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Mexican Gothic
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Mexican Gothic Discussions > Question 4: Horror

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Tiffany Breyne | 450 comments In an NPR interview, Moreno-Garcia said, “The thing is it's a controlled fright. It's like when you go to a roller coaster, and you know that you're going to plunge, but you're not really going to die. If you really thought you were going to die when you were plunging down the roller coaster, you probably wouldn't get on it. But also, horror is a way to explore certain topics that are not as interesting when they're explored in other ways. And you see that with good horror when it explores things like race, things like violence, things like womanhood - that it's just this really great tapestry where you can weave a lot of pictures.”

Considering this, is this the only horror you’ve read recently? If you’re a regular horror reader, do you feel your experience reading horror has changed this year?


Lauren (theabelabelabel) | 9 comments Recently, I've started to read horror novels a little more so than I did before. I read the graphic novel version of "Kindred" by Octavia Butler and felt that there were some clear horror elements there. As Moreno-Garcia described, horror allows certain topics to be explored in new ways. In "Kindred", the topic of time travel was done in such a new, unexpected way that I did not know what to expect through the story. On a similar note, time in "Mexican Gothic" was difficult to keep track of. Because of the influence of the house, Noemi looses track of how much time passes between events, which means that we as readers do as well. This distortion of time creates a sense of dread, foreboding, and almost uncertainty.
I am surprised at how much I find myself enjoying horror novels because I personally do not like horror movies.


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Diana La Cazadora (strawberrykiss) | 204 comments This is the only horror I've read recently, and though it was mostly enjoyable, I could not delve into more horror regularly. I also don't watch scary movies, and similarly it's because it takes so much energy to be thrilled or kept in suspense. That just feels like stress to me. That being said, I didn't find this book particularly scary! Where on horror spectrum would regular horror readers put this book?


Becca Boland | 951 comments Mod
@Lauren - that distortion of time is a little too real right now, right?

I am not a fan of horror movies either but I enjoyed (I don't know if that's the right word?) this book.


Cary (carys14) | 146 comments I read quite a bit of horror. I see this one as a bit of a gentle horror. I was never really on the edge of my seat like Birdbox or haunted by the story as I have been with some of Stephen King’s stories. But as with all genres, there isn’t just one type of book that fits the label.


Becca Boland | 951 comments Mod
@Diana - that's a really great question as I'm not a huge horror reader either.

I think (generally) Gothic Horror isn't as scary as it is psychological and a slow creep. I'm going to see if I can get an expert to help . . .


message 7: by Andrew (new)

Andrew | 498 comments I tend not to read horror unless it's a book that sparks my interest in other ways: Mexican Gothic, The Only Good Indian, A Lush and Seething Hell, etc.


Cary (carys14) | 146 comments The weird thing is I HATE horror movies. I hate watching movies with jump scares, gore, or extreme violence however I can read horro books all day long. Well unless they are about zombies. I can’t bring myself to read anything about zombies especially if they are super detailed. 🤷🏻‍♀️


Tiffany Breyne | 450 comments This is the first horror book I've read. And because it was Becca said, more psychological horror than 'give me all the guts and blood' horror, the ending dips pretty far into what I consider to be horror! I was eating my lunch during the last hour or so of listening to the book and had to pause the book in order to finish eating with out gagging.

So while it wasn't necessarily entirely what I expected, it hit the mark in some ways. I may try more horror books, to get a better feel for the genre, but I really like sleeping at night, so we'll see...


Becca Boland | 951 comments Mod
@Cary - from what @Andrew has said in our staff discussions, I think you should look at The Only Good Indian. He could probably tell you a bit more . . .


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Cary (carys14) | 146 comments @Becca thanks! It is now added to my Want To Read list. I already had Mongrels on there (another of his books).


Becca Boland | 951 comments Mod
@Cary - how did you deal with the end of the this book . . .


message 13: by Cary (new) - rated it 4 stars

Cary (carys14) | 146 comments @Becca honestly, I felt that the end (well the climactic scene) was dealt with almost a little too quickly. After that slow burn, I expected the escape to be a bit more. But I do like how it wasn’t all closed off cleanly, with a happily ever after at the end. Afterall, plants (and mushrooms) often come back stronger after a forest fire.


message 14: by Andrew (new)

Andrew | 498 comments Becca wrote: "@Cary - from what @Andrew has said in our staff discussions, I think you should look at The Only Good Indian. He could probably tell you a bit more . . ."

Tiffany wrote: "This is the first horror book I've read. And because it was Becca said, more psychological horror than 'give me all the guts and blood' horror, the ending dips pretty far into what I consider to be..."

The Only Good Indian is the rare horror novel that's as heartbreaking as it is gruesome. The gore packs a gut-punch.


Tiffany Breyne | 450 comments Andrew wrote: "Becca wrote: "@Cary - from what @Andrew has said in our staff discussions, I think you should look at The Only Good Indian. He could probably tell you a bit more . . ."

Tiffany wrote: "This is the..."


I love heartbreak in a book... I'm adding it to my TBR!


message 16: by Andrew (new)

Andrew | 498 comments A lot of sympathetic characters come to very bad ends. And I think these characters existing in a damned-if-they-do-damned-if-they-don't world where OF COURSE bad things happen to good people is kind of the author's point.
Suffice it that the title has multiple meanings...


message 17: by Cary (new) - rated it 4 stars

Cary (carys14) | 146 comments @Andrew I have a love/hate relationship with those kinds of books, gut punch and all!


message 18: by Andrew (new)

Andrew | 498 comments But there's a thin ray of hope at the end....


Becca Boland | 951 comments Mod
@Diana - I asked Becky Stratford who is my go-to horror expert and she said:


“So for Gothic it is intense because not all Gothic has an actual supernatural evil that is described in as much detail. Usually it’s ambiguous or less visceral, but for “horror” in general this is on the lower end. Like 5-6 out of 10.

Also it is extremely character driven and intensely focused on Noemi’s perspective so really appeals to psychological suspense fans as well as horror.”


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