Sunday, July 15, 2007

No. 25 - One Thousand and One Ghosts

by Alexandre Dumas

Started: July 13
Finished: July 17

Notes: Being a big Dumas fan, I was happy to discover this book at BN a couple of months ago. It has two of my favorite subjects, Dumas and horror. Yes, apparently Dumas wrote a horror book, and it's only been translated into English within the last few years.

Mini review: Not really a novel, but more a collection of haunting stories told by a group of people sitting around chatting. Dumas is himself a character in this book, as the overall story is told from his point of view, but I don't know if the gathering of talespinners actually happened or is fictional. With Dumas, it's often difficult to tell where history ends and fantasy begins. While these stories might or might not be "horror" by modern standards, they definitely fall under the umbrella of gothic, especially pre-Dracula 19th century gothic horror. If you enjoyed le Fanu's "Carmilla," or Maturin's "Melmoth the Wanderer," and other such vampiric and ghostly tales of the early 19th century, this Dumas book is for you, with the same eeiry feelings and tensions. I'm glad I discovered this book, because I didn't know Dumas could be quite this haunting (though I do remember the execution of Milady De Winter being sombre to the point of shaking me up a little).

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