The grisly, the sublime, and moral quandaries are all fascinating aspects of the Gothic genre—and Silvia Moreno-Garcia doesn’t shy away from them in her novel, Mexican Gothic.Read More »
Circe by Madeline Miller – Review
Being the daughter of one of the most powerful gods might give you the most extravagant lifestyle you can imagine–yet Circe’s life is anything but that.
A tale of triumphs, grief, heartbreak, and ego-filled gods, Circe focuses on the peculiar daughter of Helios (god of the sun) and Perse (a nymph and naiad). Since her childhood, Circe the nymph has had to go through all sorts of trials and tribulations that her siblings don’t even have to–and she eventually snaps, getting ousted from the opulent house of Helios.Read More »
Haunted by Chuck Palahniuk – Review
17 people go on a writer’s retreat to craft pretty words with no distractions, no contact with the outside world, all together in an abandoned theater for three months. What could possibly go wrong?
Haunted by Chuck Palahniuk is a compilation of 14 disturbing short stories that are part of a bigger narrative. Following the lives of 19 people with names representative of the stories they tell, such as Saint Guts, Sister Vigilante, and Mother Nature. Palahniuk adds a much darker and satirical tone in a setting and premise that might remind the audience of Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None.Read More »
Piranesi by Susanna Clarke – Review
In the dream-like House encompassed by a sea, Piranesi is surrounded by beautiful statues, endless halls and even dangerous pathways. While this labyrinthine is the only thing he’s ever known, Piranesi discovers that there’s more to it than he realizes.
The fantasy novel follows the journal entries of Piranesi, a man who lives in a place called the House comprising infinite vestibules, intricate statues, and even an ocean that sweeps back and forth in it. Being the sole inhabitant of the House – besides an occassional visitor he calls the Other whom he does research with—he explores and takes notes of every nook and cranny of it in his journal. From the tidal patterns to the skeletons and statues, Piranesi has great respect for this World—but things start getting fishy about the only place he’s ever known, and we’re not talking about the ones he catches for food.
Like the House, the prose itself is beautiful—Clarke somehow makes statues and fishing sound intriguing. Although many fantasy books can have complicated world-building that can confuse or bore readers, Clarke’s descriptions are delightfully entrancing. From Piranesi’s journal entries, his appreciation and awe for the House is more than conspicuous, calling himself the “Beloved Child of the House.” It’s akin to how many people often view religion:Read More »
Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill – Review
Rock star Judas Coyne with a taste for the macabre decides to buy a ghost off the internet. It sounds gnarly, stupid and a waste of time – but he eventually wishes it was only that.
[Content warning and spoiler: assault, gore, violence, death, mental, physical and sexual abuse]
This novel follows a rock star, Judas Coyne (Jude), who loves collecting obscure and freakish objects. With his creepy collection that includes everything from a noose to a snuff film, nothing seems extreme to him. So when he becomes the highest bidder for a ghost on sale from a website, he merely thinks it’s a scam. But then, the ghost arrives in the form of a dead man’s suit, in a heart-shaped box. What then ensues is completely unexpected and reveals more of Jude’s past and relationships.
Heart-Shaped Box sounds like it has a bit of a goofy premise, and I was initially skeptical of it because combining technology with the supernatural has always been difficult to pull off, I find – it either comes across as cringe-worthy or trying too hard, unless it’s intentionally comedic.Read More »
Interview with Merve Derya Yazicioğlu: Love, Exile, and Witches in “A Life Lost”
A while ago, Merve published her own poetry book titled “A Life Lost.” Drawing from her own experiences as a Turkish immigrant in the Netherlands, she combines her love for medieval literature and contemporary, exploratory format of poetry to talk about all things witchy, mystical yet relevant to the current culture. She has also impressively drawn illustrations in the book herself, which complement the words conveyed on each page. With the interview here below, Merve explains more about her poetry and thought process when writing.Read More »
Near the Bone by Christina Henry – Review
Imagine living on a secluded snowy mountain in the middle of nowhere. You’ve been living with your husband, a monster, for 12 years – only to discover that there’s a new one lurking in the woods. How are you going to survive and escape both of them?
[Content Warning: SA, Abuse]
Christina Henry’s Near the Bone explores the horrors that the main character – Mattie – has to endure in an abusive relationship with her husband, William. While the premise does make it seem like the book mainly explores the strange supernatural-like entity living on the mountain, it actually focuses more on the abuse that Mattie endures which I don’t mind, the blurb is just a bit misleading. Mattie and William both have been residing on a mountain, almost completely secluded from the outside world. After years of being trapped and not having seen a single soul, it’s clear that William is not who claims to be and has tried to instill the idea that Mattie’s life revolves entirely around him. Her discovery of a horrifying yet intelligent creature called the “cryptid” alarms her and shows that there’s something else she should be afraid of, which also becomes the catalyst of her realisation that she could try to escape.Read More »
1984 by George Orwell – Review
There is no doubt that a lot of people are familiar with George Orwell’s famous dystopian novel “Nineteen Eighty-Four” – particularly due to its well-known slogan that is often used these days, “Big Brother is watching you”. But why is this novel considered a classic?
This novel focuses on Airstrip One (previously known as Great Britain) and its state of utter chaos where people suffer under the regime of a totalitarian government and are being watched – literally – by surveillance cameras planted in every corner of the country, and the relationship between the Novel’s two protagonists: Winston Smith and Julia.Read More »