Posts Tagged ‘Gothic novel’

Hell House by Richard Matheson Richard Matheson is one of my favorite authors, ”I am legend” is one hell of a horror novel.  ”Hell House” is not that special compared to the other two books I have read from this author. It seems obviously inspired by Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House which I read few days back. But this book is more creepier than ‘The Haunting Hill House’ where the haunting was imaginary and bit confusing.

Welcome to my house, I’m delighted you could come. I am certain you will find your stay here most illuminating. It is regrettable I cannot be with you, but I had to leave before your arrival. Do not let my physical absence disturb you, however. Think of me as your unseen host and believe that, during your stay here, I shall be with you in spirit.” ~ Emeric Belasco

This book begins with the new owner of the house assembling a crew to determine what, if anything, haunts this tomb-like mansion. The crew consists of Dr. Lionel Barrett (a scientist), his wife Edith, Benjamin Franklin Fischer (a physical medium whom had experienced the house previously and survived when all his crew members were dead), and Florence Tanner (a mental medium with a profound religious faith). They all set to this haunting house where Emeric Belasco used to receive his guests, soon they find out that these guests never left that place. It was a hell indeed for people who stayed there, hell with pleasure.

Author opens a door to this sinister world of sexual exploitations, physical cruelties and mental games. Soon this crew will find their own hell in this hell house. This book was published in 1971, so there is a classic touch to it.   My rating: 3 out of 5. I recommend this to horror fiction fans out there who like some good dose of creepiness.

The haunting hill house”The Haunting of Hill House” by Shirley Jackson was first published in 1959. What made me pick this book was very promising synopsis and a classic, gothic touch to it.  I love gothic fiction and the descriptions of creepy, unsettling hill house was just perfect. But somehow by the middle of the book I lost my interest. It was more of a mad roller coaster than a horror house story.

In The Haunting of Hill House, Dr Montague, an occult scholar, has gathered with three individuals selected for evidence of psychic abilities, in the old unoccupied mansion with its sad history of deaths, including suicide. The Doctor hopes to find solid evidence for what is called “haunting”. But the house is waiting patiently and planning to choose one person to control and make one of its own.

 It was creepy in the beginning but then turned into a story about a young mentally unstable woman losing her mind. I Don’t see any logical explanations for the things they see or at least they think they have seen. There are lot of unexplained things and its upon readers to decide if the haunting was real or just imaginary. My rating: 2 out of 5. I have seen a lot of good reviews but I couldn’t make myself to enjoy this book.

CarmillaCarmilla is a pre-Dracula vampire tale first published in 1872. I was excited to finally read the story that is really the grandmother of the vampire tale. This is a very important book in a historic sense because it was published 25 years before than Dracula. Also, it presented lesbian situations, it was a pioneer book in two subjects- Vampires and Lesbian literature.

The story opens on a young woman, Laura, living with her  father in an isolated Austrian village. A carriage accident forces a matronly women to ask Laura’s father to care for her daughter for a few weeks while she continues her urgent journey. Carmilla is a beautiful girl who is left by her mother starts staying with them, soon Laura notices some attraction between them beyond friendship one can never explain it but only feel. She becomes weak day by day and unnatural deaths around the village speciously goes high.

You can never compare this to modern Vampire novels because it was written centuries back and I think we should appreciate the author for his creativity and imagination which inspired others to write about vampires. My rating: 3 out of 5. It is a must read book if you are a vampire fiction fan.


The Liar of the white wormBeing a Bram Stoker’s Dracula fan how can I leave this book unread. But now I wish I could have just left it untouched. This was written one year before Stoker’s death. This is a weird book, With a strange set of characters that get involved in dangerous adventures and later talk about it as nothing happened at all. There is a total lack of feeling or emotion between the characters.

Adam Salton comes from Austria to meet his uncle where he finds strange pale, white lady- Arabella March, coldblooded monster dwelling in the bowls of earth. There are two lovely ladies who have some supernatural powers, to whom evil Edgar Caswall developes attraction for and ends up with hypnotic battles. In strange way animals are dying and children are getting bitten by something. Adam Salton discovers some white snake like monster who is responsible for this and developes passion for snake-killing mongooses.

This is a little strange book filled with all supernatural powers. I was expecting this book to be like Dracula but from the starting it was strange! But wanted to read it because Bram Stoker is the author. My rating is 1 out of 5.

Its been a long time that I read “real horror or real Vampire” novel. I am tired of reading same horror novels about Vampire falling in love with human, or a werewolf or a witch or what not?  Finally got a real Classic, Vampire, Gothic novel to read. Thanks to this post I found in a blog I follow- Freepagenumbers after reading this I wanted to read a real horror novel.

Dracula is an 1897 vampire novel written by an Irish author Bram Stoker. This novel is narrated in the form of letters or diary entries in that way reader will know what every character feels or thinks. Here Dracula is not sexist as we read other vampires are. May be becuase its  written in 1897, there is not much about romance.

 When Jonathan goes to the countryside of Transylvania to meet up with noble man Count Dracula to discuss about business, he realizes that what you hear as horror stories aren’t stories but real. He learns that castle of Dracula is full of horrifying things and he is a prisoner there. Dracula travels to England by leaving him with his women, who are equally horrifying and undead. From there the real story starts. How Jonathan’s fiance Mina, her friends are involved ? What Dracula wants? How can they hunt him down? How Jonathan can escape from three blood sucking vampire women? To know all these you should read “Dracula”. I am in love with this book  and I got nightmares about this as well ( may be few will find it as little over acting but I really got horrifying dreams 🙂 ) for a while I am in no mood to read any vampire novel and spoil the taste of this wonderful book ( may be I am over acting now 🙂 )

I watched the movie as I always do  most of the time after reading a book. Movie directed by Francis Ford Coppola in 1992 . Its a new version of Dracula. It tells an additional story how “Dracula” became vampire. Mina was revealed here to be the Count Dracula’s greatest love, which is not part of Stoker’s original ( I liked the original concept better than this one). Its completely different than the book. May be I should try watching old versions, Nosferatu,  Tod Browning’s version (1931), Hammer Films version ( 1958).