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Gothic!: Ten Original Dark Tales Paperback – June 13, 2006


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Candlewick (June 13, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0763627372
  • ISBN-13: 978-0763627379
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 5.2 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,866,829 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 9 Up - This uniformly well-written collection features short stories by noted young adult authors such as M. T. Anderson, Caitlín R. Kiernan, Garth Nix, Celia Rees, Janni Lee Simner, and Barry Yourgrau. From Joan Aiken's more traditional tale about a ghost haunting a river in the gloomy countryside to Gregory Maguire's contemporary offering about a teenage delinquent forced to live with an elderly relative who has a secret locked in the attic, almost all of these stories evoke a shivery delight. Vivian Vande Velde's shocking and scary piece features the ghost of a psychopathic serial killer who looks like a teenager and kills an unsuspecting girl posing as a "dead body" at a haunted hayride. Neil Gaiman's selection lampoons the classic gothic scenario of a terrified, nightgown-clad heroine running away from a brooding manor house and will have readers laughing out loud in recognition. These varied tales take place in the distant past and in the high-tech present. Some are humorous while others have surprising twists or are reminiscent of classic fairy tales full of malevolent characters, but all share a love of the surreal or supernatural. Noyes's insightful introduction defines what a gothic tale is and includes information about the authors and the origins of their stories. A sophisticated, thought-provoking, and gripping read. - Sharon Rawlins, Piscataway Public Library, NJ
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Gr. 7-10. The slightly generic cover design and forthrightly generic title of this collection may lead many readers to expect shrieking heroines, dreary castles, lurking vampires, and other tropes of the gothic tradition. They wouldn't be wrong, but they wouldn't be exactly right, either. Sure, many of these original tales, by the likes of Joan Aiken, Neil Gaiman, Gregory Maguire, and Vivian Vande Velde, ape the vocabulary of the genre ("necromancer," "escritoire") and play with its abundant cliches (a house has as many "curses as it has spiders and silverfish"). But the maidens in peril still have to do their homework; twisted events are as likely to transpire in American suburbs as in dreary castles (in M. T. Anderson's exceptional "The Dead Watch," shapeshifting witches eat Triscuits and use ATMs); vampires whine about the garlic in the spaghetti sauce and then attack their babysitters. Ideal for high-school literature classes studying Shelley or Stoker (Gaiman's smirking contribution, which toys with genre definitions, would work particularly well in the classroom), this collection also provides an excellent opportunity to introduce fans of Koontz, Rice, and King to some of the most imaginative exponents of YA dark fantasy. Jennifer Mattson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Deb Noyes writes adult historical fiction, young adult novels and nonfiction, and children's books, and is an editor and photographer. Born in California, she has lived most of her adult life in Massachusetts, working all manner of day jobs to support the writing habit -- from bartender and book reviewer to children's book editor and zookeeper. She's the only person she knows who's been bitten by a dwarf lemur.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Lori Savageau on October 5, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I started reading this book on a train. When the train came to a stop I was right in the middle of one of the stories and ran through the dark parking lot to my car and sat there, freezing my tush off, to finish the tale (Vivian Vande Velde's!). Then I sped home, looking over my shoulder the entire time for fear there was someone in the back seat of my car breathing down my neck. I got home - sped inside - turned on all the lights and dove under a blanket on my couch to finish reading the whole book. It's that good!

Gothic! is a collection of fun, scary, sometimes hysterical and sometimes melancholy tales that puts you in the perfect mood for a dark and stormy night. Once you start reading one, you'll have to read them all...and be sure to read the intro by Deborah Noyes - it perfectly sets the tone for the entire collection. Don't miss it!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Geniz Hernandez on July 25, 2006
Format: Paperback
"Lungewater" is a classic gothic tale that evokes ghosts of the past to establish a terrifying atmosphere in the present.

The ambiance created in "Morgan Roehmar's Boys" is so well described that it pulls you right inside the barn (even if you've never been inside one in real life). A story that misleads you while sending shivers up your spine.

My favorite story is "Watch and Wake", for from the moment that Jim arrives in town a feeling that something is not right invades your every fiber; a feeling that doesn't abandon you even after the dreadful twist in the end.

Despite its extremely long title "Forbidden Brides of the Faceless Slaves in the Nameless House of the Night of Dread Desire" is excellent! In an exceptionally ironic manner it explains why anyone would read or write stories like the ones in this book...

"The Dead and the Moonstruck" is a marvel! With its dream sequences and mysterious, yet fascinating world, it does what a good story should: leaves you wanting for more.

The title alone is enough to crack you up: "Have no Fear, Crumpot is Here!" is a bizarre story that deals with bratty vampires, a peculiar hero and responsibility; it combines horror and humor in an extraordinary way.

"Stone Tower" wraps you instantly in the lines of its astonishing plot. The more you read the more questions and doubts will arise.

A bold story that, as you begin to read, you really don't know what to expect. "The Prank" is bizarre; however, it holds a sense of irony, wit and emotion.

While reading "Writing on the Wall" I couldn't help to think "Amytiville Horror" and even though it is about a haunted house, it is nothing alike. This story brings up horrifying images and a fantasmagorific sense of insecurity.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Teen Reads on October 22, 2004
Format: Hardcover
What exactly is the difference between a gothic tale and a horror story? In Deborah Noyes's introduction to GOTHIC!: Ten Original Dark Tales, she explains: "It's probably more accurate to think of gothic as a room within the larger house of horror. Its decor is distinctive. It insists on burden of the past. It also gleefully turns our ideas of good and evil on end."

GOTHIC! contains more than a collection of the classic gothic tale, however. Although some stories maintain the classic gothic story, we also find more contemporary tales that are both dark and sometimes even humorous. The cast of authors includes: Joan Aiken, Vivian Vande Velde, M.T. Anderson, Neil Gaiman, Caitlin R. Kiernan, Barry Yourgrau, Janni Lee Simmer, Gregory Maguire, Celia Rees, and Garth Nix.

There are several stories that stand out in this dark collection. Among them are Neil Gaiman's "Forbidden Brides of the Faceless Slaves in the Nameless House of the Night of Dread Desire." Gaiman is well known for his eerie graphic novels, and most recently the children's book CORALINE. As a fan of the gothic structure, Gaiman tips his hat to the traditional tale and leaves the reader questioning.

Also of note is Barry Yourgrau's "Have No Fear, Crumpot is Here!" which masterfully mixes humor and horror. The main character of the tale is a troublesome teen named Walter, who is to spend one week during the summer with his parents' friends. His parents, who are away on a business conference, want Walter to learn to "demonstrate responsibility." Walter is in an angsty world of his own where he has invented a ruthless alter ego named Crumpot. But not even Crumpot is prepared for what is in store!

Gregory Maguire's "The Prank" is another story that stands out from the pack.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Missy on September 27, 2010
Format: Hardcover
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.
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