Thursday, 29 October 2015

October Classics Club Meme Question

It's been a very long time since I've updated but I've been so busy with University this year and, as a result, I haven't had time to read many books that aren't assigned for my classes. I've also been in one of the worst, if not the worst, ruts of my reading life. I've had to read a lot of books (mostly very dry books) for my classes and it's kind of sucked the life out of my love of reading. But University commitments are slowing down (last day of the semester is tomorrow!) and I finally have time to read books I want to read. I noticed the Classics Club posted a meme question for October, and being I'm in a rather spooky mood, I've decided to dedicate my first post since June (!) to answering that question.

The question is: "Tell us about your favourite or most terrifying, frightening, or eerie classic (novel, poem, short story) you have ever read." Thinking about the texts in the "horror/thriller" genre I've read I can't really think of many. I read more eerie texts than straight up horror and even then I haven't read many that can be classified as terrifying, frightening or eerie. With that said I have read a lot of 19th century Gothic novels and short stories as well as short stories and novellas post 1900. Instead of choosing one (which I just can't do) I'll choose a few and write a sentence or two on each. Hopefully if you haven't read some of these you'll put them on your TBR's!

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I'll start with Gothic novels I've read that have really seeped into my veins and still haven't quite left. Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole. I really loved it, although the punctuation and pace was almost unbearable at times, and even though it's not a scary story the atmosphere was eerie and it is obvious why it's remained a novel that's read to this day. The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson, although short, is one of the most terrifying books I've ever read. I am not surprised Stevenson's wife hated it nor am I surprised that Stevenson burned the manuscript (only to write it again in three days). It's a sharp prick of a novel, short but very frightening and I can't wait until I read it again one day. Olalla, another story written by Robert Louis Stevenson, was also quite eerie and frightening. It's a vampire story that influenced Bram Stoker so for that reason it has to be on every Dracula fan's TBR list. Dracula, by Bram Stoker is probably my favourite "terrifying" novel. It's long, and it's dense, and it's not perfect by any means but it's a monster of a book in every sense of the word. A must read for every fan of horror, vampires or the 19th century argument between the supernatural world and the world of science. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley is one of my all time favourite novels. It is another novel that discusses science vs the supernatural and Mary Shelley created one of the most terrifying monsters in literature. The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle is the last novel/novella I'll discuss in this post. It was terrifying, so terrifying that I couldn't sleep without dreaming of the hound for a week. Maybe that's because it doesn't take much to terrify me but the atmosphere was so eerie and the Hound was so terrifying. My favourite Sherlock Holmes novel so far.


I'll leave it there as this post is getting long but I also have a lot of favourite gothic and "eerie" short stories and poems. Most of which are written by Edgar Allan Poe. The Raven and the Tell Tale Heart stand out amongst the many short stories and poetry Edgar Allan Poe produced during his lifetime. I think I'll spend Halloween night reading some of them again and if I do hopefully I'll be able to write up a post about them.


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I'm currently reading Sir Gawain and the Green Knight by (Unknown) and I've decided to ease myself back into reviewing books by splitting my Sir Gawain reviews into separate posts. The first post, reviewing the first "Fit", will be up sometime before Sunday. Happy reading!