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Pick-a-Shelf: Monthly -Archive > 2015-05 - Gothic - Reviews

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message 1: by Tien (new)

Tien (tiensblurb) | 8678 comments Mod
Wow, I amazingly only just realised that 1 May is nearly over for me!

Which Gothic book/s have you read this month and what do you think of the book/s or the 'genre' itself?


message 2: by Susan (last edited May 01, 2015 06:13AM) (new)

Susan | 3451 comments Mod
I am going to read Marina first. I'm not sure what else yet.


Dogsandbooksanddogsandbooks Finished The Secret History by Donna Tartt. I give it 4 stars and found it a good read, if a bit long. Set in a small, private college for mostly the privileged with the exception of our narrator. The characters behaviors were a throw back in speech and dress to what seems to me the mid-50's but the book was set in early 90's. There were mansions (instead of castles), dark woods, secret societies, foul play, and a Svengali-type leader. One night's bacchanal experience (repressed or not?) binds the group together. Wouldn't have read it without this month's theme and choices from the list but glad I did.


message 4: by Susan (new)

Susan | 3451 comments Mod
I read Marina, by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. In general, I really like Zafon's work, but the horror aspect in this one overshadowed the things I usually like. I also don't think I'd recommend it as a YA book, though clearly that's what Zafon considers it to be.

The definition Debi posted in the "What Will You Read?" thread opened up my idea of the genre a bit. I'd previously thought it nearly synonymous with Horror. And horror is not my thing. Romantic fiction is not so much, either, though I make exceptions for classics like those by Austen and the Brontes. Nevertheless, I'm glad I explored this, and discovered several books I have enjoyed in the past find themselves shelved here. Daphne DuMaurier was one of my favorite authors as a teenager, and her books all seem to be on this shelf.


message 5: by Bea (new)

Bea | 4659 comments Mod
I read The House Next Door by Anne Rivers Siddons. I gave it a rating of 4*. Very good story with a sense of horror woven into it. Setting is more contemporary but I think it fits the gothic definition anyway. Epilogue was really the icing on the cake of a well-told story. I recommend this book.


message 6: by Charity (new)

Charity | 545 comments I listened to Frankenstein. I really enjoyed it and found the narrator a really great one for this book. At least I got to a book this month that went towards the category. Now hopefully I can finish my second book for POTS.


message 7: by D.G. (new)

D.G. | 1370 comments I read The Mistress of Trevelyan (Trevelyan, #1) by Jennifer St. Giles , which was surprisingly good - gave it 4 stars. Very Gothic in atmosphere, with great characterization - all the characters made so much sense! - and the mystery of the dead wife was extremely well done. Almost everybody had a good reason to kill her so I didn't know who did it - and why! - until it was revealed at the end.


Lyn (Readinghearts) (lsmeadows) | 2827 comments Mod
A new one not on the list, but it just came out this month and it DEFINITELY fits the bill, all the way down to the Gothic mansion as the centerpiece.

House of Echoes by Brendan Duffy

Journalist Brendan Duffy's debut novel is deliciously creepy. Ben and Caroline move away from the city to a small village in Upstate New York with their two boys. The plan is to renovate an old mansion into a B&B. The book gripped me from the first page and is one of those great horror books where everything seems okay on the surface, but you just know something not quite right is lurking. Just what that was, I could not quite figure out until the last 50 pages or so. Very reminiscent of 'Salem's Lot to me or probably The Shining, but I have never read that one). Highly recommended.


message 9: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 286 comments I have managed a couple so far this month but forgot to report.

Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys imagines the back story of Bertha Rochester of Jane Eyre fame. While it's an interesting idea, it didn't quite work for me and I don't feel the timeframe fits with the original very well.

The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Brontë, although not particularly gothic in nature (the mystery doesn't last long enough) it was a great read. A surprisingly outspoken feminist voice for the time (although that shouldn't be too surprising from a Bronte) with commentary on gender stereotypes, domestic abuse and alcoholism.


message 10: by Amanda (new)

Amanda McDowell | 26 comments I just finished The Casebook of Victor Frankenstein.

It's a reboot of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. And while it's definitely better than the original - it has more detail, answers more questions about the process of creating the monster, and is over all more imaginative - I wouldn't call it awesome. The end is like getting hit with a cement truck, though.


message 11: by Lahni (new)

Lahni | 638 comments I finished A Great and Terrible Beauty. I really liked it and plan to continue with the series.


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