Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Castle of Otranto 68/81, 2nd Round

The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole, reread category

What an entertaining mess!

This book was written in 1764, and started the whole Gothic craze that was so popular in the 19th century. But honestly, for a modern reader, scenes that were designed to cause fear and shock now wind up sounding really funny! I mean, take the opening. A father is planning the wedding on his only son. But before the ceremony can take place, a giant helmet falls out of the sky and squishes the groom to death. Who can take that seriously? And that's only the beginning, although really, it's the most ridiculous part.

If you want some entertainment, this is pretty fun. But I'm sure it's not entertaining the way the author meant it to be. It's just so dated. But it's still good for a laugh.

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