Three Gothic Novels

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I'll have to go back and read The Castle of Otranto when I have a chance. As for Vathek, it's a pretty good story, if you can get through the antiquated style. This book has been sitting on my "currently reading" shelf since November because I keep forgetting to move it! This was one of the first books I started in my "gothtober" reading month, and I didn't end up finishing it until a couple of days after Halloween. While I loved "Castle of Otranto," I have to say that most of "Vathek" was boring and went over my head.

I'm sure there was profound imagery and metaphor there, but I just did not absorb any of it. I guess it's This book has been sitting on my "currently reading" shelf since November because I keep forgetting to move it! I guess it's called the original work of gothic fiction by many, and that makes me even more impressed with it. I could totally see where all of the gothic tropes we know came from based on this book.

Paul Murray's top 10 gothic novels

It was very well done. A bit predictable, but that's just because I've read his type of book before.


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It is still original, despite me having figured out many of the plot points. The whole thing was cold, dark, and moved quickly. I actually may have even liked this reading of it better because the first time I read it was for a class in college and it was a completely analytical read. Nov 17, Helen rated it it was amazing. I have read all these three stories and all of them are really great. I definitely recommend this book!! Besides, all three of them are very significant.

The Castle of Otranto is considered to be the very first official Gothic story every published The Gothic genre officially starts with its publication. A very entertaining book with all the characteristics of the so-called "first" or classic Gothics which were published by the hundreds from until about Vathek: an exotic Got I have read all these three stories and all of them are really great.

Vathek: an exotic Gothic which keeps your interest alive until the very end. And what more to say about Frankenstein? Such a dear, such a loved book!! Sep 05, Jessica Hausheer rated it really liked it Shelves: Frankenstein was really interesting, but when I got to the last page I flipped over expecting one last chapter because Shelley just left me hanging. Sep 21, Janellyn51 rated it liked it. The Castle one was kind of interesting, you have to kind of get into a rythym with the language and then it goes a bit faster.

It's almost more a comedy of errors.


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  • Manfred was a complete cretin, sneaky and gross, The horror part of it to me, wasn't where the gigantic helmet or other body parts came from, it was the idea that Manfred then thought he would marry Isabelle, as if! And the daughter, why she didn't hang herself, I'll never understand! Vathek, I didn't care for that much.

    Horace Walpole

    He was like a The Castle one was kind of interesting, you have to kind of get into a rythym with the language and then it goes a bit faster. He was like a cross between Ludwig the swan king and his lavish castles, and fantasy land, and the creepy character in Joyce Carol Oates, The Accursed, and his version of hell. Anyway, it wasn't something I could get into that much.

    Frankenstein, now that was interesting, and you certainly shouldn't think that because you've "seen the film" you know the story, because it doesn't bear the vaguest resemblance to Mary's book. It sounds like Mary would have been content to have it be a short story, which came about one stormy night on the lake in Geneva with Lord Byron and Polidori, but, Shelley talked her into fleshing out the story. I found the part where the monster is beginning to become conscious of being conscious interesting, sight blurry at first gradually coming into focus, hearing, putting two and tow together.

    CHARLES BROCKDEN BROWN: Three Gothic Novels by Charles Brockden Brown | Kirkus Reviews

    It is an interesting question, should Victor have created a female for the monster? The monsters logic, when he made his case, was sound, and although he'd murdered, you could still sympathize with how he felt about his loneliness and not hard to believe that he would happily have gone to another country and lived happily ever after. But then, Victor wasn't off in wondering if he did create a woman for him, she might be a creep and reek havoc, and if they procreated? Well, Victor was a smart guy, did he not get all he had to do on that account was not give her a uterus?!!!

    Anyway, I'm glad I read it. Jan 20, Catherine Chapman rated it liked it. Review of 'The Castle of Otranto' - 'Entertainingly warped morality' I began reading this book as research for a Regency romance I was writing that contained references to Gothic novels. I realised although I thought I had the concept of a Gothic novel, the ones I've read previously 'Frankenstein' and 'Wuthering Heights' are deemed Gothic by virtue of their narrative structure, rather than the actual content.

    Well, initially I Review of 'The Castle of Otranto' - 'Entertainingly warped morality' I began reading this book as research for a Regency romance I was writing that contained references to Gothic novels. Well, initially I thought I wouldn't persevere with it as the start is just ridiculous but I began to find the story strangely compelling and the characterisation and dialogue very funny.

    The problem I find in reviewing this book is that I couldn't take it seriously - I think it's hard for a modern Western reader to entertain the notion that the author's intention in writing this book could ever have been serious.

    What I loved most about 'The Castle of Otranto' was the warped morality. The story centres around Manfred's decision to divorce his current wife and marry a younger woman. Manfred is just an egotistical brute but it's very funny when the narrator's voice intervenes -quite frequently- to assure us that Manfred isn't really that bad! Also, the total lack of speech marks or paragraphing to indicate who's speaking just adds to the comedy of reading the story as you often get lost in the dialogue.

    Three Gothic Novels

    Overall, I'm awarding 3 stars because I found the book entertaining. If you're inquisitive about the Gothic novel and you're not intent upon taking 'The Castle of Otranto' too seriously, it's worth a read. Frankenstein I have already read and reviewed. Horace Walpole's The Castle of Otranto is an early piece of gothic. The story is highly melodramatic with bevies of swooning maidens, over-wraught heroes and plotting baddies.

    The writing is highly 'tell don't show' and as such gets somewhat tiring. Also none of the speech is laid out on modern lines new line; speech marks so it's sometimes confusing as to who says what. There are some supernatural elements but these tended to fall away as the nar Frankenstein I have already read and reviewed. There are some supernatural elements but these tended to fall away as the narrative progressed- some of the spooky events such as the walking painting had no real purpose to them but added to the atmosphere. It's an interesting period piece but doesn't hold up as a thrilling read in this age.

    Vathek is more easily comprehensible- it actually reads quite a bit like a Conan the Barbarian story with extravagant landscapes and improbable palaces, luxury, decadence, terror and despair- yup, all the good ingredients. There isn't a great deal of structure to the plot we just ramble on from one scene of outrage to the next in company with the irrepressible Vathek. There are definite shades of Lovecraft, Howard and other 2oth century masters of the macabre within.

    This review is only for The Castle of Otranto and Vathek , because I intend to read Frankenstein at a later date, at my own leisure, with plenty of time for reflection.

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    I'm beginning to realise that it's hard for me to rate Gothic fiction, because I read it for fun. Even when I can't appreciate plot or characterisation, I appreciate the atmosphere, the air of mystery and terror. That's definitely the case with Otranto. Vathek , on the other hand, is just overall bad. I'm not even sure it should coun This review is only for The Castle of Otranto and Vathek , because I intend to read Frankenstein at a later date, at my own leisure, with plenty of time for reflection.

    I'm not even sure it should count as Gothic because the setting is entirely wrong, and there's just no sense of impending doom.


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    The characters are ridiculous rather than ominous, and I lost interest in the story multiple times. Aug 25, Sasha rated it it was amazing. We are all reptiles, miserable sinful creatures. It is piety alone that can distinguish us from the dust whence we sprung, and whither we must return. Nov 29, Kat TheBookoholic rated it liked it.

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