Gothic Fiction for the Whole Family Part 2 (Teens and Adults)
It's never too late to develop a taste for Gothic reads. This glorious genre explores negativity in a manageable package. With supernatural elements and an exploration of feelings like unhappiness and loneliness, both Gothic and Modern Gothic literature provide a unique opportunity for readers to explore and discuss some of the more challenging and gruesome aspects of life, and in such, to find ways to cope with scary and negative feelings in their day-to-day lives. Find a comfy chair and get ready for some shocking, fearsome and morose reads.
For Teens and Adults (7th grade and up)
Uncle Montague's Tales of Terror by Chris Priestly
Priestly's collection of short stories borders on horror cliches and is well aware of it. Nine miniature horror stories are bookended by a standalone story of a young boy named Edgar visiting the dreary and grandiose house of his mysterious Uncle Montague. This book is a quick read and is ideally suited for reading during travel.
The Madman's Daughter by Megan Shepherd
The first in a trilogy, The Madman's Daughter is a transfiguration of H.G. Well's classic work The Island of Doctor Moreau. Juliet is trying to locate her estranged father, who was a famed surgeon in London before a scandal rocked the family. When she finds her father's apprentice and goes on a journey to find out whether the rumors of her father are true, she discovers more than she had ever expected. This book has been optioned for a film adaptation by Paramount and Fake Empire and the script is currently in development.
Gothic! Ten Original Dark Tales by Joan Aiken, M.T. Anderson, Neil Gaiman, et al.
This collection of 10 short stories contains horror, humor and creativity. The broad selection of authors also provides readers a chance to sample multiple writing styles and discover writers that were previously unknown to them. With gems from traditional ghost stories to modern-day haunts, this compilation is not to be missed.
Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
Creepy houses in disrepair, unusual names, bad weather, bad manners, insanity by love triangle, death by insanity, ghosts, cousins marrying cousins (twice!)—Wuthering Heights has it all. This classic of Gothic literature is Emily Brontë's only novel and it is a big one. Originally shocking to contemporary society through its depictions of cruelty, today it remains a standard in illustrating that human imperfection and questionable morality are timeless.
Laid Waste by Julia Gfrorer
Laid Waste is a visual snapshot of an imagined life during the Bubonic plague in Europe. Gfrorer's pen-and-ink drawings masterfully weave into clarity the sense of hopelessness and lapses of ethics that arise during large-scale crises. This gruesome graphic is a short adult Canterbury-esque read to easily add to your year's book count.
Haunted Castles by Ray Russell
Famed director and master monster maker Guillermo Del Toro curated this brief and fearful collection of Ray Russell horror stories. Russell, an American 20th century writer, falls right in line with typical Gothic styles due to his dreary settings, based predominantly in the late 1800s and early 1900s, an era that played host to Bram Stoker's Dracula and was the foundation for the works of H.P. Lovecraft.