Ghostly Reads or Not
Posted Tue, 06/28/11
While paranormal romance novels seem to be riding a wave, I've never been particularly fond of the genre. Books containing a primary storyline that exists between ghosts and people, or other ghouls, simply bore me to tears. I find the repetitive scenarios less than credible, and hardly on the scale of noteworthy writing.
There are a few exceptions, of course. Dracula and Frankenstein are the obvious classic choices, to be followed by the Dark Shadows series of books and Bledding Sorrow by Marilyn Harris, in my opinion. The slim-line gothic novels from the 1970's (re: Dorothy Daniels) are also enjoyable without going overboard, yet the good stuff is few and far between.
Perhaps the Dark Shadows movie will help revive the gothic genre, rather than spin more predictable vampires into our midst. However, I have to admit Barnabas Collins is of a different ilk than most with cult hero status. It's hard for me to see anyone other than Jonathan Frid as Barnabas, but I'm sure Johnny Depp will do a bang-up job.
In the upcoming Quixotic Crossings, there are a few scenes between a "dead" character from Passion Forsaken and two living men, but they do not dominate the storyline nor is the ghost represented as a "monster." The scenes are mainly included to preface a moral decision that needs to be made by one of the living characters, and then life goes on.
Later, another character in The Keeper's Journal and The Twilight (as in twilight "years"), has ghostly visions of her long-dead stalker and then her recently-passed husband in separate sequences. Again, the scenes do not dominate the storyline. They are about the character questioning her sanity more than anything else.
I like small dashes of the surreal mixed in with historical or human drama, not the other way around.
To each their own...