Category Archives: Gothic Horror

Hello Mr. Bones & Goodbye Mr. Rat by Patrick McCabe

Hello Mr. Bones & Goodbye Mr. Rat

Reviewed by Lisa Brown-Gilbert

Acclaimed author Patrick McCabe gives readers the creeps in his recent horror fueled contribution, Hello Mr. Bones & Goodbye Mr. Rat. The book features two eerily disturbing novellas both of which have central characters that narrate their tales from beyond the grave.

In the first novella, Hello Mr. Bones, child abuser Balthazar Bowen aka Mr. Bones observes his victim/accuser Valentine Shannon waiting for the right time to reach out and assert his brand of dark vengeance. Bowen is a bitter and maniacal sort whose observations and rhetoric become creepier by the word. This tale becomes especially creepy when Mr. Bones sets his sights on Valentine’s disabled son.

The Accursed by Joyce Carol Oates

The Accursed Reviewed by Teri Davis

A new Joyce Carol Oates novel is exciting. This phenomenal writer always intertwines a spellbinding tale by perfectly planning out her novels. This is one those novels that was planned years ago and put aside. Ms. Oates recently revisited this tale of the early twentieth century at Princeton University utilizing much of her personal experiences for the foundation of the story. With characters such as Woodrow Wilson, Teddy Roosevelt, Jack London, Samuel Clemons, Upton Sinclair, and Grover Cleveland, this fictional novel could enlighten readers of life of the times through their perspectives.

This Gothic-styled tale weaves mostly around one family descended from the Rev. Winslow Slade. As a reflection old through the eyes of the historian M. W. Van Dyke II, in the year 1984,THE ACCURSED varies between realistic fiction and fantasy. Winslow’s time viewing his grandchildren and their trials of life are definitely curses. How Winslow managed to have his family cursed and finally how it was lifted is the novel.

THE ACCURSED was an interesting tale. Much time is spent on the develop of the setting with much in-depth descriptions of the time and the places. Apparently the editors relied on Oates reputation and did not revise or read closely this novel since twice a character had the wrong last name. This novel definitely reminded me of those Gothic novels with overly wordy introductions, so much that the reader can easily become discouraged. As for the plot, the story was well-organized with the interweaving of character events. Overall, the story was unusual with dreams morphing into reality involving the mysterious Pine Boroughs of New Jersey.