Wednesday, September 21, 2022

The Devil in Silver Read-Along - Discussion One

Spoiler Warning: If you are not reading along with us, the below discussion post and comments may contain spoilers.

A few days late. What else is new with me? Always a day behind and...well, you know. Anyway, to start, this book is amazing so far! 

I read LaValle's The Ballad of Black Tom novella several years ago and I really liked it. Such a great spin on a Lovecraftian tale. I didn't hesitate to buy this one, but then it languished on my shelf for a time. My mom did read it and said it was really good so at that point I knew it would be right up my alley. I have not been disappointed so far.

I think we all secretly fear being imprisoned against our will, especially if that imprisonment occurred in a mental hospital. This may be even more visceral for women, who in history were committed for hysteria and other stupid reasons like speaking their minds, or going against the norms of the time. So, I can relate to Pepper's predicament, even though I've never been committed myself. I mean really, if you're arrested for assault, the last thing a person would honestly expect would be to find themselves in a mental hospital. Jail would seem the proper avenue, right? So, right off the bat, I knew something was fishy. Next we get allusions to danger in various ways...Dorry stating Northwest Four is off limits, then Coffee talking about needing to call the Mayor because he's "seen it," and then perhaps not really an allusion...Pepper's encounter with the creature (yikes) putting its hands in his mouth, etc. Now that part was unsettling. 

Not much more to say about this section except for speculation on who or what this creature is. Is it indeed a creature that had been living there and Northwest was built just to hold it, or is it what Dorry said, it being the first patient on the ward before her time? I guess we will find out, but I will say there seems to be some kind of supernatural element as well. Remember the invisible snorting and stench with no obvious source that Pepper and the cop (Dewey) experienced? Also, the strange pull that door at the end of Northwest Four had for Pepper when he ventured that way. What do you think?

Share your thoughts on this week's section in the comments, or leave a link to a post. We'll be back for the next discussion on October 2nd (or If you need the reading schedule, find it here.

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Friday, September 16, 2022

My thoughts on Barbarian (2022)

You've probably seen the previews and you may already have a clear picture in your mind of how the movie is going to go. I'm not going to tell you one way or another. No spoilers shall come forth from my mouth. Let me just say...WOW! This movie has everything a fan would want in a horror movie. Set in the abandoned neighborhoods of Detroit, Michigan (part of the premise is that real estate is way cheap there), this quaint "Air BNB" house sticks out like a sore thumb. The creepiness of these abandoned houses really adds to the film's atmosphere. But I've digressed from my main point. Barbarian pretty much has it all. Suspense. A few jump scares. Yes, there is even some gore, and other gross elements. It really was scary, and it definitely will have people questioning their stays in Air BNB, Home Away, and other such places. Just keep in mind that you don't need to go in the basement of one of these rentals. I mean it. 

So yeah, this is one of the best horror films I've seen in a while. You should definitely add it to your scary movie schedule this season. 

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Monday, September 5, 2022

My thoughts on The Invitation (2022)

Saturday was National Cinema Day. Most theaters across the U.S. were offering $3 tickets for all movies. We saw The Invitation, a movie I was looking forward to seeing. I was not disappointed. Even better than I expected regarding the scare factor because the previews didn't really allude to it being really scary (in my opinion). There were some genuinely scary (and jumpy) moments. Ultimately though, the film is a twist on my favorite classic horror novel, Dracula. If you love the book like I do, you will enjoy the various references to the original. The only downside for me were the incessant conversations between Evie and Walt. Entirely too much talking. I will say that Evie and Walt had great chemistry, and I liked them both for their particular roles. I've been a fan of Nathalie Emmanuel (Evie) since her stint on Game of Thrones, and Thomas Doherty as Walt is a newcomer to me, but I did see he has been in quite a few shows/movies. I'd like to see more of him for sure. Those eyes! 

In all, I say see this movie if you like horror, Gothic tales, and Dracula. It's the perfect movie for the fall spooky season. 

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Thursday, September 1, 2022

Gothic Stories Master Post 2022 #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. Look for the link in the menu above (Gothic Stories 2022).

I have lined up a selection of works and collections by classic authors considered writers of Gothic horror/fiction. I will be picking and choosing from works by M.R. James, Algernon Blackwood, and from this Project Gutenberg collection of works by various authors, Black Spirits and White: A Book of Ghost Stories. I'm also considering The Witch of Ravensworth by George Brewer, The House on the Borderland by William Hope Hodgson, and The Haunted House by Walter Hubbell. This will be time permitting, of course.

Please share what you've read/your thoughts on what you've read in the comments, or share a link to your blog post. You can also share in our Goodreads group (Seasons of Reading). There will be a thread under Fall Readathons/Events. You can also share in our Seasons of Reading Discord

If you continue reading Gothic stories into October, please feel free to share in the comments. I'll keep the tab in the blog menu.


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#SomethingWickedFall 2022 featuring The Devil in Silver, stories, movies, and more!

Here we are at year five! I don't know about anyone else, but here at Castle Macabre, spooky season starts TODAY! Keep reading for all the wicked fun!

Everything on the agenda is on the button above, but I'm going to share more details below. If you're on Facebook, we have a Seasons of Reading group and page, where we interact during readathons so I'll be sharing info there, and also on the Seasons of Reading Instagram, and in our Seasons of Reading Goodreads group. Castle Macabre also has a Facebook page. Forgot to mention...we have a Seasons of Reading Discord. I will create a Something Wicked Fall channel if anyone is up for some live interaction. Here's the invite link:

😈 Victor LaValle's The Devil in Silver read-along. We will be reading the book for the entire two months. My mom borrowed it a couple of years ago, and said it was really good. Time to mark it off the TBR!

Discussions will be held on this blog. I will put a new post up every two weeks on Sunday. We will read along according to the schedule below.

My edition is the Spiegel & Grau (hardcover) edition, published 2012. 412 pages.

Read-Along Schedule
  • Week One (start Sept 1): Ch 1 - 4, pp 3 -48
  • Week Two (week of Sept 12): Ch 5 - 11, pp 49 - 101
    Discussion post over weeks one and two - Sunday, September 18
  • Week Three (week of Sept 19): Ch 12 - 15, pp 102 - 153
  • Week Four (week of Sept 26): Ch 16 - 20, pp 154 - 203
    Discussion post over weeks three and four - Sunday, October 2
  • Week Five (week of Oct 3): Ch 21 - 28, pp 204 - 251
  • Week Six (week of Oct 10): Ch 29 - 33, pp 252 - 299
    Discussion post over weeks five and six - Sunday, October 16
  • Week Seven (week of Oct 17): Ch 34 - 37, pp 303 - 351
  • Week Eight (week of Oct 24): Ch 38 - Author's Note, pp 352 - 412 (end)
    Discussion post over weeks seven and eight - Sunday, October 30

💀 In September, we're focusing on Gothic stories (Edgar Allan Poe, H.P. Lovecraft, and others). There's a great list on Goodreads for reference, Best Gothic Books of All Time. I'm not going to set up any read-alongs for this. I'll create a master post and you can stop by and share what you read, and your thoughts, in the comments of that post.

🎃 In October, we're focusing on horror stories. There are a couple of great lists on Goodreads for reference...Best Horror Anthologies and Horror Collections (Single Author). I'm not going to set up any read-alongs for this either. I'll create another master post and you can stop by and share what you read, and your thoughts, in the comments of that post. 

👹 Horror movie/shows I watch an inordinate amount of horror movies and shows during the season so I will be sharing my take on some of those, and will probably share a few book reviews as well. As always, I invite guest posts or reviews from anyone who cares to contribute. The more the merrier! 

👻 #FrightFall Readathon, October all month long, at Seasons of Reading. Sign ups for the readathon will be open soon. Reader's Imbibing Peril (R.I.P.) is going on right now as well.

I believe I've covered everything. If you have any questions, feel free to comment, or contact me via the contact form (click the image near the top of the sidebar) No official sign-up for this. Just share that you're in by leaving a comment. You can join in as little or as much as you want.

If you have already read this post (or if you haven't), I'm adding an addendum, as I forgot to mention Countdown to Halloween! It's an annual event hosted by my friend Michelle aka Naila Moon. You can check out all the details here, and grab a badge if you'd like to participate. 

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