Sunday, January 10, 2010

#1: Gothic Classics: Graphic Classics Volume 14

Gothic Classics: Graphic Classics Volume 14
Adapted from stories by: Ann Radcliffe, Jane Austen, Edgar Allan Poe, Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu, and Myla Jo Closser
144 pages
Published: 2007
ISBN: 0978791908
My Copy: I own it. Bought it online.

The first book of the year and it's... a graphic novel. And an adaptation of the works of others at that. Does this even count as a book? It fits within the rules, so I say yes, besides, this volume was too wonderful to pass up.

Being that I am a hopeless Janeite and that Northanger Abbey is my second favorite Jane Austen novel of all time, when I happened to read about Gothic Classics on my favorite Jane Austen fan site, Austenblog, I could not resist immediately visiting the publisher's website and buying a copy.

I was not disappointed. The book features adapted, comic versions of Carmilla, The Mysteries of Udolpho, The Oval Portrait, and Northanger Abbey, among others. Of course I loved the version of NA, but I also thought Carmilla was particularly eerie and well done. I am assuming the full-length story could only be better, so right now I'm on the look out for the full text of Le Fanu's vampire novella (which apparently predates Dracula by 25 years as far as vampire (I mean, vampyre) stories go).

I was also not familiar with Poe's The Oval Portrait, but this short piece is exceptionally well done, and the illustrations are perfect.

Any fellow Janeite would love this book as the Gothic tales will root you firmly in the world of the romantics and allow you to better understand the works Jane alludes to in Northanger Abbey.

If you, like me, bought Udolpho thinking you would make it through its 600+ pages, then the Gothic Classics version, though obviously not as satisfying as reading the entire novel, will tide you over for now.

Maybe this book will inspire me to go on a seventeenth century Gothic reading kick? I've been itching to read Dracula. Or The Monk. Or The Italian. Could more Gothic horrors be in store for me?

My Rating: A

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