Monday, October 10, 2011

Review: Gothic!

Gothic!: Ten Original Dark Tales
Edited by Deborah Noyes
Published 2004 by Candlewick Press

Ten young adult authors offer their takes on the gothic short story. I read this one in preparation for Halloween - during the month of October I like to read and watch mostly horror-focused media (because it's my favorite anyway so why not take the whole month?). So I grabbed a few short story collections to read at the same time as my many ARCs. I figured I could take time to read one short story a day - and I certainly do. This was the first collection I dived into and I have to say, it was a pretty good one. Like I've mentioned recently, all anthologies/collections have their ups and downs. For me, this one was split down the middle - five stories I really enjoyed and five I didn't like as much. My favorites were Vivian Vande Velde's tale of a haunted hayride that may actually be haunted, M.T. Anderson's version of an ancient horror story, Caitlin R. Kiernan's take on supernatural rites of passage, Janni Lee Simner's eerie tale of fatherly protection gone too far, and Celia Rees' spooky ghost story. All were spooky and interesting and quick reads. I was most surprised to see which stories I didn't enjoy as much - the venerable Joan Aiken, one of my personal favorites Neil Gaiman, the fantastic Garth Nix, and the author of one of my favorite books ever Gregory Maguire. I was really surprised that I didn't enjoy these contributions more, but I guess it all depends on what they're writing. Other people may certainly enjoy these tales more than my favorites - and that's part of the beauty of the story collection. There's almost always something for everyone. A delightful spooky read.

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