Monday, September 16, 2019

Gothic Stories Master Post #SomethingWickedFall

This is the master post for Gothic books or short stories read during Something Wicked Fall. I will be updating this post with my thoughts on stories I've read during the event.

Please share what you've read/your thoughts on what you've read in the comments. I think this will make for some hearty conversation!

Note: I've included a tab in the blog menu so you can find this page easily.


My thoughts on...

The Lottery and Other Stories by Shirley Jackson

Shirley Jackson, probably the most famous 20th century Gothic author. I'm about halfway through this book now. When I first started it, I skipped to the end to read The Lottery first. Oh my goodness! What a story. Veins of Harvest Home by Thomas Tryon, The Wicker Man, and even the recent Midsommar. A subgenre moniker I recently stumbled upon thanks to Katherine Nabity, Folk Horror. There's an excellent article about the three films which are considered the "progenitors of folk horror" here, and it also outlines the definition of the genre itself (below).

Folk horror is concerned with characters and communities who are located out of the way of urban environments. As such, they have developed their own skewered belief systems, which results in violent and twisted acts being carried out on the unfortunate victims who find themselves caught up in the madness. These communities have ranged from pagans to hoodie gangs, and they can be any group of people who live beyond the fringes of normal society.

I love the subgenre myself so The Lottery was a real treat for me. Another favorite, which I've read previously, is The Witch. It's very short, but has a menacing quality, especially for anyone who is a mom. 

Most of the stories aren't particularly scary so far, but I like them because they touch on aspects of human nature and society. Stories about lying (Like Mother Used to Make, Charles, Afternoon in Linen) betrayal (The Daemon Lover, Like Mother Used to Make), deception (Like Mother Used to Make, The Daemon Lover) and racism (After You, My Dear Alphonse, Flower Garden). Studies of communities and the nature of gossip (The Renegade, Flower Garden). 

Looking forward to reading the rest of the book. I'll be back to share more thoughts soon.

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Doctor Sleep #Read-Along - Week Two #SomethingWickedFall

So sorry I'm late with this week's post. I was a bit under the weather this weekend.

I'm still loving this book so much. I found it quite poignant, the incorporation of 9/11 in the story, as we just passed the 18th anniversary of that tragic event. If only there would have been someone psychic who could have warned us. Not an infant like poor baby Abra. I can only imagine how she felt, seeing those visions, and not being able to express anything beyond crying and crying. Of course, there were surely some real grown-up psychics/precognates among the True Knot who could have possibly given a warning, but all they cared about was ingesting the "good steam." Though it's unlikely anyone would have believed such a warning anyway. The people in the world who so readily embrace their spiritual beliefs, yet cannot even fathom the possibility of supernatural power in the world. I'm not saying I believe 100 percent, but I certainly believe it's possible. How about you?

What Danny does for the old people of Rivington House is wonderful, in my opinion. Plus, the cat seems an added dose of comfort. I can only hope for such a peaceful passing when my time comes...hopefully, at a good old age.

It's wonderful that Dan is three years sober and has found a beneficial way to use the "shine." The story is coming together nicely, as Dan knows Doctor John from AA, who also happens to be Abra's doctor. We can pretty much guess that Dan helping DJ to find his watch in his special way will lead DJ to get Dan involved with Abra and her special ability. Though Abra is already making her presence known to Dan, and remember, Dan had already thought of Abra earlier when he writes ABRA in his AA meetings notebook.

I'm excited to keep reading, though trying not to read ahead. It's damn hard!

Share your thoughts on this week's section in the comments, or leave a link to a post. We'll be back next week for the next section. If you need the reading schedule, find it here.

I have a poll on SurveyMonkey for our watch-along of The Shining. I'm going to leave it open for one more day. If you haven't voted yet, please do so here:

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Sunday, September 8, 2019

Doctor Sleep #Read-Along - Week One #SomethingWickedFall

Okay, so this read-along is going to be hard! I'm going to have to force myself not to read ahead. This is the first SK book in a while that has grabbed me immediately, and really makes me want to keep reading. Granted, I haven't read any of his newer offerings yet, and have yet to read some of his older ones (scandalous, I many books, so little time), but I'm thrilled that I'm enjoying this one so far.

I guess it was inevitable that Danny would inherit his father's alcoholism, though I think he's fighting stronger demons than his father was. I can't imagine someone seeing the things he sees. It was good that he had Dick Halloran around to help him when he was still young, and that Dick's wisdom stays with him, though he doesn't always heed the advice/warnings in his head.

The True Knot are an interesting group, and scary. The woman with the top hat may be beautiful, but she scares me nonetheless. Can't wait to find out what nefarious plans she has for Danny, and others. I saw the new preview for the movie yesterday before IT: Part Two came on (great movie, by the way) and it looks like it's going to be really good. Ewan McGregor...swoon! It gave away some details that I now know are coming in the book, involving a certain someone.

Share your thoughts on this week's section in the comments, or leave a link to a post. We'll be back next week for the next section. If you need the reading schedule, find it here.

Read on for some other business...

We are planning two or three movie watch-alongs during Something Wicked Fall. Someone mentioned watching The Shining for one of them. What do you think? Weigh-in in the comments.

Castle Macabre had another birthday, and I missed it! As of August 15, 2019, we've been on the web for 8 years! In honor of this blogiversary, I created a new blog button. Check it out in the sidebar.

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