Posts filed under ‘Horror’
Bram Stoker’s Dracula follow-up The Jewel of the Seven Stars is best-billed as a supernatural Egyptomaniacal Victorian novel. It’s almost unbelievable the lengths to which Stoker went in his novel to make it fit, with blazing accuracy at all points, into all three of those categories. (more…)
Drood has been on my reading list for quite some time now, and after Corey’s review a few weeks ago, I was even more motivated. As you’ve probably surmised, I am an absolute Charles Dickens nut, and the idea of a book that had Dickens and Wilkie Collins hunting down an evil Egyptian crime lord was absolutely fascinating to me.
As I began reading, however, I came to realize that the plot mentioned above is almost beside the point. Really this novel is a vehicle in which author Dan Simmons combines Dickens’ biographical information, myths and rumors surrounding the works of both Dickens and Collins, characteristics of 19th century literature in general, and even contemporary fantasy. (more…)
This is part of our Rereadings series, which alternates Friday-duty with Fairy Tale Friday. For more background on the series, check out this post.
“…the longing to seek out a place a second time, to find deliberately what we stumbled on once before, to recapture the feeling of discovery. Sometimes we search out again even a place that was not remarkable in itself–we look for it simply because we remember it. If we do find it, of course, everything is different. The rough-hewn door is still there, but it’s much smaller; the day is cloudy instead of brilliant; it’s spring instead of autumn; we’re alone instead of with three friends. Or, worse, with three friends instead of alone.”
My rereading of The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova was a much more public affair than my original reading of it. It was proper New York read, complete with lengthy jaunts with the book on the subway and a few lunch-hour reading breaks. My original reading of the book occurred primarily on my quilted bed in my junior year dorm room with sun pouring in from a glorious Massachusetts May. This book utterly disrupted my reading period and prevented me from reading anything I was supposed to be studying in favor of feverishly reading about characters who had similarly forsaken their own academic fields of interest in favor of Dracula. But despite the change of scene, one thing remained completely the same between my original read and my reread: the speed with which I read the book and the sleep deprivation I endured to do so because it was literally too good to set aside. (more…)
This week, let’s take a moment and look at that often utterly un-scary literary phenomenon: the Victorian ghost story compendium. These remind me most of our modern-day Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (which my fifth grade English teacher insistently read to us and put the fear of God and spiders in my little 10-year-old heart) and involve a lot of “But Jenny’s been dead for 15 years!” endings. (more…)
The New York Times has published this article, commenting on the undead trend yet again, but also speculating on what Jane Austen might think regarding unauthorized sequels of her works. Having stumbled on Mr Darcy, Vampyre, today in Wal-Mart, naturally the subject was at the forefront of my mind.
Here’s my dilemma: Are novels that rework classics to include trendy motifs, like vampires or zombies, better or worse than other unauthorized sequels? (more…)
Just to follow-up on our discussions about loving vampires yesterday, Slate has an interesting article out today about how chaste our vampires are these days. They do everything but suck people’s blood it seems! This once again makes my point that people want to love vampires because it is an illusion of danger rather than a real threat. Check it out! (more…)
Can you tell me why the tortoise lives more long than generations of men; why the elephant goes on and on till he have seen dynasties; and why the parrot never die only of bite of cat or dog or other complaint? Can you tell me why men believe in all ages and places that there are some few who live on always if they be permit; that there be men and women who cannot die?
Immortality: every human wishes for it at one moment or another. No matter how logically we tell ourselves that living forever actually would be a special kind of hell (as illustrated in Tuck Everlasting), the temptation is still there.
Perhaps that’s why stories about the undead tend to fall into two categories: horror and romance. (more…)