So you'd like to...

Read Literary Fantasy and Gothic Texts

A guide by Ana5

Products sampled from this guide:
Do you love reading fantasy and gothic novels but wince at the crappy prose? This list attempts to locate books that deal with the fantastic but are also worthy reads.



Children's Literature Adults Will Like

The Selfish Giant (A Michael Neugebauer book)

A beautifully written and moving fairy tale that is based on a Christian allegory. I particularly like the illustrations by Zwerger. Wilde’s other fairy tales are also eerily enchanting.

Outside Over There (Caldecott Collection)

I like this much better than Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are. This one is perhaps his creepiest work about the abduction of a baby by goblins.

His Dark Materials (Laurel-Leaf)

More complex than Good vs. Evil, Pullman based his trilogy on Milton’s Paradise Lost—not a bad start. Make sure you get all three at once, since they are really different parts of a long epic rather than discrete novels.

Harry Potter And The Sorcerer's Stone (mm)

No fantasy children’s list would be complete without Harry Potter. These books are impossible to put down and tons of fun. Hogwarts is truly a special world.

The Chronicles of Narnia

These books remain important to me because I loved them growing up. I think they would be harder to appreciate if you were coming to them for the first time as an adult.




Classic Literature

The Odyssey

Memorize the Odyssey! This is a great translation, but Mandelbaum and Lattimore are also good. I also find Rieu’s prose translation (0140445560) fun to read.

The Metamorphoses of Ovid

Most of the Greek/Roman myths you have read come from Ovid. This is the best translation.

The Arabian Nights (v. 1)

This is the translation you want! Forget Burton.

Le Morte D'Arthur: Complete, Unabridged, Illustrated Edition

The source of the Arthurian legends. I like the illustrations in this version. Also check out the movies Excalibur and The Mists of Avalon.

Beowulf: A Prose Translation (Penguin Classics)paperback

It’s ok. Lightening will not strike you if you read this in prose rather than verse.




Faeries

The Complete Poems of John Keats (Modern Library)

Read “La Belle Dam Sans Merci” now!

Tam Lin

An English major encounters magic at college. Abounding in literary references—what more could you want??

Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell: A Novel

About magic and faeries, written in excellent prose, and 800 glorious pages long. Oh, that it had been longer!

Coraline: The Graphic Novel

Through a tiny door, Coraline steps into the world of faery in this graphic version of the novel.


The Literary and the Strange

Macbeth (Folger Shakespeare Library)

Creepy witches, prophesies, and murder? The plot of this play makes it more accessible.

Idylls of the King and a New Selection of Poems (Signet Classics)

A poetic take on the Arthurian legends.

Tales of Hoffmann (Penguin Classics)

Just weird!

Blow-Up: And Other Stories

Fantastic stories from an Argentine writer.

Labyrinths: Selected Stories and Other Writings

Philosophical insanity.




Literary Gothic

Wuthering Heights (Oxford World's Classics)

A romantic ghost story with true presence. Check out the film version with Laurence Olivier.

Jane Eyre (Signet Classics)

The classic governess novel.

The House of the Seven Gables (Bantam Classics)

Hawthorne was a gothic romantic writer, and this is his best gothic novel, complete with magic, witches, and other weirdness.

The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket (Penguin Classics)

A deeply weird novel from America’s premier gothic writer.

The Turn of the Screw and Other Short Fiction (Bantam Classics)

One of James’s more accessible work, we have all we need for an eerie ghost (?) story: lonely governesses, inaccessible masters, debauched children, and ghosts! Some of James’s other short stories also make use of fantastic conventions.

Beloved

A ghost (?) story that also explores the way history haunts the present. Morrison’s novel refutes all those who say fantastic literature is escapist!




Gothic-Sci-Fi

These read more like gothic romances, although they have a sci-fi component.

Frankenstein (Enriched Classics)

Sci-Fi/Gothic romance, written in a beautiful and accessible style. A true classic.

Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde (Signet Classics)

Another Sci-Fi/Romance, this time with a rather interesting structure. Enjoy.

Wieland and Memoirs of Carwin the Biloquist (Penguin Classics)

Almost a forgotten work, Brown’s creepiest gothic/sci-fi novel was written back in the early days of American literature!

The Yellow Wallpaper and Other Writings (Bantam Classics)

A highly readable, eerie story/psychological thriller.




Magical Realism

One Hundred Years of Solitude (Oprah's Book Club)

The supreme novel of magical realism. Wonderful!

Nights at the Circus

Magical realism, myth, folklore, frame stories!Oh my!

The Satanic Verses: A Novel (Bestselling Backlist)

The book that almost got Rushdie killed—this book is NOT dark, as the title suggests and is highly accessible.




And to go with it all

Symptom of the Universe: The Original Black Sabbath 1970-1978

Sometimes you just need a soundtrack to complete the mood. Do faeries wear boots? Can Satan fall in love? Black Sabbath says “yes.”

Products mentioned include:
Children's Literature Adults Will Like
1.  The Selfish Giant (A Michael Neugebauer book)  by Lisbeth Zwerger
Used & New from: $8.24
4.6 out of 5 stars   (7)
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2.  Outside Over There (Caldecott Collection)  by Maurice Sendak
$16.09 Used & New from: $0.01
4.5 out of 5 stars   (71)
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3.  His Dark Materials (Laurel-Leaf) [Box set]  by Philip Pullman
$18.92 Used & New from: $6.98
4.1 out of 5 stars   (1,393) | 24 customer discussions
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4.  Harry Potter And The Sorcerer's Stone (mm)  by J. K. Rowling
Used & New from: $0.01
4.8 out of 5 stars   (9,725) | 24 customer discussions
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5.  The Chronicles of Narnia  by C.S. Lewis
$21.70 Used & New from: $6.26
4.7 out of 5 stars   (3,461) | 2 customer discussions
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Classic Literature
6.  The Odyssey [Deckle Edge]  by Homer
$10.17 Used & New from: $2.99
4.4 out of 5 stars   (340)
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7.  The Metamorphoses of Ovid  by Allen Mandelbaum
$15.05 Used & New from: $4.52
4.6 out of 5 stars   (23)
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8.  The Arabian Nights (v. 1)  by Muhsin Mahdi
Used & New from: $0.01
4.7 out of 5 stars   (72) | 1 customer discussion
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9.  Le Morte D'Arthur: Complete, Unabridged, Illustrated Edition  by Thomas Malory
Used & New from: $45.00
4.4 out of 5 stars   (10)
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10.  Beowulf: A Prose Translation (Penguin Classics)paperback  by Anonymous
$7.68 Used & New from: $0.01
3.9 out of 5 stars   (10)
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Faeries
11.  The Complete Poems of John Keats (Modern Library)  by John Keats
$16.64 Used & New from: $3.53
4.1 out of 5 stars   (20)
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12.  Tam Lin  by Pamela Dean
$9.29 Used & New from: $0.01
4.0 out of 5 stars   (126)
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13.  Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell: A Novel  by Susanna Clarke
$15.62 Used & New from: $0.01
3.8 out of 5 stars   (1,166) | 15 customer discussions
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14.  Coraline: The Graphic Novel  by Neil Gaiman
$9.63 Used & New from: $1.65
4.3 out of 5 stars   (63)
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The Literary and the Strange
15.  Macbeth (Folger Shakespeare Library)  by William Shakespeare
Used & New from: $0.01
4.4 out of 5 stars   (205)
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16.  Idylls of the King and a New Selection of Poems (Signet Classics)  by Alfred Tennyson
$7.95 Used & New from: $0.01
4.0 out of 5 stars   (3)
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17.  Tales of Hoffmann (Penguin Classics)  by R. J. Hollingdale
$10.45 Used & New from: $2.26
3.4 out of 5 stars   (11)
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18.  Blow-Up: And Other Stories  by Julio Cortazar
$12.44 Used & New from: $5.33
4.5 out of 5 stars   (24)
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19.  Labyrinths: Selected Stories and Other Writings  by Jorge Luis Borges
Used & New from: $0.01
4.5 out of 5 stars   (62)
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Literary Gothic
20.  Wuthering Heights (Oxford World's Classics)  by Emily Brontë
Used & New from: $0.01
4.4 out of 5 stars   (3,481) | 2 customer discussions
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21.  Jane Eyre (Signet Classics)  by Charlotte Bronte
Used & New from: $0.01
4.4 out of 5 stars   (3,481) | 3 customer discussions
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22.  The House of the Seven Gables (Bantam Classics)  by Nathaniel Hawthorne
$5.95 Used & New from: $0.01
3.9 out of 5 stars   (241)
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23.  The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket (Penguin Classics)  by John Chatty
$9.77 Used & New from: $2.49
4.2 out of 5 stars   (36)
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24.  The Turn of the Screw and Other Short Fiction (Bantam Classics)  by Henry James
$4.95 Used & New from: $0.01
4.2 out of 5 stars   (12)
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25.  Beloved  by Toni Morrison
Used & New from: $0.01
3.9 out of 5 stars   (898)
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Gothic-Sci-Fi
26.  Frankenstein (Enriched Classics) [Deluxe Edition]  by Mary Shelley
$4.95 Used & New from: $0.01
4.2 out of 5 stars   (1,127) | 3 customer discussions
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27.  Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde (Signet Classics)  by Robert Louis Stevenson
Used & New from: $0.01
4.1 out of 5 stars   (532)
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28.  Wieland and Memoirs of Carwin the Biloquist (Penguin Classics)  by Charles Brockden Brown
$9.23 Used & New from: $0.01
4.1 out of 5 stars   (8)
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29.  The Yellow Wallpaper and Other Writings (Bantam Classics)  by Lynne Sharon Schwartz
$6.95 Used & New from: $0.01
3.9 out of 5 stars   (8)
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Magical Realism
30.  One Hundred Years of Solitude (Oprah's Book Club)  by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Used & New from: $0.01
4.2 out of 5 stars   (1,179) | 1 customer discussion
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31.  Nights at the Circus  by Angela Carter
$10.25 Used & New from: $5.23
4.4 out of 5 stars   (31)
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32.  The Satanic Verses: A Novel (Bestselling Backlist)  by Salman Rushdie
Used & New from: $0.01
3.7 out of 5 stars   (361) | 1 customer discussion
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And to go with it all
33.  Symptom of the Universe: The Original Black Sabbath 1970-1978 [Original recording remastered]  by Black Sabbath
$31.34 Used & New from: $8.74
4.6 out of 5 stars   (78)
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Customer Discussions about products in this guide
Discussion Replies Latest Post
Is literature in a state of decay? 8 Nov 14, 2014
DRM? 0 Oct 21, 2014
How did the Dursleys get off the island? 9 Jul 19, 2014
Censored editions ? 22 Mar 6, 2014
Pseudo-Intellectuals and "the Classics." A Rant. 2 Feb 6, 2014
This Book IS BAD 42 Sep 14, 2013
Harry potter audio book 3 Aug 12, 2013
Illustrator's error page 143? 2 Jul 24, 2013
These books are not for children 49 Jul 17, 2013
Literature with capital L 6 Jul 10, 2013
Can You Skip the Footnotes? 7 Jul 10, 2013
Age approriate? 21 Jun 20, 2013
 
   

About this Guide

 

Author

Ana5
Qualifications: Literature Enthusiast
Last updated: 4/9/10
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