Book Review: Accursed Inhabitants of the House of Bly


Joyce Carol Oates. Dutton Books, 1994. Originally published 1994. 28 pages. Gothic tale.

★★

Few people will argue with me when I state that Joyce Carol Oates is a talented author, who has proved herself more than capable of writing stories that positively shines with originality.

Accursed Inhabitants of the House of Bly, however, is no such story, and neither was it designed to be.

Instead, it is a paraphrasing of the century-old The Turn of the Screw, and this is important to keep in mind as you first delve into the book.

Continue reading Book Review: Accursed Inhabitants of the House of Bly

The Lemon Tree


When I was nothing more than just a child,

The Lemon Tree was happy notes and dance.

I would skip around with the melody in mind,

A song purely delightful, at first glance.

 

But as I became older and the lyrics became clear,

I realised how tragic they were.

Bitterness and tears, caught in song,

And I don’t know which version I prefer.

 

But then again, sad as it is,

Perhaps it’s part of growing up.

When The Lemon Tree stops being sounds,

And becomes a story of two lovers’ break-up.

 

 

Soul Mates


The first time I heard about The One,

I got terrified!

Imagine just one perfect person,

To stand by your side.

Among seven billion people,

I mean that’s just insane!

So I believe that there are many,

Whose love would remain.

Through better or worse,

Through all that I might feel,

It’s about potential and hard work,

For soul mates… are not real.

 

Book Review: Dracula by Bram Stoker

Bram Stoker. Norton Critical Edition, 1986. Originally published 1897. 488 pages. Gothic tale.

★★★

The story of Dracula is one of the best-known horrors of all time, and though the book is over a century old, the story is still read avidly by readers across the globe.

But let’s be honest. The world is not like it was a century ago. For one thing, we spend quite a lot of our time watching television. Series, commercials, movies. And a considerable amount of these movies are horrors. You could almost say that we are used to them by now. We are no strangers to the image of blood splattering across the wall, and we have all heard the sound of terrifying screams filling the night. Fictionally speaking that is. We have gotten exceptionally talented at deciphering when something is merely special effects and solid acting.

Continue reading Book Review: Dracula by Bram Stoker

Book Review: The Mysteries of Udolpho

A/N: Just a couple of thoughts I had after reading the book.

The Mysteries of Udolpho is perhaps the most perfect example of a Gothic tale.

Travels through Europe, seemingly supernatural mysteries, and a heroine who most conveniently faints, whenever the plot demands it.

Whatever you assimilate with the genre of Gothic, you will most likely find in The Mysteries of Udolpho.

It is certainly not a problem to see why people in the 18th century considered this thrilling tale a page-turner, but for the modern reader the story is most likely also going to appear unnecessary long and with an entirely unneeded quantity of poetry.

A couple of hundred of pages could easily be cut away, and Radcliffe would have been better off using half a dozen fewer sub-plots.

Nevertheless, The Mysteries of Udolpho can still be an entertaining story for the modern reader – assuming that he or she has the time to spare.

A Viking’s Death

If you ask a person how they want to die,

Most people quite agree.

The best way to go is quietly,

Sleeping in, utterly carefree.

 

But if you ask a Viking, it’s a different matter,

As this is what they’ll say.

Die with honour and vigour, sword in your hand,

And it’s worth having to go away.

 

Away to Valhalla where you’ll sit among,

The greatest warriors ever to die.

Odin himself is sat not far from you,

As you listen to the battle cry.

 

So what will it be, if you had to choose?

Sleeping peacefully in, or the never-ending booze?