think this book wasn't Gothic lit?


Stephen Hegedus | 205 comments Mod
Nancy, I think my definition of Gothic is a little different than yours.

To me, The Book Thief has a very dark atmosphere (mainly because of the time period - death was all over the place from the concentration camps to the battle fields). Not only that but Death is the narrator. That in itself makes this book Gothic because it colours how the reader sees the events. It darkens the events that much more. There is also good and evil - Hans Hubermann, Liesel, etc and the Nazis.

A Gothic novel doesn't have to be supernatural nor does it have to have a Romantic character. When Gothic novels were first written, yes they did have those elements but the Book Thief was written pretty recently so the definition might have changed a bit.

I also think that Cassandra Clare's Infernal Devices novels one of which we read for this group (Clockwork Angel) is a Gothic novel. Anything with ghosts (Beloved by Toni Morrison, Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake), witches and wizards (the Harry Potter novels by JK Rowling), vampires or werewolves (Interview with a Vampire by Anne Rice, Bitten by Kelley Armstrong) is considered Gothic in my opinion.


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