March: Victorian Gothic

ConversesHorror!

Afegeix-te a LibraryThing per participar.

March: Victorian Gothic

Aquest tema està marcat com "inactiu": L'últim missatge és de fa més de 90 dies. Podeu revifar-lo enviant una resposta.

1majkia
feb. 14, 2015, 8:24am

Where early Gothic fiction focused on 'alien' landscapes to produce horror, eg The Castle of Otranto and The Mysteries of Udolpho, the Victorians looked far more to the body changing and 'evolving' as Darwin's work took hold on the Victorian consciousness : The Picture of Dorian Gray, Doctor Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Dracula, Frankenstein

But also, there was the whole Madame Blavatsky thing going on then, so spiritualism and Theosophy grabbed their attention too. Especially the Society for Psychical Research. The Undiscovered Country , The Bostonians, A Christmas Carol

Then there is Imperial Gothic, like King Solomon's Mines, The Moonstone, and Jane Eyre.

More suggestions here: http://www.librarything.com/topic/181382#4871649

2LibraryCin
feb. 15, 2015, 1:28am

Ok, using tags (horror, gothic, victorian) to search, the ones that come up for me:
- Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde
- From Hell

I think I can use From Hell for April, though (graphic novels), so it might be Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde for me for March.

3Peace2
feb. 15, 2015, 4:22am

I had got my eye on a re-read of both Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights which I don't really think of as horror but I am due for a dip into after many years absence. Somewhere I have a copy of The Moonstone so that would also be another possibility and had also seen that the library has some Edgar Allan Poe but that they have to be requested as none are on general release in the main branch.

I read The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde in October last year and wasn't greatly enamoured. Depending how things go I might try to borrow Dracula from the library for next month - I'm hanging onto Frankenstein for the 'women' month.

I had picked up The Doll and other stories by Daphne du Maurier but just realised that she was writing in the 1930s so that won't fit the bill for March (I wonder if they fit this month's Supernatural... I guess I won't know until I've read them!)

4Moomin_Mama
feb. 15, 2015, 8:20am

Wuthering Heights was one of my first choices but I've settled on The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and Tales of Mystery and Imagination, which I've dipped into already as The Gold Bug tied in with a February read.

5LibraryCin
feb. 15, 2015, 12:58pm

>3 Peace2: I liked Dracula when I read it a few years ago. Well, it was good, but not great.

6Moomin_Mama
feb. 15, 2015, 3:13pm

>3 Peace2: >5 LibraryCin: Dracula's not perfect but there are some truly great scenes and scares. Won't say what bits scared me in case anyone's reading it in March.

7Peace2
feb. 15, 2015, 3:26pm

>5 LibraryCin: and >6 Moomin_Mama: I think I might try and borrow a copy - I know I have a couple of other books on my shelf that I think would be better read after reading it, but I'll have to see whether it's available when I need it from the library. :D

8whitewavedarling
feb. 15, 2015, 7:54pm

The suggestions here include some of my favorites (Dracula, Frankenstein, The Picture of Dorian Gray), but I think my read in January filled my gothic tastebuds for a while, so I'll probably just lurk.

9saraslibrary
feb. 16, 2015, 2:49am

Nice suggestions, everyone! I read A Long Fatal Love Chase many, many years ago (one I would never consider horror), so I'll really have to scrounge for more gothic reads next month.

10bjbookman
feb. 16, 2015, 5:07pm

A couple of Victorian gothic:
Richard Marsh, The Beetle this was released the same year of Dracula.
J Sheridan Le Fanu novels. My favorite is The Rose and The Key.

11luvamystery65
feb. 18, 2015, 6:59am

I'll be reading The Trail of the Serpent by Mary Braddon. Again, I will follow an old tutored read of Liz tutoring Madeline.

12saraslibrary
feb. 19, 2015, 2:00am

>1 majkia: Thanks for the link! :) That came in handy deciding what I was going to listen to.

>2 LibraryCin: I'll probably be doing The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde as well. And From Hell is perfect for graphic novels/April! The movie's pretty darn good, too. :) I haven't read the graphic novel yet.

I wasn't super excited to be reading more gothic fiction this month, but I put the following audiobooks on hold at work, so I'll pick through the ones that are the shortest or most interesting--or I may listen to them all! :o

Possible audiobooks I'll be listening to in March:

1) The Best of Edgard Allen Poe (has The tell-tale heart, The cask of Amontillado, The masque of the red death, The raven, Annabel Lee, Facts in the case of M. Valdemar, Ulalume, The black cat, The bells, The pit and the pendulum, The fall of the house of Usher, The purloined letter, The gold bug, and Berenice.)

2) Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

3) The Mystery of Edwin Drood by Charles Dickens

4) Classic tales of horror and suspense (has Disc 1. The hound of the Baskervilles / Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. -- Disc 2. The time machine / H. G. Wells. -- Disc 3. The strange case of Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde / Robert Louis Stevenson -- Disc 4. The gold bug ; The cask of Amontillado ; The fall of the House of Usher / Edgar Allan Poe. I'll probably just listen to The Strange Case of Dr. Jeckyll and Mr Hyde on this one.)

5) The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

13LibraryCin
feb. 19, 2015, 10:26pm

>12 saraslibrary: Yes, I did see the movie From Hell when it was in the theatre years ago! I liked it enough that I bought it (VHS!!!), and I still have it (and have the means to watch it), but even after I bought it, I think I only watched it once or twice. I so rarely make time to watch movies now, anyway. I spend my free time either online (here, facebook, shelfari) or reading!

I do like Edgar Allen Poe (or some of the stories, anyway). I hated Wuthering Heights! I hated both main characters, so that set me up to hate the book.

Good luck, whatever you decide!

14whitewavedarling
feb. 20, 2015, 10:33am

I may have spoken too soon--I've since realized that I've never gotten around to reading Phantom of the Opera, which is at least in the spirit of the month, if published a bit late (in 1910 I think), and I'd completely forgotten about The Mystery of Edwin Drood until Sara mentioned it. My mother-in-law gave me a beautiful illustrated edition of that which I've yet to read...

Meanwhile, >13 LibraryCin:, I'm so glad to hear someone else say that about Wuthering Heights! I've been told by someone whose trust I taste that I might think differently if I read it While considering it a gothic novel, but I just haven't gotten there yet!

15saraslibrary
feb. 24, 2015, 5:21pm

>13 LibraryCin: I'm glad you liked From Hell. :) VHS? What're those? ;) Kidding. I most definitely have a few of those, too. :D It's amazing that some old movies haven't been transferred to DVD format yet.

I kind of like Edgar Allan Poe. His shorter stuff I like, but I think I read a story or two by him and was bored out of my mind. Some of the movie adaptations of his stories are really good. *makes note to steer clear of Wuthering Heights* Thank you for the heads-up! :) I trust your judgment.

Most of my audiobooks have come in. I think I'm still waiting on the Charles Dickens one.

>14 whitewavedarling: Good luck with Phantom of the Opera and The Mystery of Edwin Drood if you read them both! :)

16LibraryCin
feb. 24, 2015, 7:16pm

>15 saraslibrary: hahaha! It probably is/was available on DVD, but I never wanted to go about replacing ALL my DVDs! I figured I paid for the movies once to own, I shouldn't have to do it again. It's a good thing I didn't spend that money, either, since I so rarely take time to watch movies, anymore. I guess if I ever did replace the, I'd just be much more picky than when I first bought them on VHS.

17LibraryCin
feb. 24, 2015, 7:17pm

>15 saraslibrary: Oh, and Wuthering Heights. The funny thing - I think it's a love it or hate it book. So, I think a lot of people did love it.

18saraslibrary
feb. 24, 2015, 7:29pm

>16 LibraryCin: Yeah, that's what I hate about technology--they want you to keep updating what you have. After Bluray DVDs, it'll be something else. :/ Good thinking on not spending that much money if you're not going to rewatch it several times. It is a waste of money.

>17 LibraryCin: I haven't tried anything by Emily Bronte and I seriously doubt I ever will. Too many other books to read. :) I've heard a lot of people who love it, but then, they love classics to begin with.

19LibraryCin
Editat: feb. 25, 2015, 10:28pm

>18 saraslibrary: Good point about the people who love WH being people who love classics. I'm hit or miss with classics. It really varies for me.

20saraslibrary
feb. 25, 2015, 11:54pm

>19 LibraryCin: That's cool. Which classic writers/books would you recommend? (I used to read L. M. Montgomery when I was in elementary/middle school, but that's about as far back as my classics went.)

21LibraryCin
Editat: feb. 26, 2015, 12:02am

Oh, I love Anne of Green Gables! Well, the CBC mini-series, anyway. I've only read the book once and I was a teenager at the time, so it's been a while! I do hope to reread it at some point. It's getting a bit late for me tonight, but I'll try to remember to come back on the weekend to recommend something.

(Sorry, tried to touchstone AofGG but it seems to be bringing up a bunch of abridgements and the rest of the series! Not going to take time to keep looking now.)

Off the top of my head, I really like Jane Austen. Not everybody does, though. I was hesitant to try her, but someone over at shelfari recommended watching the BBC mini-series of Pride and Prejudice before reading it (that's the one with Colin Firth). I did it that way and would also recommend it. :-) P&P was my first by Austen and one of my favourites by her (Emma was probably my least favourite with a 3 star (ok) rating, I believe). I also really enjoyed the gothic one she wrote and the title is currently escaping me.

I'll try to come up with some more accessible ones, as well, for you. Come to think of it, I think I have a list over at shelfari along those lines. I'll take a look for it on Friday or Saturday.

22LibraryCin
feb. 26, 2015, 12:02am

Yikes! We're in a March horror thread. Maybe I'll take this to a note on your profile. :-)

23saraslibrary
març 1, 2015, 12:02am

>21 LibraryCin: Oh, yeah, I loved the Anne of Green Gables movies! :) In fact, I think I still have the VHS versions of them from when I was a kid.

I've had Pride and Prejudice recommended to me several times by LTers and coworkers. I might try it...eventually. But for now, I prefer watching the movie versions of Jane Austen's books.

Cool, I look forward to your list. No rush though. I'm still trying to wrap up my February reads. :)

>22 LibraryCin: LOL! No worries. I find it interesting how much horror has changed over the years. After all, how many threads do you know of where they recommend reading Jane Austen and Stephen King? ;)

24sturlington
març 2, 2015, 12:07pm

I guess Phantom of the Opera doesn't quite make it as Victorian, does it? Published in 1910.

25whitewavedarling
març 2, 2015, 12:37pm

>24 sturlington:, Nope, but I think that's about as close as I'll be willing to come to the gothic this month...

26Moomin_Mama
març 2, 2015, 12:55pm

>24 sturlington: >25 whitewavedarling: What about the Victorian penny dreadfuls? There are a few free online at this site (in PDF format):

http://halfpennydreadfuls.com/penny-dreadfuls/stories

I did consider String of Pearls for March but I've got my two chosen.

27sturlington
març 2, 2015, 2:04pm

>26 Moomin_Mama: I just finished Phantom, so I thought I'd ask. However, I didn't specifically read it for this challenge, seeing as I started in December and only now finished!

28Moomin_Mama
març 2, 2015, 6:05pm

>27 sturlington: Oh I see, sneakily fitting it in as a March read if you can get away with it ;)

29whitewavedarling
març 4, 2015, 12:57pm

>26 Moomin_Mama:, Thanks for the suggestion--I'll keep those in mind :) We'll see what happens...if I can find a hard/paper collection, I may read them. I spend so much time online for my work, that I can rarely bring myself to give anything online a full-read, beyond LT reviews and whatnot!

30Peace2
març 4, 2015, 6:11pm

Started Wuthering Heights today - this is a re-read but it's been over twenty years since the last time I read it, so that's fine. I've never really read it with 'horror' in mind, so I'm trying to open myself up to looking at it in a new light. This evening I picked up Dracula from the library, I'll start that once I've finished WH.

31saraslibrary
març 5, 2015, 5:08pm

>30 Peace2: I wouldn't think "horror" either when I hear Wuthering Heights, but I hope it's a good re-read for you. :) And good luck with Dracula afterwards. You're definitely going all-out. I'm impressed! :)

I finished an audiobook yesterday while at work: Classic Tales of Horror and Suspense. It had The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The Time Machine by H.G. Wells (unfortunately, this one was so scratched, I couldn't listen to it), Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson, and three Edgar Allan Poe stories: The Gold Bug, The Fall of the House of Usher, and The Cask of Amontillado. I think gothic classics and I just don't get along, and I'm ok with that. :) While I loved the sound effects, different narrators, etc., I was utterly bored by some of the stories. In fact, the only one I really liked was Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. The rest just weren't my thing (not very scary and sometimes too many names to keep track of--but then, I was also working at the same time, so I wasn't putting 100% of my attention into the stories), but thankfully they were short! That's the main reason why I started with this audiobook first--it was the shortest. Sadly, I gave this audiobook a 1/5 rating (though, technically, it was something like a 1.6 average, which I could've bumped up to a 2, but meh, I was cranky from having to listen to several hours of classic writing). I kept thinking more fondly of the movies of them than the stories themselves, so in a way, I do appreciate the stories, but I think the writing style is a little too old for my little uneducated brain to handle. ;) I hope everyone's having better luck with their reads! :)

32Moomin_Mama
Editat: març 5, 2015, 7:15pm

>31 saraslibrary: I've finished The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde already and I really liked it too. My copy comes with other short stories by Robert Louis Stevenson so I'm not finished with it yet, but the title story impressed me a great deal. I thought it was suspenseful and the last sighting of Mr Hyde alive was pretty creepy.

Poe is a complete contrast to Stevenson's style - he's very, very wordy and some of the stories so far are a bit boring, although the ones I've enjoyed have been good. But he's much harder work than Stevenson, who I'm liking so much I might even try Treasure Island, which I've never had any interest in. He's got a very fresh, readable style for the era. (Incidentally, the only story of Poe's I've read so far that featured on your audiobook was The Gold Bug, which I liked. Be grateful you didn't have to suffer The Mystery of Marie Roget, which was beyond tedious!).

>30 Peace2: >31 saraslibrary: I'd have thought Cathy at the window could be quite horrific, but then I wouldn't like anything at my window after the horror of watching Salem's Lot on tv as a child! One of those scares I've never forgotten...

33sturlington
març 5, 2015, 7:48pm

>32 Moomin_Mama: I reread Treasure Island last year. It's very readable and a lot of fun. The source of every pirate cliche ever.

34saraslibrary
març 5, 2015, 9:04pm

>32 Moomin_Mama: You finished/liked The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde too? Awesome! :) Oh, definitely, I thought it was pretty disturbing some of the things Mr. Hyde did. It wasn't in graphic detail, but it didn't need to be. And the fact people could just pay away their misdeeds with money was appalling.

That's a very good way of putting it: Poe is very wordy. And I'm with you: I was so impressed with Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde, I might just dig up my copy of Treasure Island and re-read it. (My mom used to read it to my sister and I when we were kids.) Stevenson is much more readable; I agree! *duly noted on The Mystery of Marie Roget* :) I wasn't too blown away by The Gold Bug, though. Sorry. :)

I haven't watched Salem's Lot yet. :( But re: spooky things at your window: Poltergeist scared the bejesus out of me as a kid because of this! o.o We had trees outside our window; that's why.

>33 sturlington: Good to know about Treasure Island. It's been forever since I read it (correction: had it read to me). It might be fun to read around our Seafair festival in the summer. Pirates galore!

35Moomin_Mama
març 6, 2015, 7:15pm

>34 saraslibrary: Sara, that scene from Poltergeist is tame compared to Salem's Lot! You must watch it. I've heard there are two versions - one is shorter and film-length - but the original was a mini-series, with two or three episodes, so will be longer. It's dated but still scary.

36LibraryCin
març 6, 2015, 8:11pm

>31 saraslibrary: Well, I'm glad to hear you enjoyed Jekyll and Hyde! It's what I'm planning to read this month (though ebook, not audio).

Good for you for continuing to try various books, though, even though you are already suspecting you won't necessarily be impressed.

37saraslibrary
març 6, 2015, 8:21pm

>35 Moomin_Mama: I googled some window images of Salem's Lot and I think I know what you mean now about it being pretty darn scary. :) I'll definitely have to give the movie a try. I'm surprised I haven't seen it by now.

>36 LibraryCin: Oh, yeah, Jekyll and Hyde was easily my favorite of the bunch. :) Good luck reading it. I hope you like it just as much. And thank you re: my continuing with various books, despite my aversion to gothic clasics. I think it's actually good for me. Kind of like Horror 101 and getting a history lesson of how horror's developed over the centuries.

38LibraryCin
març 6, 2015, 10:53pm

>37 saraslibrary: That's a good way to think of it. No matter what, I'm planning on attempting something for each theme, as well (unless I run out of time in any given month!).

39Moomin_Mama
Editat: març 7, 2015, 6:13am

>33 sturlington: >34 saraslibrary: Found Treasure Island on Project Gutenberg. I must have cleared a box of unread books digging things out for the horror KIT - unfortunately, for every book I read, I'm finding another two that I want to read in future! Too many books, never enough time...

>37 saraslibrary: Oh, you Googled it did you? Didn't you want it to be a nice surprise when you watch the film?

>32 Moomin_Mama: I'm curious about which scenes frightened the rest of us (anything from film, books, or tv), but seeing as this is the March thread I thought we could 'take it to cat corner' (or should I say KIT corner) and discuss it over in the 'cat talk' thread.

40saraslibrary
març 7, 2015, 11:44am

>38 LibraryCin: Same here. :) I think January and March have been the hardest months for me to choose from. But I think from April on, it should be pretty enjoyable reading for me.

>39 Moomin_Mama: Too many books, never enough time... -- LOL! Amen. :) Too bad I couldn't have glasses at work that had a book open in one lens, so I could read while working. :D

I google everything, sorry. :D No, I'll probably have forgotten the image by the time I get to it. And, besides, I usually like to watch horror movies at night with the lights off, so I'm sure I'll be good and spooked. ;)

Sure, good idea on the frightening scenes! :) I'll have to put my thinking cap on and take a look through my collection.

41luvamystery65
març 7, 2015, 12:17pm

I listened to Treasure Island last year narrated by Alfred Molina. It was fantastic.

42saraslibrary
març 7, 2015, 2:45pm

>41 luvamystery65: That would've been interesting listening to him. I like several of his movies.

43LibraryCin
març 7, 2015, 7:40pm

>40 saraslibrary: I hope the rest of the year is easier! Really, Jekyll and Hyde has been on my tbr for a while, so it's good that I have an "excuse" to read it this month. January was probably the hardest, as there really wasn't anything on my tbr at all that would fit, so I did have to pick something else entirely (my tbr is over 600 books, so I usually can find something to fit!).

I haven't peeked ahead at all the upcoming themes, though I know we had a discussion about them. I just don't remember! So, I am hoping the rest will be easier... and hopefully for most, if not all, I will have something on my tbr that will fit.

44LibraryCin
març 7, 2015, 7:41pm

>40 saraslibrary: Oh, and I don't watch nearly as much horror as I used to. Living alone, my imagination gets way out of hand! So, the rare times I do watch something now, I try for it to be daylight. :-)

45Moomin_Mama
març 8, 2015, 3:22pm

I haven't finished with Poe yet but I've now read The Pit and the Pendulum. I thought I understood it but it seems I've misinterpreted it (from a brief browse on the internet). The thing is, I like my interpretation and think it makes more sense, and a better story! I'd welcome any opinions from anyone who's read it - are there different interpretations of the story that anyone is aware of - but stop reading here if you don't want any spoilers...

The passage that got me was the one where the protagonist first spies the pendulum. It says that he sees a painted figure of time and 'he held what, at a casual glance, I supposed to be the pictured image of a huge pendulum'. Then on closer look the protagonist 'I fancied that I saw it in motion'. I assumed when he says 'fancied' he meant that it was possibly his imagination.

I know the theme is of terror that renders the sufferer insensible. In the first sentence the protagonist says 'And then there stole into my fancy, like a rich musical note, the thought of what sweet rest there must be in the grave.' At the end he is saved at the last moment, and that moment is even more unlikely than the rest of the story. I took that to mean that in the end he got his release, and imagined himself saved just before he plunged into the pit, thus being saved from a nasty end by his own mind.

From what I've read on the internet, the story seems to be taken as straightforward and not in anyway as being 'all in the mind'.

Any thoughts? Anyone?

46LibraryCin
març 8, 2015, 11:58pm

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde / Robert Louis Stevenson
3 stars

People have been wondering where Dr. Jekyll has been disappearing to and why the horrible Mr. Hyde seems to be such a good “friend” to Jekyll.

This was ok. It might have been better if I didn't know what was going on, just for having heard what the story's about. But then, maybe not. It just wasn't really holding my interest. At least it was short and quick to read.

47Moomin_Mama
Editat: març 11, 2015, 11:22am

Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and other stories (Vintage Classics):
4 stars

My copy included the title story, The Body Snatcher, A Lodging for the Night, Markheim, Thrawn Janet, and The Misadventures of John Nicholson.

Overall I was impressed. I found Stevenson to be very readable with great story-telling skills, and I recommend Thrawn Janet in particular as a great Victorian horror story, if you don't mind the Scottish dialect it's written in. More in my own thread (beware spoilers).

I didn't realise but in picking Poe and Stevenson as my March reads I got two very interesting Victorian authors to compare and contrast. Poe's tales (which I've almost finished) were written right at the beginning of Victoria's reign, have a very distinctly Gothic influence, and the language can be quite convoluted (to the point of being almost unreadable at his worst). Stevenson was writing at the height of Victoria's reign and his style is much fresher, more concise, with the emphasis more on story-telling than on mood. It's so much more modern than Poe's. But in their range of subjects they share similarities - they were both very versatile; their tales could be moral, horrific and comedic; and both were well known for more than just horror tales, although their horror had quite a range too, from the historical to the comtemporary, and the gruesome to the psychological. And I didn't realise that both died young, at 40 and 44 respectively.

48saraslibrary
març 12, 2015, 4:00am

>43 LibraryCin: I hope it's easier, too. From what I remember, it kind of goes from old, old gothic horror to more newer stuff, most stuff people are used to. I'm glad you were able to use an "excuse" to read Jekyll and Hyde. It wasn't too bad, imho, though I highly doubt I'll run out and buy a copy of the book.

You have 600 books in your TBR pile? You're lucky! :) I haven't counted my unread books, because it'd probably put me in a panic.

If you want a quick reminder of the categories per month, here they are:
January: Traditional/classic Gothic works
February: Supernatural
March: Victorian Gothic
April: Graphic novels & short stories
May: Women & non-English
June: Gothic Pulp & weird fiction
July: Hauntings/ghost stories
August: Psychological
September: Southern Gothic
October: Slasher/thriller
November: Light/humorous
December: Contemporary/modern Gothic


>44 LibraryCin: LOL! Yeah, I know some people can't stand to watch horror movies at night, but for me, that's the best time, especially right before bed. I rarely have nightmares of the movies. I usually have more nightmares of everyday things--work, being out in public, etc. :/ What I wouldn't give for a Gremlin to be chasing me around instead. ;)

>45 Moomin_Mama: Oooh....er....I wish I could help you out with that one, but I don't understand much of Edgar Allan Poe's work. Sorry! :(

>46 LibraryCin: & >47 Moomin_Mama: Yay! I'm glad others like The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde as well. :) It was certainly better than the other stories I read this month (most of them were Poe's).

49LibraryCin
març 12, 2015, 10:31pm

>48 saraslibrary: Well, the 600 mostly isn't in a pile. I'd guess 100ish are. I get most of my books from the library. Most of them are a "list", either on shelfari (shelfari is my most complete for tbr, though plenty are here, too), and some are in email, as well, not necessarily added to any of the sites at this point.

You're right. Looking at that list again, the only one that will likely be tricky for me is June: Gothic pulp and weird fiction. hmmmmm...

For horror movies at night, that used to be my favourite time to watch, as well... until I started living alone - no more!!! It's not even nightmares, just my imagination - what if someone got in while I'm here alone!?

50Moomin_Mama
març 13, 2015, 10:19am

Nearly done with Poe and we're only mid-month so I thought I'd fit in Sweeney Todd or The String of Pearls. It's fairly short and I got a free copy online. Both my March reads have consisted mostly of short stories and I've got more short stories next month, so it's a nice break in between.

Speaking of April (we weren't, I know!) I found I have two of the volumes of Swamp Thing I want to read and am lacking two, so ordered them online. They were out of stock so I ordered early to ensure I get them in time. If anyone's interested the volumes I'm reading are volumes 1-4 of Alan Moore's run. He starts off essentially re-writing Swamp Thing's character, so it's a great starting point, but then Swamp Thing is tracked down by Constantine and sent on a wild goose chase around America, confronting various horrors - there are the traditional vampires, werewolves and zombies, with various themes, many particularly American: slavery, feminism, serial killers, psychedelia, gun ownership, etc. There is a reason Constantine picks Swamp Thing, and that story-line is wrapped up by volume 4. The illustrations throughout really do add to the horror, they are amazing.

51mathgirl40
març 13, 2015, 11:09pm

>47 Moomin_Mama: I too found it interesting to compare Poe and Stevenson. I finished listening to the audiobook Great Classic Hauntings. Not all the stories belong to the Victorian Gothic genre, but they did include Stevenson's "The Body Snatcher", Poe's "The Fall of the House of Usher", as well as works by Sheridan Le Fanu and Saki (H. H. Munro). Geraint Wyn Davies, an actor whom I've seen many times at an annual Shakespearean festival near my home, did a terrific job with the narration.

For those of you who have read Stevenson's "The Body Snatcher", have you seen the Val Lewton film, with Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff? I definitely recommend it!

52Moomin_Mama
març 14, 2015, 7:44am

Finally finished Tales of Mystery and Imagination! Some of his stories are hard work, a real slog to get through (which is why I had a hard time picking the book back up at times) but the good ones made up for it, and the best were some of the most eerily beautiful horrors I've ever read. My copy isn't illustrated but I've come across Harry Clarke's illustrations before, and now I see how well they complement the stories.

>51 mathgirl40: I've come across pictures for the Val Lewton film but never seen it. I'll have to look for it online, thanks for that :)
Which Le Fanu story did you read? Was it Squire Toby's Will? I love that story, I never thought a bulldog could give me the creeps!

53Peace2
març 14, 2015, 8:03am

Seeing the discussion of Poe made me wonder - would he also count for next month's Short stories theme as I was going to borrow some titles from the library next month for that as I've just finished up Wuthering Heights (will be back later to comment on my thoughts about that one) and still have Dracula to get through. I really can't see me having time to tackle Poe this month as well.

54Moomin_Mama
març 14, 2015, 9:11am

>53 Peace2: I don't see why not but then I'm biased as I'd love to see what someone else made of his stories. But wouldn't you want a break from Victorian Gothic by then?

55mathgirl40
març 14, 2015, 9:32am

>52 Moomin_Mama: The Le Fanu story was "Dickon the Devil". It wasn't especially memorable, but it was a good atmospheric haunted house story.

56Peace2
març 14, 2015, 12:19pm

>54 Moomin_Mama: More a matter of what's available. Library doesn't have any graphic novels at the moment (or not in the adult section only the kids bit) and I don't know who else to look for, whereas I do know that they have 1 Poe on request in the main branch (not on the shelf unfortunately) and another at the other branch that I could also request.

If anyone can suggest anyone else I could check to see if they have anything else that I could try to track down. (I'm happy to take this to a different thread if people prefer).

57Moomin_Mama
Editat: març 14, 2015, 4:46pm

>56 Peace2: I've never known a library that didn't stock a lot of Stephen King, and he has a few collections of short stories. Another author that might be easy to find at the library is Roald Dahl, and I'd happily recommend his book Kiss Kiss. I find the horror sections of local libraries a bit hit and miss, but often there'll be at least one anthology.

>55 mathgirl40: I don't remember 'Dickon the Devil' but I'm sure I've read it - if it's a haunted house story then I would have enjoyed it, no doubt.

58Peace2
març 14, 2015, 6:36pm

>57 Moomin_Mama: I'll see if they have Kiss Kiss and I'll also ask my sister about Stephen King as she has a big collection of his - I was hanging onto him because I thought I needed him for October :D but that would be enough of a gap to read another then anyway. I'm sure the library probably has others too, but it's knowing what to ask for - they don't have a horror section, it's mingled in with general fiction.

59Moomin_Mama
març 15, 2015, 12:25pm

>58 Peace2: No horror section!!! I am aghast! What kind of library is this?

Joking aside, you could Google for lists of top/famous horror story collections, see what comes up, and see if your library has them - no point browsing through a general fiction section for more obscure works. Or try and think of popular authors who have collections of scary stories - I've already mentioned Kiss Kiss and Stephen King, but there is also The Lottery and other stories by Shirley Jackson, and Neil Gaiman has a few collections (although I'm not familiar with him; I'm sure someone else in this group could help you out with a few suggestions). Joyce Carol Oates is another author who writes short horror-ish stories.

60sturlington
març 15, 2015, 4:46pm

>58 Peace2: I think you're safe with any Stephen King collection you might pick up. His stories are very different from his novels. My favorites are Skeleton Crew, an early collection, and Just After Sunset, his most recent collection. If novellas count as "short stories," Different Seasons is a great choice.

Richard Matheson also wrote a lot of short horror fiction, to add onto the suggestions >59 Moomin_Mama: made. Joe Hill has a collection called 20th Century Ghosts.

61Peace2
març 15, 2015, 5:44pm

>59 Moomin_Mama: They do have some books I'm sure of it, just not separated out. It's not a huge library (I'm guessing, it's a long time since I've seen anyone else's to be sure!)

>59 Moomin_Mama: and >60 sturlington: Thank you for the suggestions, I'll make a note of them and then see what I can track down in a couple of weeks time (I've still not finished last month's read although I did get through one for this month)

62Moomin_Mama
març 18, 2015, 8:37am

Have finished Sweeney Todd or The String of Pearls and it was hugely enjoyable. There are all sorts of plot twists before the big reveal at the end, but I couldn't put it down. No wonder the story has become famous - it was a serial and I can imagine this was a particularly thrilling one that got a lot of people talking. Sometimes it's funny but it's also genuinely scary - Todd is terrifying, very conniving, and you fear for the boy that works for him every minute he's in that shop. It's a real treat for anyone familiar with London or its history too, what with the different locations.

63sturlington
març 23, 2015, 4:15pm

I finished The Island of Doctor Moreau by H.G. Wells, which does fit the time period. Not the best Wells, but all Wells I've read has been pretty good. The Invisible Man and The War of the Worlds would also fit.

64Moomin_Mama
març 24, 2015, 7:17am

>63 sturlington: I've never been interested in Wells but I figured if I liked Frankenstein I might like The Island of Doctor Moreau - mad professors, early horror/science fiction, messing about with SCIENCE!!! and playing God, etc. Your review was very helpful and made up my mind, I've downloaded a free copy (although I doubt I'll read it this year, what with all the horrors I've dug out of my under-the-bed charity shop stash). You got a thumbs-up from me :)

65sturlington
març 24, 2015, 7:19am