Friday, June 27, 2014

Five of the best Gothic novels

At The Barnes & Noble Book Blog, Lauren Passell tagged five top Gothic novels, including:
We Have Always Lived in the Castle, by Shirley Jackson

Creepy mansion? Check. Tea times? Check. Wheelchair? Check. Arsenic, mysterious relative, destructive fire? Check, check, check. And beneath it all: a heavy blanket of madness. We Have Always Lived In The Castle tells the story of the Blackwoods, a gang that will immediately put you at unease. In the beginning, we learn that several members of the Blackwood family died at the dinner table, but it still feels like everyone knows something you don’t. (And they do.) When a strange cousin shows up for a stay, your brain really starts struggling to put the pieces together. And then there’s the fire. And the twist. You’ll feel like you’re having a really odd dream you can’t wait to wake up and tell your friends about. Your friends will be like, “you dreamed what? That’s pretty messed up.” See also (obviously): Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House.

Creepy houses: 1
Unpleasant attics: 1
Mysterious relatives: 5
Illness/physical impairments: 1
Deaths: Several
Poisons: Several
Orphans: 0
Falling down the stairs: 0
Destructive fires: 1
Twisty secrets: 1
Total: 10
Read about another entry on the list.

We Have Always Lived in the Castle is among Will Eaves's top ten siblings' stories.

Also see: Patrick McGrath's best gothic novels.

--Marshal Zeringue