cover image Gothic Classics

Gothic Classics

, . . Eureka Productions, $11.95 (144pp) ISBN 978-0-9787919-0-2

M ystery, terror, imprisonment, death: the great gothic themes are explored in these five well-chosen, seminal tales. “Carmilla,” by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu sets the tone for the collection, with its dreamy, swirling art by Lisa K. Weber and its haunting story of a corrupt, corrupting beauty. Edgar Allan Poe is represented by “The Oval Portrait,” in which Poe's customary bewildered narrator comes to realize he's staring at an object of horror—a not unpredictable development given that he was spending the night in a ruined, abandoned castle. Ann Radcliffe's inimitable “Mysteries of Udolpho” is rendered in a faithful, nearly documentary style by Carlo Vergara, while Jane Austen's play upon the gothic, “Northanger Abbey,” is charmingly illustrated by Anne Timmons. The collection ends on a sweeter, melancholy note with the little known “At the Gate” by Myla Jo Closser, in which a crowd of dogs waits in a mysterious land of limbo. The Airedale protagonist realizes, along with the reader, that they are anticipating reunions with their human families, who usually take much longer to reach this shadow land than do their shorter-lived pets. (Apr.)