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Mexican Gothic Hardcover – June 30, 2020

4.2 out of 5 stars 22,966 ratings

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From the Publisher

Gods of jade and shadow Velvet was the night The Daughter of Doctor Moreau
Gods of Jade and Shadow Velvet Was the Night The Daughter of Doctor Moreau
The Mayan god of death sends a young woman on a harrowing, life-changing journey in this dark, one-of-a-kind fairy tale inspired by Mexican folklore. A simmering historical noir about a daydreaming secretary, a lonesome enforcer, and the mystery of the missing woman they’re both desperate to find. A dreamy reimagining of The Island of Doctor Moreau set against the backdrop of nineteenth-century Mexico.

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

An Amazon Best Book of July 2020: The gothic novels of today are not like those of yesteryear: Female protagonists are smart and proactive, and vaguely disquieting events become truly terrifying. Yet Silvia Moreno-Garcia (Signal to Noise, Gods of Jade and Shadow) cleverly doubles down on the gothic’s overwrought reputation by setting Mexican Gothic in the 1950s and putting a young socialite in the starring role. Unsettled by a strange letter, Noemí leaves cosmopolitan Mexico City to check on her newly married but naïve cousin, who now lives at a remote estate called High Place. Noemí—who smokes cigarettes, drives a convertible, and knows her mind—discovers that High Place lives in the past: mold runs across the wall paper, the electricity barely works, and the servants don’t speak. Plus the ancient English-born master of the house has a thing for eugenics, and Noemí’s cousin is clearly losing her mind. And then Noemí herself begins to hear voices.… Put plenty of me-time on your calendar, because you won’t want to stop for breaks while you race through Moreno-Garcia’s creepy, glorious read that is pitch-perfect for today’s audience. —Adrian Liang, Amazon Book Review

Review

“An inspired mash-up of Jane Eyre, Ann Radcliffe’s The Mysteries of Udolpho, Dracula, Rebecca and that 1958 classic sci-fi movie, The Blob . . . Inventive and smart, [Mexican Gothic is] injecting the Gothic formula with some fresh blood.”—NPR’s Fresh Air

“Stylish and edgy. . . While the book draws inspiration from Gothic classics like
Rebecca and Jane Eyre—there is a spunky female protagonist and an ancient house filled with disturbing secrets—its archly intelligent tone and insightful writing make Mexican Gothic an original escape to an eerie world.”New York Times

“[An] irresistibly dark feminist reimagining of the Gothic fantasy novel . . . It’s all wonderfully creepy, blending chilling scenes of horror with classic Gothic tropes for a seductive and subversive tale. A book to devour in a few—very thrilling—sittings.”
Vanity Fair

“The author’s postcolonial spin on the gothic tradition evokes the usual suspects: Daphne du Maurier, Emily Brontë, Mary Shelley, even Anne Radcliffe. Like those authors, Moreno-Garcia works in a tradition in which chills and thrills tap into elemental cultural fears—runaway science, carnal passion. But to these she adds a more politically inflected horror, both ancient and timely.”
Los Angeles Times

“A new classic of the genre . . . alluring and foreboding, ambiguous and beautiful. And like its heroine Noemí, its ambitious, determined, and well worth getting to know.”
Chicago Review of Books

“This twisty horror fantasy is engrossing and wonderfully repulsive. . . . This is a must-read for fans of gothic writers like the Brontës, Daphne du Maurier, and Shirley Jackson, and also for those who enjoy the feminist, surreal fiction of Carmen Maria Machado.”Buzzfeed

“Deliciously creepy . . . Read it with your lights on—and know that strange dreams might begin to haunt you, as they haunted Noemí.”
Vox

“Masterful . . . a gloriously moody adventure, spooky, smart, and wry. Chic, no-nonsense Noemí Taboada is one hell of a tour guide through this world of mystery, scandal and spirits.”
—Victor LaValle, author of The Changeling

Mexican Gothic terrified and fascinated me. Silvia Moreno-Garcia proves once again that she's a genre-jumping wizard, one of the most exciting and necessary authors writing today.”—Charlie Jane Anders, nationally bestselling author of The City in the Middle of the Night

“Darkly brilliant and captivating . . . Readers who love old houses and family secrets will devour this book (as I did!). The setting itself—High Place, with its reputation for swallowing the dreams of young women—is a character in this marvelously fantastical novel, stretching from glamorous 1950s Mexican high society to the crumbling pride of an abandoned silver mine. Silvia Moreno-Garcia enthralls with this twisty tale of love and betrayal.”
—Yangsze Choo, New York Times bestselling author of The Night Tiger and The Ghost Bride

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Del Rey; 1st edition (June 30, 2020)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 320 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0525620788
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0525620785
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1.2 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 6.33 x 1.13 x 9.41 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.2 out of 5 stars 22,966 ratings

About the author

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Silvia Moreno-Garcia is the author of the novels The Daughter of Doctor Moreau, Velvet Was the Night, Mexican Gothic, and many other books. She has also edited several anthologies, including the World Fantasy Award-winning She Walks in Shadows (a.k.a. Cthulhu's Daughters).

Customer reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5
22,966 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on October 14, 2022
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Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on December 18, 2022
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Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on December 23, 2020
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Top reviews from other countries

SheReads
5.0 out of 5 stars Knocks It Out Of The Creepy Park
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on July 26, 2020
26 people found this helpful
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SusannahB
3.0 out of 5 stars Bizarre Gothic Romp
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on July 22, 2020
10 people found this helpful
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TripFiction
4.0 out of 5 stars Gothic melodrama set in MEXICO
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on December 16, 2020
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TripFiction
4.0 out of 5 stars Gothic melodrama set in MEXICO
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on December 16, 2020
Over the last few months I have read quite a few positive reviews for the novel, set in 1950s Mexico, at an estate linked to an erstwhile British-run silver mining company, high in the mountains. The building is text book spooky Victorian and the family members are an eclectic mix of curious individuals, who are each leading a strange life, incarcerated in their spookily atmospheric surrounds, a long way away from civilisation. Part Hammer Horror, part Addams family – or as the Guardian newspaper puts it – Lovecraft meets the Brontës in Latin America. The setting is perfect for the storyline and evoking this ghostly and atmospheric backdrop is something the author does superbly well. And. There are plenty of comparisons to Jane Eyre.

I confess that this took me out of my comfort zone, I am not naturally drawn to the gothic/horror genre but I have to say it was the cover that swung me in the book’s favour; that, and also because it was set in Mexico. Just see, the power of the book cover ad location!

Catalina is living with her husband Virgil Doyle, in the misty mountains near El Triunfo in the family mansion, where patriarch Howard Doyle is still wheezing away his days on his looming death bed. The family have mined the silver in the area for several generations. Catalina has sent a letter to her cousin Noemí’s family in Mexico City and Noemí is despatched to check on the health and well-being of Catalina. It seems that she might be experiencing psychological disturbance.

Noemí arrives and almost immediately a shiver runs down her spine. It is a dank and dreary building, and the household is ruled with an iron fist (absolutely no speaking over dinner), with sharp-tongued Florence as at the helm.

As Noemí delves deeper, she discovers all kinds of horrors and mysteries – and death.

It is a reflective storyline, leaving the reader to ponder whether the house is sick or whether the sins of the ancestors – colonisers plundering the land for its resources – are being visited upon this generation.

I was enthralled by the first third of the book, the writing and storytelling fully drew me in. Thereafter it levelled out for me. The longer she stays, the more Noemí sinks into the bowels of the sinister clutch of the house and its occupants. She starts to sleep walk, apparently, and the blur between reality and ghostly adventures starts to add confusion to her days. Soon thereafter it goes into more otherworldly realms. This is not my genre of choice and sometimes one just needs to step out of one’s comfort zone and expand one’s horizons. In many ways I am very glad I have read it. The New Yorker says its addictive prose “..is as easy to slurp down as a poisoned cordial…” It is indeed!
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5 people found this helpful
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Kelly Ann Mealia
3.0 out of 5 stars A promising book that didn't deliver
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on August 30, 2022
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Kelly Ann Mealia
3.0 out of 5 stars A promising book that didn't deliver
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on August 30, 2022
Hmmm. This book had me conflicted after I finished it. The first 3 quarters was so so good. I absolutely loved the setting, both the time and location. I was living for The Crimson Peak vibes. It was a sultry, eerie and mysterious story with never ending suspense, as well as rising tension between the characters. I was truly gripped and creeped out in parts. The writing lured me in and wouldn't let me go. I needed to know the end.
And then, I got to the final part. It was such a let down for me. I'm keeping tight lipped on purpose as I don't want to spoil it for anyone. I've read some books that take bizarre turns, and it works but this was just a tad too odd. I do really want to read more books by Moreno-Garcia though as I loved how atmospheric and eerie the writing was.
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3 people found this helpful
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Amazon Customer
1.0 out of 5 stars Tacky pile of crock
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on May 7, 2021
5 people found this helpful
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