It's been a while since I did my first 'goth-friendly' post, but this one was bound to happen: goth-friendly books! As you all probably know by now, I like reading. A lot. Which means I also read many many books, and not just because I have to. Hence, I will probably make more 'goth-friendly books' posts, dedicated to various genres. I'm thinking of actual literature, fantasy/sci-fi, young adult (though I might need your help for the last one. I don't read many young adult novels), etc. Romance is not included in the list because a) I don't know many romances and b) the ones I know, I sort of detest.
I have had to make some very painful decisions for this particular list (I'm so sorry Lovecraft, I promise I still love you), so consider this a little taste of what is to come.
This one is probably the most obvious one on the list. I'm sure most of you are familiar with Neil Gaiman, but I really wanted to include him since I have only recently read 'Fragile Things', which is a collection of some of his short stories. Some of them have an aura of hopefulness about them, some are funny in a sarcastic way and some are just plain terrifying. There is a story for everyone: Sherlock Holmes solves (a rather unusual, slightly tentacled) case, Harlequin changes faces, fairies flutter by, the months of the year have a story-telling game and girls at parties are not to be trusted. The writing style sucks you into every single story and won't let you go until the bitter end.
Only the second book on the list and my strong adoration of intertextuality is already becoming obvious. 'Anno Dracula' takes place in a London where all kinds of previously written fictional characters (mostly from classic vampire literature) appear, along with some people that have actually existed. Prepare for people like Lestrade, Jekyll/Hyde, Dr. Moreau, Jack the Ripper and Queen Victoria to be placed in situations that you had never expected them to be in. The plot is also very interesting and the story is thrilling until the end, even though we already know the Whitechapel murderer's identity from page one Basically, 'Anno Dracula' (along with its sequels) is the prefect novel for fans of classic horror and vampire literature.
I could not not include this one, even though I have recently written a short review of it. This book is just plain old fun to read. There are many references to B-horror films and even some aspects of pop culture are used in a comical context, the main characters are a bunch of (hilariously terrible) mall goths and the main character is an alter ego of Voltaire himself, sarcastic comments included. If you really want an elaborate plot or quality writing, this might not be for you, but if you are looking to laugh out loud in public places at atypical characters that you absolutely detest, then pick it up, really. You won't be disappointed.
Now don't look so sceptical, I know what you are thinking and I promise the book is a thousand times better than the film. No, you see, the novel is actually a parody of Twilight-like paranormal romances that go against everything ever written about that particular creature, which is something that the film kind of fails (or even refuses) to communicate. This is another of those laugh-out-loud hilarious novels; R. (the main character) actually has a pretty good sense of humour for a zombie. The story is extremely surreal and Marion constantly balances on the border of over-the-top absurd, in the best way possible. Also (yes, again with the intertextuality), it's Romeo and Juliet with zombies, what more can you ask for?
This is to make up for the fact that I won't make a post on romances; I think of it as a delicious guilty pleasure. Even though the writing style is rather bad and the plot gets worse and worse as the series continue, it actually is a fun (and fast) read. This particular novel is the very first in the series and you will find most of the first season of True Blood in it. However, as you read more of the books, you'll notice that the show has made many, many adjustments, and most of them for the better. So don't expect too many familiar scenarios, the books mainly are paranormal romances, but really quite enjoyable if you approach them without thinking about True Blood all too much.
I was inclined to include the Series of Unfortunate Events series instead, but I am pretty sure most of you know those already, and this way I have mentioned them anyway, so it is a win-win either case.
This particular book looks like one of those silly advice booklets at first, but once you start flipping through the leaves, you will notice how not all of the phrases are equally... conventional. Some are actually kind of insightful, and some are just plain silly. The entire book is immersed in delicious cynicism and satire. I can very much advice it to those who snicker at Oscar Wilde's one-liners.
For a selection of some of my favourite phrases, see the review I wrote a year back.