This tag will be quite tricky for me. The Gothic Book Tag was created by the Classics Club, which encourages folks to read classic books. I attempted to do the 50 classics in 5 years and failed miserably at it, lol. I wasn’t fully committed, but I still dip into a classic book every now and then.
The intent of this tag is to answer the questions with classic books in mind. Well, I know I’ll fail at that because I’ve read some classic books so long ago that details about them have faded. But I’ll try my best.
Which classic book has scared you the most?
Beloved by Toni Morrison
It’s a historical fiction novel about a woman who escaped slavery to Ohio. Many people believed she’d gone mad when she took extreme actions to prevent her kids from being sold into slavery. Years later, she’s still haunted by memories of the past and the spirit of her dead baby.
I watched the movie as a kid before reading the novel back in college. The movie was good, but the book is great and I highly recommend it. To me, it’s one of Morrison’s more accessible books. It wasn’t as intimidating to read as some of her other ones. It is also a good one to pick up around this time of year what with the ghost haunting and all.
Scariest moment in a book
‘Salem’s Lot by Stephen King
Yeah, it didn’t take me long to break that classics only rule, lol! But I’m sure someone someday will consider King’s books as classics. You know, when this period we’re living through fades into distant memory. Anyway…
The scariest moment doesn’t appear in ‘Salem’s Lot but in a short story included in the copy I read called “Jerusalem’s Lot,” I think. ‘Salem’s Lot is a vampire story that takes place in Jerusalem’s Lot, Maine. I’ve forgotten much about the short story except that the end scared me. I forgot why.
Classic villain that you love to hate
Lol! I really couldn’t think of anyone and when my mind draws a blank like that, it immediately hops to Robin Hobb’s books 🤣🤣. So to give y’all a break from Realm of the Elderlings, I went with Scar from the Lion King. I mean, that’s a classic kids’ movie.
Creepiest setting in a book
The Stand by Stephen King
The time when Larry had to travel out of New York City through the Lincoln Tunnel alone and struggled with his fear of the dark and what may be lurking in the dark the entire time. The setting was ghastly because it’s a dark tunnel filled with dead people and Larry couldn’t tell when the end of the tunnel would come, but what made it scary was how King played up Larry’s fear of the dark to such a height that I began to share Larry’s fear a bit too.
The book has some great moments, but I didn’t like it.
Best scary cover ever
Krampus: The Yule Lord by Gerald Brom (illus.)
Probably the scariest book cover I’ve ever seen in my life.
Book you’re too scared to read
It by Stephen King
I could have chosen a classic novel for this one — like Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys, which I read in college but didn’t understand and would like to reread now but think I’ll still not understand it — but instead I chose It, which seems like it will be pretty damn scary. I’m reading King’s books in publication order, so I’ll make my way to it eventually.
Spookiest creature in a book
Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett
My answer is ghosts because if they are really real, then we really have NO privacy at all.
I’m sidestepping the rules now by having Wyrd Sisters here. I mean, the Discworld books are classics of the fantasy genre, right? Even if they’re not, Wyrd Sisters was inspired, in part, by Shakespeare’s plays, Macbeth or Hamlet… one of them. I guess I could have used them for this category, but I went with Wyrd Sisters instead so that I can mention I’m now reading the next book in the Witches subseries — Witches Abroad — and am loving it because it plays with fairytales.
Classic book that haunts you to this day
Dracula by Bram Stoker, illus. by Becky Cloonan
Yep, it’s Dracula because I’ve been reading it for the past 2 years and have yet to finish it. It just won’t go away. It keeps hanging around hoping I’ll finish it while slowly sucking my interest in it away.
Favourite cliffhanger or unexpected twist
Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie
I thought the twist in this was a good one. I figured it out before getting there, which I’m very proud of myself about, lol, but I thought it was good. I’d like to read more of Christie’s work, although I’m often impatient with mysteries.
Classic book you really, really disliked
She by H. Rider Haggard
An interesting read, but I hated it. It’s about two White dudes who travel to Africa to visit with a White sorceress who rules over an African tribe 🙄. Sure it’s a product of its time, but I really didn’t like how misogynistic and ethnocentric it is. And it pissed me off that this lady sat up in the cave butt-ass naked for years waiting for some dude to save her when she’s “supposedly” a powerful being. Smh!
Character death that disturbed/upset you the most
Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
My mind drew a blank again and again it went to Robin Hobb’s books, lol! Can you tell that I’m fighting really hard not to fill all these answers with Robin Hobb’s books? Anyway, I settled on Ned Stark since everyone now knows he dies and if you didn’t, well… Sorry.
List your top 5 Gothic/scary/horror classic reads.
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow & Other Macabre Tales by Washington Irving
Dracula by Brom Stoker
Beloved by Toni Morrison
The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe
I think all these are great to pick up at this time of year. I liked Jane Eyre, which surprised me. Irving’s short stories were entertaining. I’m still plowing through Dracula — it bores me. Beloved is rEALLy good, and I loved Tell-Tale Heart.
Share your scariest/creepiest quote, poem or meme.
Umm… I don’t have any.
AND THAT’S IT FOR THIS ENTRY IN MY BOOK TAG WEEK SERIES LEADING UP TO HALLOWEEN!
Consider yourself tagged if you want to do it too.
(And if you’re looking for book tags to do, here’s a long list of ones I’ve done so far.)