Book – Gothic

Getting into the Halloween spirit, Steve Taylor-Bryant got an early look at Gothic, the latest horror novel by Philip Fracassi which is published early next year by Cemetery Dance Publications...

On his 59th birthday, Tyson Parks—a famous, but struggling, horror writer—receives an antique desk from his partner, Sarah, in the hopes it will rekindle his creative juices. Perhaps inspire him to author another best-selling novel and prove his best years aren’t behind him.

A continent away, a mysterious woman makes inquiries with her sources around the world, seeking the whereabouts of a certain artifact her family has been hunting for centuries. With the help of a New York City private detective, she finally finds what she’s been looking for.

It’s in the home of Tyson Parks.

Meanwhile, as Tyson begins to use his new desk, he begins acting... strange. Violent. His writing more disturbing than anything he’s done before. But publishers are paying top dollar, convinced his new work will be a hit, and Tyson will do whatever it takes to protect his newfound success.

Even if it means the destruction of the ones he loves.

Even if it means his own sanity.

A horror writer becoming the protagonist of his own story is an old concept, one that has a patchy past. Some versions of the story are executed really poorly, but some, like Philip Fracassi’s Gothic, are examples of a very refreshed and excellent take on the tale. Throughout Gothic there is an underlying sense of dread that makes even the slightest of actions on the page have a depth that makes putting the book down virtually impossible. Fracassi takes all the old tropes, of supernatural bargaining for greed’s sake and possessed items having a dark power, and creates a terrifying story that also happens to contain a very well crafted human tale full of the pressures and frailties that non-writers also experience in the daily grind and manages to marry the two threads so expertly that you don’t just read an excellent horror book you read a book about life and its struggles.

Fracassi is a new author to me but has already proved he deserves a place on my shelves amongst the likes of King, Koontz, and Herbert and I will definitely be checking out more of his work in the near future.

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Image - Cemetery Dance Publications

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