ghostly recommendations request

Rowland, Jennifer A B jennifer.rowland at imperial.ac.uk
Mon Apr 11 05:40:30 EDT 2005


> My officemate is going on a long plane trip, and wants
> me to recommend her a nice, scary book. But she wants
> it 'old-fashioned' (a modern pastiche of gothic novels
> might fit the bill) and without vampires - she hates
> Anne Rice - or werewolves. 

Jo Walton recommended a book recently (I haven't read it); it seems to be in print, but might not be the easiest to find. "Mary Stewart's Nine Coaches Waiting is the most gothic Gothic there ever was, it couldn't be more gothic if it was covered all over with little gargoyles and flying buttresses. ... Now of course everything, including the exciting escape and chase sequences, goes exactly as one would expect, so it's not really much for suspense, but that's OK. If you want a genuine dyed-in-the-wool Gothic, of the kind they really don't make any more, one that's beautifully written and described and isn't in any way subversive of its genre, I can't recommend it highly enough."

The other things that came to mind are Victorian thrillers, Le Fanu or Wilkie Collins or some of Dickens' or Conan Doyle's supernatural short stories, or Kipling did some quite spooky stuff. They might be modern enough to be scary (the original Gothics aren't any more, I find) while having a nice old-fashioned feel.
Jennifer


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