Tuesday, August 26, 2008


Carl V has just announced his Rip III challenge which aims to "share the love of eerie, creepy, things-that-go-bump-in-the-night literature". As I love classic horror I cannot resist. I really appreciate that fact that Carl provides the option of only reading one book (Peril the Third) so that I can join in the fun without over committing myself. Hopefully I will have time for more than one. We will see. I also like the idea of a pool of books to chose from because even if I don't read more than one now, it will be a great resource when I am in the mood for something that goes bump in the night. Here is my pool of possible reads which I fully expect will increase as time goes by.

Tales of Moonlight and Rain by Akinari Ueda
House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski
Best Ghost Stories by Algernon Blackwood
Three Impostors and Other Stories by Arthur Machen
Casting the Runes and Other Ghost Stories by M.R. James

I will definitely read Tales of Moonlight and Rain as it is sitting enticingly on my coffee table for the Japanese Literature Challenge and I am really looking forward to it. House of Leaves I read when if first came out and I have been meaning to re-read it as the creepy House keeps poping into my head. Machen and Blackwood both influenced Lovecraft, one of my favorites, and I have been meaning to read more of them. M.R. James is one of my favorite ghost story writers and I still haven't read all of his work. I am sure that I will think of or find more to add to this list. I am really looking forward to reading other participants' pools and reviews!


Carl V. said...

So glad you are joining in. I too hope you have time for more than one, not for the sake of numbers but because there are some delicious books in your pool and it would be a shame to only get to one!

I've seen Tales of Moonlight and Rain on a few blogs and I'm intrigued. Gonna have to look at that one.

House of Leaves is a book I have had forever and have always been a little intimidated by. Not sure why, it looks delicious.

I grew into a huge Lovecraft fan during last year's challenge. Just pulled out the books again last night to continue the short stories from where I left off. They are so creepy in the kind of nostalgic/gothic was that I so enjoy.

Cath said...

That's an excellent list. I don't know the first two but have read a lot of Blackwood's ghost stories and love them. The Three Imposters is a good story too and I also have a book of M.R. James's short stories to reread as it's ages since I read anything by him. Look forward to your reviews!

Stormfilled said...

Hi Moo! I'm doing a round of RIP visits :)

I love MR James! I've heard a lot about House of Leaves, but it's not one I've tackled yet. A friend who locked himself in his room for a week and read it alone was utterly freaked out by it, but another train reading friend was unimpressed. Set the conditions well!

Bellezza said...

I don't think you'll be disappointed with Tales of Moonlight and Rain which I read last year for the RIP II Challenge. I skipped all the commentary between the stories, and just went for the stories themselves; they will long be remembered in my mind!

I'm wondering of House of Leaves is the one a friend of mine called the scariest book she's ever read...

Dark Orpheus said...

I was in the process of throwing out old books and House of Leaves is one of those I have no place for, yet I'm reluctant to throw away.

Should I throw it out, or is it worth keeping?

Moo said...

Dark Orpheus, that is a hard call. I read it when it first came out back in 2000 and it was one of those books that I got angry with and actually talked back to. I thought it needed editing and it was more interested in being clever and cutting edge then focusing on the story. Eight years later I have forgotten most of the books I read back then but I can still vividly recall the House from the book. Every book that has a creepy house in it I compare with that House and they all come up lacking. So eight years later, long after I got rid of my copy, I am planning on buying it again and giving it another shot.

It is not a straight forward story. There is the story of the narrator, the academic study of a documentary film called the Navidson Record, letters from the narrator’s mother, bizarre lines of text running around the pages and tons of footnotes. It is not an accessible format and some people will be put off of by its self-conscious style. When I first read it, I found the style to get in the way of the story of the incredible house that keeps changing dimensions. Doorways and staircases appear and disappear and ultimately the house leads to insanity and murder. At the time I was trying to read it as a pure Lovecraftian tale of horror, which was amazing and that has clearly stuck with me. I think now I have more of an appreciation for books pushing narrative boundaries and would more appreciate what the author was trying to do. In fact I have a copy of his new book, Revolutions that you have to flip over every eight pages to read, in my TBR book case.

I too moved and had to get rid of many books which was very traumatic for me. I ended up packing and keeping 40 boxes of books which was about a third of what I had. Since that move I have gotten rid of most of those books as well and have one book case of books that I simply cannot do without and one book case of books to be read. Once I read a book, unless it wins a spot in the essential book case (which is full and requires some other book to go away), I give it away. This goes so against my pack rat and bibliomania instincts but there is a lot to be said for simplifying. Instead of keeping the actual books, I keep a reading diary which I am currently trying in this blog form. I rarely re-read a book and if I ever want to, as in this case, it is easier to buy it again then trying to store them all just in case.

If you do end up keeping the book and eventually reading it, I would love to hear your thoughts on it.

Moo said...

Carl - I hope you dust off your copy of House of Leaves and give it shot. I would love to hear what you think. Thanks for hosting this great challenge.

Cath - I love M.R. James and am looking forward to reading the Blackwood.

Stormfilled - People react very differently to House of Leaves and I can see how it would be annoying to read on a train.

Belleza - I am reading Moonlight and Rain now and am enjoying it. I can tell you that the House in House of Leaves is certainly the scariest House I have ever encountered.

I am really looking forward to reading all the RIP reviews. My wish list is already expanding!