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Thursday, June 3, 2010

Top 10 Gothic Novels of the 20th Century

In The Guardian this week, Carlos Ruiz Zafon, Spanish author of The Shadow of the Wind, listed his top 10 Gothic novels of the 20th Century. From the article:
"Mention the gothic and many readers will probably picture gloomy castles and an assortment of sinister Victoriana. However, the truth is that the gothic genre has continued to flourish and evolve since the days of Bram Stoker, producing some of its most interesting and accomplished examples in the 20th century – in literature, film and beyond. Ours is a time with a dark heart, ripe for the noir, the gothic and the baroque. A basic list of great 20th-century gothic novels could include at least 100 but, since space is limited, here are a few places to begin your explorations. As always, try to get out of your comfort zone and ignore conventional wisdom on what is good or bad. 'Free your mind, and the rest will follow ..."
Readers of this blog know I am a huge fan of this type of Gothic fiction as Zafon describes it. And, I was happy to see that we share the same favorite 20th Century Gothic novel, Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House.

If you have never read The Haunting of Hill House, drag yourself to the library right now and check it out. You will be shocked by how much of what you love in more recent dark, psychological suspense and even horror books is directly related to the stories and novels Jackson wrote years ago.  Most libraries have a copy or two of The Haunting of Hill House on their shelves. It warms my heart to see others singing its praises.

While you are at it, check out a copy of the even better story, The Lottery.

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