The Gothic Novel Book Club <Hiatus> discussion

Nomination Threads > Book for August 2012

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message 1: by Lindsay (last edited Jun 01, 2012 07:56AM) (new)

Lindsay (linkeepsitreal) Hey guys! Wuthering Heights is officially our book for July! So, what the mods have decided to do is to select two relevant Gothic texts for consideration for August's read, and then ask members for nominations for two more. If you like a member's suggestion, please make note of it. The two books which are most requested will be nominated, and at the end of the week we'll put up a poll so people can vote.

Our choices for August are these:

Frankenstein - the classic gothic horror novel, often called the first science fiction novel as well. Everyone knows the story, most likely, but briefly: a scientist creates a monster and later comes to regret it, but the monster becomes well-spoken and intelligent and makes us all question humanity and things like that.

Carmilla - the story of a young woman's susceptibility to the attentions of a female vampire named Carmilla (they have serious sexual tension), which pre-dates Dracula by 25 years, and indeed was said to inspire Bram Stoker. Not as well known as Frankenstein, but I really love this one, and in terms of the history of Gothicism I think it would be a relevant read (and it's not too long, either.)

With that said, post your suggestions for August! We'll select the two most popular for nomination.

message 2: by Louise (last edited Jun 01, 2012 12:43PM) (new)

Louise The Monk by Matthew Gregory Lewis - not read it but I really want to so am just going to quote the blurb rather than attempt my own description:

Set in the sinister monastery of the Capuchins in Madrid, The Monk is a violent tale of ambition, murder, and incest. The great struggle between maintaining monastic vows and fulfilling personal ambitions leads its main character, the monk Ambrosio, to temptation and the breaking of his vows, then to cut for spoilers! Inspired by German horror romanticism and the work of Ann Radcliffe, Lewis produced his masterpiece at the age of nineteen. It contains many typical Gothic elements - seduction in a monastery, lustful monks, evil Abbesses, bandits and beautiful heroines. But . . . Lewis also played with convention, ranging from gruesome realism to social comedy, and even parodied the genre in which he was writing.

I aprove of Carmilla though - I have that set to read right after my current book but shall put it on hold until after the voting here's done. If people are looking for where to get hold of a paper copy (if you have an ereader I think it's public domain so should be able to get it for free) it's the last story included in Le Fanu's short story/novella collection In a Glass Darkly

Stephen Hegedus | 205 comments Mod
I really like the idea of reading either Frankenstein or The Monk. The Monk has been in my to-read list for quite some time actually and it sounds really interesting too.

message 4: by Hannah (new)

Hannah (faize) | 5 comments I still haven't read Carmilla, Frankenstein, or The Monk, so I'm good with all of them. Leaning towards Frankenstein though:)

message 5: by Liz (new)

Liz I haven't read any of them, so I'm okay with any. But I would prefer Frankenstein as it is sitting on my Kindle waiting to be read.

message 6: by literariel (new)

literariel I have to say Carmilla because it really is a great book.

Stephen Hegedus | 205 comments Mod
We can definitely nominate that one, sure :)

message 8: by Lindsay (last edited Jun 02, 2012 08:09AM) (new)

Lindsay (linkeepsitreal) For the record, Carmilla is also available for free through Project Gutenberg, totally easy to download and put on e-reading devices. Librivox also has a free audiobook version.

 Eldritch Reading Reindeer Welcomes 2022! (readingreindeerproximacentauri) | 10 comments I'll second the nomination of The Monk and would like to also nominate The Mysteries of Udolpho, which should also be available at Gutenberg and possibly at

message 10: by [deleted user] (last edited Jun 02, 2012 08:57AM) (new)

Rida wrote: "Oooh, can we read Victor Hugo's The Hunchback of Notre-Dame?! Please?!"

I second that! It has been on my shelf waiting to be read for ages. (by the way Rida, I love your profile picture :)

message 11: by Stephen Hegedus (new)

Stephen Hegedus | 205 comments Mod
I love your profile picture too Rida! :) HARRY POTTER IS AWESOME!!

message 12: by Louise (last edited Jun 02, 2012 09:15AM) (new)

Louise Antía wrote: "(by the way Rida, I love your profile picture"

Haha! I couldn't make out what it was in the small version - that's brilliant!

At the risk of my own nomination not making it I'm also going to second both Hunchback and Udolpho for consideration, both are books I've been meaning to read for years.

Is there any translation that's regarded as particularly good for Hunchback btw? I know that older translations did often censor 'unpalatable' content in foreign works - not sure if Hunchback would be a victim of this in the same way Alexandre Dumas is, but it's something I'd like to check up on before tracking down a copy.

And actually it's not just translations. I believe The Monk had certain bits edited for 'decency' in the second edition too, so if we go for that it's something to be aware of. The Penguin Classics text makes a point of being the original uncensored version though. Just a general 'check before you buy' warning (I was so furious after I slogged through Gulliver's Travels and then found out I had only read the expurgated version with all the naughtiest bits - some pretty dang important - cut out).

message 13: by [deleted user] (new)

Louise wrote: "Antía wrote: "(by the way Rida, I love your profile picture"

Haha! I couldn't make out what it was in the small version - that's brilliant!

At the risk of my own nomination not making it I'm also..."

I think usually Penguin and Oxford editions are complete and when abridged, it's said so in cover. But check in case the books are really long.. I bought an edition of "Les Miserables" in english that was about 800 pages long and later when comparing to other edition I got in spanish of it.. I realized that I had missed about 700 pages that had been cut! My other edition was in two volumes and 800 pages each.

message 14: by Louise (last edited Jun 02, 2012 09:26AM) (new)

Louise @Rida: was not written as a kids book but actually a political satire. The majority of content in the first two sections (the Liliputians who are very small and the Bromindangs who are giants) is rather appealing to kids though so it was heavily cut and rebranded as a childs adventure story. Swift had a very scatalogical sense of humour though so a lot of the wee and poo jokes got cut - even when they predicted important events (like Gulliver putting out a fire in Liliput by urinating on it actually being the cause for him falling out of favour - makes less sense if you cut the scene!).

@Anita: Yeah, I generally trust Oxford and Penguin. But I do think some publishers are very sneaky in where and how small they put that 'abridged version'.

message 15: by Stephen Hegedus (new)

Stephen Hegedus | 205 comments Mod
Anita, I generally prefer my classics to be either Oxford/Penguin too. Although the premier covers are very very nice too!

message 16: by Dana (last edited Jun 02, 2012 03:20PM) (new)

Dana "dew" (danadew) | 10 comments This is awesome. I admittedly am a neophyte to Gothic novels. I was trying to think of the title of the book that I've been wanting to read for YEARS - figuring it would fit the gothic criteria - and lo and behold, there it is in message number 2.

Louise, you may have saved me from straining my brain or at the very least a phone call to my sister. (She is great for reminding me of past conversations.)

In any case, I've heard of The Monk and I'm fairly certain that either Stephen King or Neil Gaiman or some author who I'm a big fan of, had mentioned it as being an inspiration or something. Also... again, I may be totally off base, but I feel like a character in some book I've read (maybe a Jane Austen book) was mentioned reading The Monk.

It's always nice to read a book that has influenced others and is given a nod in other works (a sort of pop culture reference, but for the 18th/19th century).

I'm unfamiliar with Carmilla --- and I do love a vampire story, so this one sounds great! Pre-dates Dracula by 25 years, huh? Cool.

message 17: by Dana (new)

Dana "dew" (danadew) | 10 comments Okay... just had to check something (make sure my nominations would be okay).

So, as stated above, I second the nomination for
The Monk by Matthew Gregory Lewis.

I'd also like to nominate:

The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins --- which I've been meaning to read for a very long time. (The Lady In White was one of my favorite movies as a kid. Yes, I know they are completely different. But I still got excited by finding The Woman in White on my bookshelf and the blurb on the back of the book had me interested in it despite it not being the ghost story I so loved as a child. Plus, who doesn't like a mystery/detective novel?)

The Turn of the Screw by Henry James --- which I haven't read since middle school, but I enjoyed it very much. It would be interesting to see if my thoughts on the kids v. the nanny have changed as I read it with an older person's eyes.

message 18: by Stephen Hegedus (new)

Stephen Hegedus | 205 comments Mod
Thanks for your nominations everyone. Dana I quite agree with your choices. I've been thinking about reading both of those eventually.

message 19: by Jeri (new)

Jeri (GlitterQueen) | 11 comments I've read both Frankenstein and Hunchback, but probably 20 years ago or more, so could definitely do a re-read. The others all sound interesting!

message 20: by Jeri (new)

Jeri (GlitterQueen) | 11 comments Oh, I read Turn of the Screw too, but again, LONG time ago, it's definitely a great book.

message 21: by Lindsay (last edited Jun 02, 2012 05:42PM) (new)

Lindsay (linkeepsitreal) Turn of the Screw IS really cool! Seconding the nom for Women in White, though, since I haven't read it. I did read The Moonstone, though, and liked that.

message 22: by Kristina (last edited Jun 02, 2012 05:51PM) (new)

Kristina | 1 comments The Monk by Matthew Gregory Lewis- This is one of the best books I have ever read! and would read it again and again!

message 23: by Louise (new)

Louise Dana wrote: "Louise, you may have saved me from straining my brain or at the very least a phone call to my sister. "

Glad I could help! And yes it was referenced in a Jane Austen - it was one of the many gothic/horrid novels mentioned in Northanger Abbey.

message 24: by K (new)

K (krojdev) I haven't read any of them except for Frankenstein. My big final english paper (~ 12 years ago) was on Frankenstein and I felt like I analyzed the story to death, which kind of took the fun out of the story. So, I'd be more open to one I haven't read yet.

message 25: by Kim (new)

Kim Sorry if I missed this somewhere, but are we sticking to the older classics, or can I nominate The Haunting of Hill House? If that is too recent, I would nominate The Woman in White and The Monk.

message 26: by Stephen Hegedus (new)

Stephen Hegedus | 205 comments Mod
For the summer, I would like to stick with the older Gothic novels. When September comes, you're more than welcome to nominate a more recent text. Thanks for your comment Kim.

message 27: by Heidi (new)

Heidi Lin wrote: "Hey guys! Wuthering Heights is officially our book for July! So, what the mods have decided to do is to select two relevant Gothic texts for consideration for August's read, and then ask members fo..."
I'm good with Frankenstein and Carmilla, have never heard of The Monk, but I'm willing to give anything a chance. I think I would have recommended Frankenstein if it hadn't already been up, because I've owned the book for years and still haven't read it.

message 28: by Vicky (new)

Vicky (ThePhantomPhilosopher) I've already read Frankenstein, so I vote for Carmilla or The Turn of the Screw if it is officially nominated.

message 29: by Valerie (new)

Valerie Zink I agree with Vicky! I could really get into Carmilla (just downloaded it on my Kindle) or The Turn of the Screw1

message 30: by Lindsay (last edited Jun 08, 2012 09:28AM) (new)

Lindsay (linkeepsitreal) Thanks for the votes guys! This nomination thread is now closed.

The poll is now up, so go vote on which book you'd like to read for August! Since there were some ties for the fourth pick, one of the mods cast the deciding vote.

message 31: by Maggie (new)

Maggie | 2 comments I vote Carmilla! It is the only one I haven't read on the list :o)

message 32: by Denise (new)

Denise (dulcinea3) | 154 comments I read The Monk in college, but don't remember much about it, so I'm going to vote for that one. I'm trying to cut down on my book buying (with only partial success so far!) because I've been unemployed for a while, and I have tons of books already that I haven't gotten around to reading yet, so at least I already have The Monk. I've nominated it in other groups, but it hasn't been selected.

message 33: by Emily Rabecca (new)

Emily Rabecca (northernbellebookworm) I would love to read Carmilla!!

message 34: by Claudia (new)

Claudia Carr (Claudia_Carr) | 1 comments I'd love to read Carmilla too, can't believe how I've missed it. But I have to say 'The Monk' is so much bad fun;-) I've read it twice.

message 35: by Lee (new)

Lee Rene (digitaldiva) | 43 comments Claudia wrote: "I'd love to read Carmilla too, can't believe how I've missed it. But I have to say 'The Monk' is so much bad fun;-) I've read it twice."

All the books, Carmilla, The Monk, Turn of the Screw, are excellent. I'd go with Carmilla but all would be fine.

message 36: by Lindsay (last edited Jun 10, 2012 06:05PM) (new)

Lindsay (linkeepsitreal) Hey guys! Remember to vote in the actual poll! Check the main page of the club and scroll to the very bottom.

Totally loving all of the Carmilla appreciation! It was my personal pick and I thought it might be too obscure to warrant much interest.

message 37: by Ashley (new)

Ashley (booknerdwithoutglasses) Frankstein or The Monk

message 38: by Stephen Hegedus (new)

Stephen Hegedus | 205 comments Mod
Ashley wrote: "Frankstein or The Monk"

The novel for August has already been chosen - The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins.

message 39: by Laura (new)

Laura I will probably read Carmilla anyway because I'm curious

message 40: by Leah M (new)

Leah M (leahmw) | 27 comments Well hello to everyone....i am so so excited to read The women in White,,,,or even Camilla...and The Monk as i havent read any of them.....but am excited i cant contain it......lmao.

The women in white .........cant wait..

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