Lucifer, a Lover of Literature in Alleluia: The Devil’s Carnival

Me with actor Marc Senter who plays The Scorpion
Me with actor Marc Senter who plays The Scorpion

*Contains only vague and minor spoilers*

Some of you may have heard of the latest series of cult classic films to lure the dark and morbid out of their caves and into movie theaters around America. If you haven’t, I highly suggest that you check out The Devil’s Carnival. This project is the brainchild of Darren Lynn Bousman and Terrance Zdunich—the producer and writer behind the beloved gothic musical, Repo: The Genetic Opera. Bousman is also well known to horror-lovers as the director of several of the Saw movies. This new project, however, is not horror in the traditional sense. Much like Repo, The Devil’s Carnival is a musical with dark themes and aesthetics. The first movie, The Devil’s Carnival: Episode One was released in 2012, with Terrance, Darren, and several of the actors touring around various movie theaters with the film to drum up support for this independent project. After a long wait, the sequel had finally arrived and is currently touring around the country. I went to see the show not once, but twice in the past couple weeks and I was not disappointed. Alleluia: The Devil’s Carnival is the perfect film for dark-minded book lovers. Continue reading Lucifer, a Lover of Literature in Alleluia: The Devil’s Carnival

Nightfall Review and Giveaway!

You know the drill–whispered tales of dark creatures that live in the forest and only come out at night. Only in this world, night lasts for 14 years…

Nightfall coverNightfall, a young adult novel blending horror and fantasy, is a joint effort written by Jake Halpern and Peter Kujawinski, best known for their epic fantasy Dormia series. Nightfall comes out in just over two weeks, on September 22, but I managed to pick up a couple of Advanced Reader Copies at Book Expo America this year so I could give you a sneak peek of the harrowing horror that is headed your way. You can preorder the book now from Peter Kujawinski’s website or Amazon–OR you can ENTER A GIVEAWAY to win a FREE ADVANCED READER’S COPY by the end of this week! Read through to the bottom for instructions on how to enter the giveaway. Continue reading Nightfall Review and Giveaway!

Gothic Children’s Books

It’s never too early to start exploring the beauty that can be found in darkness. Some may find death and other macabre topics inappropriate for children, but I feel that being able to talk openly about these subjects is important. Things like death, darkness, and monsters don’t need to be scary, and in fact can be part of fun, interesting, and thoughtful stories for kids. Now I’m not saying to take your four year old to a slasher film, but you don’t need to shield them from everything but rainbows and unicorns either. I’ve compiled a list of children’s books on the darker side that are appropriate for a variety of ages. Check out my list below and let me know if you have any to add! Continue reading Gothic Children’s Books

Gothic Tropes: The Unreliable Narrator

This is one of my favorite gothic tropes. Often used in horror or mystery, an unreliable narrator is a first-person narrator of a story whose words the reader is not meant to take at face value. The narrator may be deliberately lying or their words may be influenced by unconscious bias or delusions. In the case of gothic fiction, it is most often this last reason that causes many narrators to be considered unreliable. Continue reading Gothic Tropes: The Unreliable Narrator

Picking Your Next Gothic Read

My bookshelf--aka where I go to find my next gothic read
My bookshelf–aka where I go to find my next gothic read.

Summer is winding down, but you’ve still got time to squeeze in a few more summer reads! The only question is what to choose. If you don’t already have a stack of TBRs piled next to your bed like I do, finding your next book can be a daunting task. But not to worry, that’s what librarians are for! As your virtual Gothic Librarian, I’ve compiled some tips for helping you find your next dark and decadent read: Continue reading Picking Your Next Gothic Read

The Roots of Gothic Literature

The term “Gothic” (with a capital G) refers to an era of literature and its accompanying trend in architecture during the late 18th century and throughout the 19th century. Both the literary and architectural movements were characterized by a return to medieval aesthetics. Fashionable English aristocrats, such as Horace Walpole, began to fill their estates with highly ornamented turrets and towers reminiscent of medieval churches.

Gothic church photo 1
Cathedral of St. John the Divine–a church with Gothic elements

Meanwhile, many authors began to abandon the Enlightenment principles of rationality and reason in favor of exploring the pleasure that can be found in emotions like terror. The original Gothic stories featured Gothic castles, abbeys, and ruins of the sort that were now being recreated and were often set in a vaguely medieval past. They generally included elements of the supernatural in reaction against the recent trend of realism and were characterized by melodrama, mystery, and suspense. Listed below are some of the seminal works of early Gothic fiction. Continue reading The Roots of Gothic Literature

The Graveyard Book Review–A Ghost Story for All Ages

The Graveyard Book CoverNeil Gaiman is known and respected in the gothic community for many reasons. His comic book series The Sandman, which revolutionized the world of comics, stars a character called Death who became a fashion icon for goths for decades to come. His book Coraline brought creepy children’s tales to the public eye when it was made into a movie in 2009. My favorite work of his that I’ve read so far, however, is another kid’s book—The Graveyard Book.

This book is a tale for practically any age (the back recommends 10 and up, it does contain some mentions of violence). While certainly accessible to children, I found it perfectly enjoyable to read for the first time as an adult. There are many subtleties that might be missed by young readers (as they are often missed by the character Bod) that enrich the story for adults.  Continue reading The Graveyard Book Review–A Ghost Story for All Ages

The Vampire Literary Canon

"Carmilla" by David Henry Friston
“Carmilla” by David Henry Friston

Now, how can we possibly talk about gothic literature without mentioning the vampire genre? Of all the creatures that go bump in the night, vampires have long been a favorite of writers and readers alike. Today of course, the word brings to mind the type of teenage vampire love story popularized by Stephanie Meyer. To have a true appreciation of the genre however, I urge you to check out some of the classic stories that established the concept of vampires as we think of them today and informed the countless vampire novels that followed:

Continue reading The Vampire Literary Canon

Gothic Charm School Review–Book by a Fellow Goth Blogger

The whole concept of starting a gothic blog came into my head when I first stumbled onto Jillian Venters’ Gothic Charm School blog a few years ago. Jillian is a wise and eloquent eldergoth with whom I share many of the same views regarding the gothic subculture and its aesthetic. I highly suggest you check out her blog, but I also recommend that you check out her book, as well.

Gothic Charm School coverGothic Charm School by Jillian Venters is a collection of the amassed wisdom of the type that she dispenses on her blog, decorated with lovely illustrations by her husband. The Lady of the Manners, as she refers to herself, speaks in a charming style throughout the book (notable for her frequent use of the third person). Subtitled “An Essential Guide for Goths and Those Who Love Them,” Gothic Charm School is directed at a wide audience—both goths themselves and those outside the subculture who want to learn more about it. Jillian combines humor with practical advice in chapters ranging from “Dealing with roommates” to “Why friends don’t let friends dress like the Crow.”  Continue reading Gothic Charm School Review–Book by a Fellow Goth Blogger

Made for You Review–Suspense With a Side of Supernatural

Made for You coverMelissa Marr may be better known for her fairy-filled urban fantasies, but her most recent YA novel delves into the darker side of the human realm. With just a touch of the supernatural, Made For You is a suspenseful thriller that examines the minds of an obsessed stalker and his target. Eva Tilling is the unintentional It Girl of a privileged Southern high school. Despite her occasional frustration with the social status inherited from her parents, Eva seems to have it all: a great boyfriend, plenty of friends, invitations to all the best parties, and the envy of the rest of the school. Until one night she gets hit by a car…and realizes it wasn’t an accident. She wakes up to discover that she has gained a strange new ability—when others touch her, she can foresee their deaths.

Continue reading Made for You Review–Suspense With a Side of Supernatural