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Search tags: gothic-noir
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review 2018-09-09 14:53
Better with age
The Hound of the Baskervilles - Arthur Conan Doyle

I find that while still not my favourite Holmes, I liked it better this time around. I think I might have been too young, and found it too dreary and long for my age. Gothic is also an acquired taste that came with age for me, so that might have played a part.

 

The other thing that turned interesting, beyond finding the pace a lot more palatable, was that Holmes is a lot more present than I remembered. Part of it is knowing, and so catching, the hints of him all around of course, but I think the pages without his obvious person were too long for my kid self's perception.

 

And, well, the fabulous Stephen Fry's narration is a definitive plus.

 

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review 2018-09-01 13:27
Nightmare and Paranoia Fuel
The Yellow Wallpaper - Charlotte Perkins Gilman,Elaine Hedges

*whines* It's still miserable, windy winter here!! How do I combat the chills this induced? *shudder*

 

Whenever I read stories like this, I remember that quote "novels win by points, short stories by knock outs". I know I was already whimpering one page in. I finished with a wiki-walk and... How come every interpretation is so... mild? compassionate? forgiving?... of the husband?

 

I get time and society marching on, and symbolism, but how come picking the barred, dreary, ex-nursery with mismatched furniture and a purposely for that visit nailed down bed makes any but malicious sense?

 

No monster, no gore, but hell, psychological mind-fucks will forever get me shivering

 

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review 2017-09-17 12:08
More banter, and I'd have been set
The Thin Man - Dashiell Hammett

In a stark time-marches-on fashion, this one is very much a politically incorrect book all around. Since I don't mind that, I was enjoying it, but at some point around a third in, Nora stopped participating in dialogues and got relegated to audience surrogate, and I wasn't having as much fun.

 

I don't know that I was invested much in the mystery

I figured Wynant had to be dead, and someone was impersonating him for money. His not showing up anywhere was obvious pretty early.

(spoiler show)

but I have to confess I stayed for the train-wreck the characters are. As a rule, I avoid noir because it relies too much on drudgery, dialogue error and backtrack, and it bores me. Here, everyone is so messed up or downright insane I could get my jollies from their hijinks (sometimes horror inducing ones), and I coasted the whole book on this amused sense that I was reading a cast of grotesques caricatures.

 

Call me morbid, I had fun.

 

 

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review 2017-04-17 15:32
Drudgery is not my cup
A is for Alibi - Sue Grafton

This is not my genre. Lot's of driving, lot's of talking. Spining wheels in place. There was also a lot of "look what I reseached, isn't it interesting". In little pieces, mercifully, but the instances were numerous.

 

That said, nice trick with the cynical detective/femme fatale trope. Some of the commentary was entertaining too.

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review 2016-11-04 05:06
Victorian les-yay
Carmilla - Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu

Docked some stars because the general's niece's story was one huge repetition of the story so far, and it got booooooring.

 

That said, I'm mind-boggled by the barely conceiled, heavy lesbian undertones. There are a couple of scenes that are thinly disguised orgasms and one that could easily be read as Carmilla using Laura's hand to achive it. Clearly, I'd had a gap in my Victorian reading.

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