A few posts ago, I mentioned that I am technically done with all of the challenges I signed up for in the beginning of the year. I have four more books I need to read in order to complete these challenges in reality, which is easily done as I’m reading one that fits at the moment.
So…I have found another challenge. It actually runs from September 1st to October 31st, so I’m about a month late But the commitment level I’ve signed up for is only two books, so I feel it is doable.
According to Carl, this is what the RIP Challenge is all about:
It was a dark and stormy night…”
Or at least I wish it was, rather than a warm, sunshiny day. Despite the weather refusing to cooperate with my gothic mood, the calendar does not lie, ladies and gentlemen. It is indeed that time of year where two short months are dedicated to reveling in all things creepy, eerie, mysterious, gothic, horrifying, suspenseful and strange.
It is time to celebrate things that go bump in the night; that favorite detective that always gets his man, or woman, in the end; that delicious chill of a creak on the stairs, of the rogue waiting in the dark, of the full moon and the flit of bats wings.
Perhaps that was also the beginning of my passion for I what I lump under a broad personal definition of gothic literature: dark nights; decaying, haunted castles; menacing forests; pervasive gloom; ancient prophecies; damsels in distress (or at least at the wrong place in the wrong time); blood-curdling screams…stories with atmosphere so thick you could cut it with a knife.
It was a desire to celebrate and share that love of the elements of gothic fiction that inspired me to create the first R.I.P. Challenge, five years ago.
In essence, the challenge is about reading gothic literature in all it’s forms, but especially in these categories: Mystery, Suspense, Thriller, Dark Fantasy, Gothic, Horror, and Supernatural. As I like to get into the spooky spirit of the time surrounding Halloween, I think this will broaden my reading and also give me the chance to read, not watch spooky stories.
I’ve signed up under the “Peril the Second” level, which requires me to read two novels of any length that I feel fit within the categories mentioned above. I already have one book in mind for the challenge: Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier. It is classified as gothic and mysterious by Wikipedia’s page about it. (However, I have seen the film and hope that it won’t disappoint me in the book since I know the gist of the story ) But the film is how I thought to read it as it’s a bit creepy, but I could never put my finger on why. I will hunt around for another book–maybe I’ll even find one in my own collection
Suggestions for Others (books I feel fit this challenge and have already read):
- Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger
- The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova
- The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (this is longer than most of the Sherlock Holmes stories)
- Dracula by Bram Stoker (obviously)
- Frankenstein by Mary Shelley (again, obviously)
- Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen (Austen refers often to The Mysteries of Udolpho by Ann Radcliffe in this novel and includes many gothic elements in her own style)
- the Parasol Protectorate quintet by Gail Carriger–there are only three so far (Soulless, Changeless, Blameless), but they’re not necessarily gothic, just vampire-y/werewolf-y (not like the Twilight books)
- We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson
- Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
- Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
- The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
- Phantom of the Opera or The Mystery of the Yellow Room by Gaston Leroux
- The Graveyard Book or Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman (even Coraline and Stardust are a little creepy)
- Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
- Perfume by Patrick Suskind (maybe?)