Title: Haunted Castles
Author: Ray Russell
Publisher: Penguin Classics 2013
Rating: 5/5 stars
Reading Challenges: Popsguar - Story within a Story; New to Me
Haunted Castles is the definitve, complete collection of Ray Russell's masterful Gothic horror stories, including the famously terrifying novella trio of "Sardonicus," "Sanguinarius," and "Sagittarius." The characters that sprawl through Haunted Castles are frightful to the core: the heartless monster holding two lovers in limbo; the beautiful dame journeying down a damned road toward depravity (with the help of an evil gypsy); the man who must wear his fatal crimes on his face in the form of an awful smile. Engrossing, grotesque, perverted, and completely entrancing, Russell's Gothic tales are the best kind of dreadful.
How have I never heard of Ray Russell? And to find out he is one of Guillermo del Toro's favorite authors? Holy cow this was a great find on the random library shelf. I love love loved every single story included in this collection. But I have to say that my favorite was "Sagittarius" involving Dr. Jekyll, Mr. Hyde, and Jack the Ripper. The way Russell crafts his stories fascinated me. I loved the story within a story format for a few of the stories included. I loved the throwback to Gothic storytelling. And I loved the stories themselves. There were thoroughly scary. Perfect pick for my spooky October reads.
Next up on the TBR pile: