September: Southern Gothic

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September: Southern Gothic

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1saraslibrary
Editat: set. 3, 2015, 5:59am

Welcome to September's thread! :) Here are a few suggestions given earlier in the year (but feel free to add to the list, whether you plan on reading the book(s) or not):

2saraslibrary
Editat: set. 3, 2015, 6:14am

When I finish my August book (Skin by Kathe Koja), I'll be starting one or both books by Poppy Z. Brite: Wormwood and/or Drawing Blood. The only book I've read by her is Exquisite Corpse, which I really liked and think would fit in the Southern Gothic theme.

Would Anne Rice be a good Southern Gothic author?

I browsed through the LT list of southern gothic-tagged books and most of them weren't really horror, but here they are: https://www.librarything.com/tag/southern+gothic .

3sturlington
set. 3, 2015, 6:49am

Thank you for starting this month's topic. I don't have anything to read for this month, but I read Other Voices, Other Rooms last year and it is about as southern Gothic as you can get. Southern Gothic isn't typically scary, but rather grotesque and disturbing. Anne Rice qualifies, Flannery O'Connor is terrific. Looking forward to getting more book bullets from all of y'all.

I don't think I'd trust that tag. Some people think anything southern is southern Gothic. It has to have Gothic elements as well as a southern setting to qualify.

PS Sarah, I believe Poppy Z Brite identifies as male now.

4mathgirl40
Editat: set. 3, 2015, 7:19am

Would To Kill a Mockingbird? be considered Southern Gothic? I think I'm the only person in the world who hasn't read that, and it's on my TBR pile.

I believe Cherie Priest's Eden Moore series, starting with Four and Twenty Blackbirds, is considered modern Southern Gothic. I've not read any of these books, but I've enjoyed her steampunk novels Boneshaker and Dreadnought.

ETA: oops, I see this is already on >1 saraslibrary:'s list!

5sturlington
set. 3, 2015, 9:26am

>4 mathgirl40: Yes, it does qualify because it has gothic elements, namely Boo Radley. But I don't usually think of it when I think of southern gothic, because it doesn't have that element of the grotesque. Still, you should read it! :-)

6Moomin_Mama
set. 3, 2015, 3:08pm

>1 saraslibrary: Thanks for starting this thread, Sara.

>2 saraslibrary: I think Anne Rice is okay. Are you going to finally finish Interview with the Vampire?

I'm going to read Blood Meridian. I'm not planning on anything else (unusually) as I don't want to rush it. I read about half of it but my dad liked the sound of it too so I let him have it, thinking I could finish it when he returned it. Months later I was still waiting, and asked him if he'd finished it. He hadn't finished it at all, in fact he disliked it so much he threw it in the bin! From the half I read I loved the writing and want to savour this one.

I would also like to read William Faulkner's A Rose for Emily if I can find a copy.

7LibraryCin
set. 3, 2015, 9:32pm

>2 saraslibrary: I'm sure when I used tags to search (it was a few weeks ago, so I don't recall the exact tags I used), Anne Rice came up a number of times, so I say go for it!

8LibraryCin
set. 3, 2015, 9:35pm

So, when I used various tags to search for ideas (I couldn't find much already on my tbr for this one, so I had to come up with something else), the main book that sounded the most interesting to me... was not available at my library. :-(

So, I picked a different one that wouldn't have been my first choice, but was my second, so I am currently reading it:
Those Across the River by Christopher Buehlman.

9saraslibrary
set. 4, 2015, 2:03am

>3 sturlington: You're welcome! :) Thanks for clarifying about Anne Rice. I've never read Flannery O'Connor, so I'll have to look for his stuff sometime, thanks. :)

I noticed that about the tag, too. Oh, and thanks for letting me know about Poppy Z. Brite. I think I may have read about that here on LT, but I forgot. It's sometimes hard to remember "she" or "he" when someone looks a certain gender. It'd be nice if we could get rid of genderized pronouns. They're unnecessary a lot of the times.

>4 mathgirl40: I haven't read it either, so there's at least two of us. :) And no worries; I didn't even notice that until you mentioned it. I actually got the list from a thread in this horror group, giving a few examples for each month.

>6 Moomin_Mama: You're welcome! :) LOL! I love how you totally called me on Interview With the Vampire. And, yes, I may try that one instead. We'll see. I even went as far as to find it, so it's now next to my TBR pile. If I do read it, I'll probably listen to the soundtrack as well, which I bought almost immediately after watching the movie in the theater.

>7 LibraryCin: Cool! :) Two rec's for Anne Rice, so I guess she's legit for this month. I also saw Charlaine Harris's books, but are they really southern gothic? I know they take place in the south and involve the supernatural, but I'm still unclear on the definition of southern gothic.

>8 LibraryCin: Ooh, werewolves. Sounds fun! And I just love the cover for that one. :)

Btw, I did find a southern gothic list on GoodReads, if anyone's interested: http://www.goodreads.com/list/show/16019.Best_Southern_Gothic_Literature . I doubt all of it's horror, but it's worth a look. I saw Robert McCammon's Gone South and Boy's Life, which I was considering on reading one or the other...until I saw how big they were. o.o Joe R. Lansdale's horror, too, right? They suggest The Bottoms by him. I also saw Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia on both GR and LT, if you're more into YA fiction. And Deliverance? Oh man. I can hear the banjo now! :D

There's also this quick list, too: http://besthorrornovels.com/southern-gothic-horror.html .

10sturlington
set. 4, 2015, 6:46am

>9 saraslibrary: Sarah, I promise I'm not being the gender police, but Flannery O'Connor was a woman. :-) You're right, things would be easier if we could do without genderized pronouns, and probably more interesting too. Thanks for digging up those lists--they are helpful.

11saraslibrary
set. 4, 2015, 4:23pm

>10 sturlington: LOL! No, I don't think you're the gender police, but yay!--two "whoopsies!" for me. That's actually pretty funny. ;) And you're totally welcome with the lists. :) That was via quick googling, so I'm sure there are plenty of better, more thorough lists out there.

12LibraryCin
set. 6, 2015, 2:01am

Those Across the River / Christopher Buehlman
3.25 stars

When Frank and Dora inherit a house in rural Georgia that's been in Frank's family since plantation days, even though they are warned away from moving in, circumstances dictate that it's the best plan to just move in. But when the town decides to stop offering a sacrifice to whatever it is that's across the river, whatever it is isn't happy...

It started really slow for me. The entire first half was merely ok, so I did seem to skim over some of it, since it wasn't holding my attention. However, the second half really picked up and did hold my interest. It still wasn't quite enough to increase my overall rating to “good”, however, so I'm giving it that ¼ star that it wouldn't have gotten if I didn't end up liking the second half.

13JuliusC
set. 7, 2015, 12:32pm

I enjoyed reading All heads turn when the hunt goes by by John Farris 4* for me. I also read Edge of dark water by Joe R. Lansdale which I should've saved till this month. This one is between 3.5-4*, it had it's moments I just thought the ending was a bit anti climactic. Let's just say I had something else in mind lol.

14saraslibrary
set. 8, 2015, 1:05am

>12 LibraryCin: That's a fair enough rating; and I applaud you for actually sticking it out. Sometimes it's hard to when a book is so slow at times. Oh, and major plus for finishing it--what?--within the first or so of September. That's impressive!

>13 JuliusC: Well, I don't see why you can't just count Edge of Dark Water for September. *shrugs* There's no one really policing books and which month they're read in. ;) So I say count it. All Heads Turn When the Hunt Goes By sounds really good, too. I'm glad you liked it. :)

15Moomin_Mama
set. 8, 2015, 9:28am

>9 saraslibrary: I'm not twisting your arm or anything, but it would be good to see what you make of Interview :D

>13 JuliusC: All Heads Turn When the Hunt Goes By is a great title. I see it's on Stephen King's Danse Macabre reading list. Is that your September read? I haven't even bought mine yet!

16saraslibrary
Editat: set. 10, 2015, 1:59am

>15 Moomin_Mama: Oh, no, not at all. *cradles twisted arm* So kidding! ;) You're not the only one who's asked me, "Sooo, have you read Interview yet?" I'm actually considering reading it instead of the Poppy Z. Brite books I'd picked out. And especially since I have Interview right in plain sight, I'll more than likely read it first. Too bad I got sidetracked this week with some horror manga. And I think I'll go ahead and put my August read on the back burner, because it's a hard read that doesn't seem to be going anywhere, plot-wise. So, yes, I will take your recommendation and try Interview With a Vampire this month. :)

>13 JuliusC: & >15 Moomin_Mama: Btw, I agree: I thought the name of that book--All Heads Turn When the Hunt Goes By--was very cool.

17sturlington
set. 14, 2015, 12:08pm

I haven't had a chance to read this article yet but seems germane to our discussion: http://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/jul/04/southern-gothic-fiction-harper-lee-...

I just finished rereading my anthology of American Gothic Tales, edited by Joyce Carol Oates, to get myself in an autumnal mindset. There is not much of Southern gothic in this collection (and some of the stories are not, in my opinion, really gothic), with most of the tales having a New England or Midwestern flavor, but it does contain the always excellent Faulkner short story, A Rose for Emily, as well as an excerpt from Interview with a Vampire. My favorite story was by Shirley Jackson, but she is not Southern.

18saraslibrary
set. 20, 2015, 12:51am

>17 sturlington: Cool, thanks for the link to the article. :) And congrats on finishing American Gothic Tales!

19saraslibrary
Editat: oct. 1, 2015, 4:22am

I hate to say it, but I didn't read any southern gothic books for this month. :( Interview With the Vampire, which was my decided choice, still sits on top of my TBR pile, so hopefully I will get to it this year; but with 38 minutes left on my clock, I seriously doubt I'll get it done before October begins. ;) How'd everyone else do?

ETA: I've started October's thread (slashers & thrillers) here: https://www.librarything.com/topic/196380 .

20LibraryCin
oct. 1, 2015, 7:32pm

>19 saraslibrary: Thanks for starting the October thread! I'll have to pop by with some of my options after I get home from volunteering tonight.

21saraslibrary
oct. 1, 2015, 8:38pm

>20 LibraryCin: You're welcome. :) Hope to see you there.

22mathgirl40
oct. 1, 2015, 8:58pm

I'm still working on Four and Twenty Blackbirds and enjoying it very much so far. It definitely has the Southern Gothic feel.

23mathgirl40
oct. 4, 2015, 10:43pm

I finished Four and Twenty Blackbirds. It had great atmosphere and interesting characters, but I found the second half fizzled out after a strong beginning. Still, I like Cherie Priest's writing (I'd read a couple from her Boneshaker series) and am willing to continue with this series.

24saraslibrary
oct. 4, 2015, 11:45pm

>22 mathgirl40: & >23 mathgirl40: Awesome! Congrats on finishing Four and Twenty Blackbirds and best of luck with the rest of the series when you get to them. :)

25Moomin_Mama
oct. 19, 2015, 9:49am

Finished Blood Meridian. It's a dark, depraved Western, loosely based on real people and events, with extreme depictions of violence throughout, interspersed with descriptions of the sparseness of the landscape. There is a philosophical side to the book too, which is expressed through the views and actions of the Judge, probably the most monstrous creation in literature. The writing is beautiful at times, sometimes archaic, and very dense, with no speech marks or commas, and long, rambling sentences. In terms of its many layers and themes, I'd put the book beside Moby Dick, or the Whale - just as challenging and just as rewarding, although very, very violent. I think it counts as a horror for the violence and depravity, and for the character of the Judge. 5 stars.

26saraslibrary
oct. 20, 2015, 4:11am

>25 Moomin_Mama: Yikes, that one sounds intense. I have yet to read anything by Cormac McCarthy, though I have heard plenty about his books. Good job finishing Blood Meridian! I can't say Western stories interest me, but some of the reviews for that one has me tucking it away for future book-shopping. Thanks! :)