Ambrose Bierce (1842 - 1914?), best known as journalist, satirist and short story writer. Cynical in outlook, economical in style; Bierce vanished while an observer with Pancho Villa's army.
Four grotesque short stories about murder within the family, seen through the gently innocent eyes of family members ... usually the murderer himself.
(Summary written by Peter Yearsley)
Mary Shelley's 1818 novel presents the Faustian story of a man who aspires to create life out of death, with disastrous results. The novel is constructed as a series of first-person narratives, delivered by Captain Robert Walton, Victor Frankenstein, and his Creature, which makes it perfect for a dramatic reading. (Summary by Elizabeth Klett)
The miserly Ebenezer Scrooge is a cold-hearted man of business and has little time for the good humor and charity of the Christmas season. But that's about to change. A visit from his deceased business partner sets in motion a night in which Scrooge is visited by the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future. Will his listen to their messages? Will he heed their warnings? Ebenezer Scrooge is about to take a Christmas journey that he won't soon forget. (Summary by Kyle Munley)
The tale begins on a Christmas Eve exactly seven years after the death of Ebenezer Scrooge's business partner. Scrooge has no place in his life for kindness, compassion, charity or benevolence. He hates Christmas, calling it "humbug", refuses his nephew Fred's dinner invitation, and rudely turns away two gentlemen who seek a donation from him to provide a Christmas dinner for the Poor... (Summary by Wikipedia and Kara)
Bram Stoker did not invent the vampire story, but he popularized it with his classic 1897 novel. In form Dracula is an epistolary novel, told through a series of journal entries, letters, newspaper articles, and telegrams. It begins with lawyer Jonathan Harker's perilous journey to Castle Dracula in Transylvania, and chronicles the vampire's invasion of England, where he preys upon the lovely Lucy Westenra and Harker's fiancee, Mina...
The classic vampire story by Bram Stoker revolves around a struggle between good and evil, tradition and modernity, and lust versus chastity. The author didn’t invent vampires, but his novel has so captured the public’s imagination that he is rightly considered their popularizer. Listen and you will meet not only the Count himself, but heroes Jonathan Harker and Abraham Van Helsing, plus an array of madmen, psychiatrists, and fair maidens who cross paths with the fanged menace...
Dorian Gray, a young man of wealth and stature in late 1800's London, meets Lord Henry Wotton while posing for a portrait by his friend Basil Hallward. Once the painting is complete, Dorian realizes that it will always be young and attractive, while he will be forced to age and wither with the years. Carelessly, he wishes the opposite were true. What happens is a treatise on morals, self-indulgence and how crucial personal responsibility is towards one's self. (Summary by John Gonzalez)
The novel tells of a young man named Dorian Gray, the subject of a painting by artist Basil Hallward. Basil is impressed by Dorian's beauty and becomes infatuated with him, believing his beauty is responsible for a new mode in his art. Dorian meets Lord Henry Wotton, a friend of Basil's, and becomes enthralled by Lord Henry's world view. Espousing a new hedonism, Lord Henry suggests the only things worth pursuing in life are beauty and fulfillment of the senses...
This, the first of 5 volumes containing Poe's works, contains 8 of his short stories as well as reflections, critiques, and eulogies by others.
The Murders in the Rue Morgue" is a short story written by Edgar Allan Poe in 1841. Poe referred to it as a "tale of ratiocination" featuring the brilliant deductions of C. Auguste Dupin; it is today regarded as one of the first detective stories and is almost certainly the first locked room mystery. (Summary from Wikipedia)
Monday, January 19, 2009 marked Edgar Allan Poe's 200th birthday. Though these tales need no introduction, the rationale for starting with volume two is threefold: many of the best-loved (and best) tales are included, the vast majority run from 15 to 30 minutes, and the other volumes can then be recorded without repetition, if there is interest in doing so. (Summary by M.L. Cohen)
"The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" is a short story by Washington Irving contained in his collection The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent., written while he was living in Birmingham, England, and first published in 1820. It was based on a German folktale set in the Dutch culture of Post-Revolutionary War in New York State. With Irving's companion piece "Rip Van Winkle", it is among the earliest examples of American fiction still read today. (Summary by Wikipedia)
The Turn of the Screw is a novella written by Henry James. It is a ghost story that was originally published in 1898. A nameless governess reports the events of two ghosts who stalk the young children she has charge over. Is she reliable, or an imaginative neurotic?
(Summary adapted from Wikipedia)
Northanger Abbey is a hilarious parody of 18th century gothic novels. The heroine, 17-year old Catherine, has been reading far too many “horrid” gothic novels and would love to encounter some gothic-style terror — but the superficial world of Bath proves hazardous enough. (Summary by Kara)
This, the third of 5 volumes containing Poe's works, contains 6 of his short stories as well as Poe's only complete novel, The Narrative of A. Gordon Pym. In it, Arthur Gordon Pym stows away on a whaling vessel and experiences shipwreck, mutiny, and other adventures in typical Poe fashion. (Introduction by TriciaG)
The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is a novella by the Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson, first published in 1886. London lawyer Utterson is driven to investigate Edward Hyde, the unlikely protégé of his friend Dr Henry Jekyll, suspecting the relationship to be founded on blackmail. The truth is worse than he could have imagined. Jekyll’s ‘full statement of the case’, the final chapter of the book, explores the idea of dual personality that led him to his experiments, and his inexora...
After hearing Mr. Enfield's account of a distressing event involving Edward Hyde, the heir of his friend, Henry Jekyll, John Utterson is convinced that Jekyll's relationship with Hyde is built on something sinister. Utterson's concern for his friend is not unfounded but the reasons aren't quite what he, at first, believes.
An old theatre under new management; a diva who thinks she can sing; a young ingenue who really can; a masked man who wreaks havoc if he doesn't get his own way. Secrets, intrigues, falling chandeliers! The Phantom of the Opera is here! (Summary by Karen Savage)
Though Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is best known for his detective stories, he also wrote other short stories which are masterpieces of mystery and suspense. In some of the stories in "Tales of Terror and Mystery", a suppressed uneasiness gradually builds up and evolves into sheer terror. In others, the story line unexpectedly changes and comes to a horrific conclusion.
Sit back in the comfort of your armchair and let yourself be transported to the strange but compelling world created by Sir Arth...
An unsatisfied wife kills her weak husband in order to carry on a sordid affair with another man. However, her selfish plans are spoiled when her husband continues to
haunt her. This is often said to be Zola's first great novel.(Summary by BellonaTimes)
Nine Gothic Horror Tales by the author of Dracula.