So I found this harlequin romance paperback today, and normally I just toss those right over without paying them much mind, but the cover of this one made me pause. Sure that the artist was just taking liberties, I checked out the back.
I’m dubious. I should read a passage:
It is a literal bear.
Okay yeah I’ll admit it I’m going to read this but only because it sounds like the most fucked up romance novel in existence.
You have some explaining to do, Canada.
You guys don’t understand. Screw it being a bestseller, 50 Shades of Gray is a bestseller, this book won the Governor General’s Award. That’s the highest literary award in Canada. That’s the pulitzer prize of Canadian literature. Bear is a part of Canadian literary history.
i had to read this book in uni for my first year Canadian literature class. When we first heard of it we were like, “Oh the Bear’s a metaphor or some shit.” but then one kid read ahead, and was like, “Guys, no, she literally fucks the bear. She fucked a bear.”
Showtime’s Penny Dreadful had its season finale this past Sunday. Fortunately for fans of the series, and Victorian Gothic yarns in general, it has been renewed for a 10 episode second season set to air next year. However, for those of you needing to slake your (blood)thirst for further gaslight Gothic horrors, here are a few reading suggestions to tide you over in the meantime. The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson The Turn of the Screw by Henry James Two great late-Victorian era classics, both beautifully written and chilling to the bone. Modern readers already know the twist that so shocked Victorian readers yet Stevenson’s tale of a man quite literally losing his mind, body, and soul is still startlingly powerful, as is Henry James’s novella concerning a governess who seeks to protect her charges from a malevolent menace, who may or may not be real. Late Victorian Gothic Tales, ed. by Roger Luckhurst In a Glass Darkly by Sheridan Le Fanu Luckhurst’s anthology contains an excellent selection of terrifying tales from the era including Arthur Conan Doyle’s story of a murderous mummy, “Lot 249,” and Arthur Machen’s sensational novella “The Great God Pan,” about a mysterious beauty whose ability to corrupt is every bit the equal to Dorian Gray as well as works by Oscar Wilde, Rudyard Kipling, and the aforementioned Henry James. Le Fanu’s collection of tales comes from the “casebook” of the fictitious Dr. Martin Hesselius (an early forerunner for Stoker’s Van Helsing), whose papers recount an encounter with a spectral monkey, the fate of a vindictive judge, and Le Fanu’s masterpiece “Carmilla,” in which a young teen’s melancholic new friend is more than what she seems. The Monk by Matthew Lewis Melmoth the Wanderer by Charles Maturin Upon its original publication, Lewis’s scandalous early Gothic novel was deemed both horrid and blasphemous, which didn’t prevent it from becoming a runaway best seller. The novel charts the diabolical decline of Ambrosio, a Capuchin superior, who succumbs to increasingly depraved acts of sex, sorcery, torture and murder. The eponymous character from Maturin’s novel has sold his soul for 150 years of extended life, but his Faustian bargain comes with an escape clause, leading Melmoth to tempt other souls in their darkest hour in order to free themselves from their wretchedness. Mayhem by Sarah Pinborough The Quick by Lauren Owen Sarah Pinborough’s eerie novel is set against the notorious torso murders that rocked London less than a year after Jack the Ripper’s reign of terror while in Lauren Owen’s critically acclaimed new novel, a shy, young poet arrives in London seeking fame and fortune only to mysteriously vanish. Shortly thereafter, his sister arrives to investigate the circumstances surrounding his disappearance only to find the answer may lie with the exclusive, secretive Aegolius Club, whose members number among the most elite in England.
After the end of True Detective and Penny Dreadful, it’s becoming increasingly clear to us that one of the most important functions of Penguin Classics is to entertain you with relevant literature while your favorite TV shows are on hiatus. And we are so totally okay with that.