Gothic!: Ten Original Dark Tales
by Various Authors
Published June 13, 2006
Enter the gothic world in this celebration of the literary form made famous by such writers as Mary Shelley and Edgar Allan Poe. From a lovesick count and the ghost of his brutalized servant and a serial killer who defies death, to a house with a violent mind of its own and another that holds within its peeling walls a grotesque secret, these ten stories draw on dark fantasy and fairy tale, horror and wild humour, the supernatural and the surreal...
Since this is an anthology, it's going to be short and sweet because I don't want to give too much away! Gothic! is a collection of ten short stories by known and not-so-known authors that have one thing in common: they know how to write a pretty eerie story. Now, mind you, gothic isn't necessarily scary like horror stories are. Gothic stories don't necessarily make you lose sleep, but you may keep a few lights on when you go to bed.
In this anthology, you really have to take the good with the bad. Some stories are spot-on, they story is well-written and fleshed out enough to be an understandable short story and also has those "creepy" moments I talked about before. Some stories sounded promising, but fell a little short. Then there was one or two that didn't have anything, except maybe good grammar. I have to say that Neil Gaiman's story, "Forbidden Brides of the Faceless Slaves in the Nameless House of the Night of Dread Desire" was as good as I expected it to be. Gaiman's an incredible writer and he delivered in this as well. I think the story I was most disappointed with was Gregory Maguire's "The Prank". It was definitely not the worst, but I'm a huge fan of his and I thought he could have done a little better.
Overall, I'd recommend this as a good book to curl up with on the couch under the soft light of a table lamp late at night. I'd say this is "Halloween-creepy" - based on horror, but a little too commercial and kiddy to be truly scary.