Goth Literature

Check out this book, that lists the Insta Goth Kit in the links area!! 21st Century Goth !!

Here are reviews and recommendations from other bad azz literary goths on their favorite goth literature:

The World On Blood : Mildly supernatural, erotic tale from the author of West of the Moon (1987), etc., this about a mixed sexual bag of 12 vampires who form Vampires Anonymous in San Francisco, treat blood as an addictive drug, and hew to the Twelve Steps of AA. These vampires are humans, can’t change shape, do not have longer lives than other humans, and yet can get stoned on blood- -especially baby-blood.

Cinderella Skeleton : Gr. 3-5, younger for reading aloud. San Souci puts a bizarre spin on the world’s most familiar folktale. Cinderella Skeleton “lives” in Boneyard Acres, where she’s forced to keep an entire mausoleum supplied with cobwebs and dead flowers while stepsisters Gristlene and Bony-Jane primp and pose before stepmother Skreech. Thanks to the offices of a good witch, Cinderella gets to Prince Charnel’s ball and makes her escape just before dawn. As expected, she leaves behind a shoe–but this one has a foot inside. The text is cast in verse, with a complex rhyme scheme that takes getting used to but keeps the lines from sounding sing-songy. Catrow’s artwork seems to have taken a tip from Tim Burton’s film Nightmare before Christmas (1993). The backgrounds are eerie and elaborately detailed, and the figures are not really skeletons but rather elongated stick figures with mummified heads and moldering, garishly colored finery.
Recommended by: Chastity and her Baby Bat sister Dawn.

The Embrace: A True Vampire Story : a true story about this teen vampire cult who goes insane and later gets into some legal trouble. it fallows a bit of the court case, but mostly tells their story. if anyone remembers, their story was in the news in the early 90’s.
Recommended by: Magic Kandi

House of Leaves : “Had The Blair Witch Project been a book instead of a film, and had it been written by, say, Nabokov at his most playful, revised by Stephen King at his most cerebral, and typeset by the futurist editors of Blast at their most avant-garde, the result might have been something like House of Leaves.”

Recommended by: Dr. Smoove

The Bell Jar : Plath was an excellent poet but is known to many for this largely autobiographical novel. The Bell Jar tells the story of a gifted young woman’s mental breakdown beginning during a summer internship as a junior editor at a magazine in New York City in the early 1950s. The real Plath committed suicide in 1963 and left behind this scathingly sad, honest and perfectly-written book, which remains one of the best-told tales of a woman’s descent into insanity.

Recommended by: David Haddad

The Best Little Girl in the World : Teenager Francesca Deitrich feels too fat, giving into the pressures of her ballet teacher and the pencil-thin models in the media, in a revealing story about a “”perfect”” little girl suffering from the destructive obsession of anorexia nervosa.

Recommended by: David Haddad and Chastity

The Luckiest Girl in the World : Like his first novel Best Little Girl in the World (1989), about a teenager with anorexia, this one, written mostly with YAs in mind, also brings to light a devastating problem among young people. Pretty, smart, and a talented ice-skater, 15-year-old Katie Roskova seems to have a lot going for her. In fact, her public face and her private one are vastly different. She’s actually a frightened, insecure, lonely child, who depends on self-mutilation (she cuts herself with a scissors or a knife until she bleeds) to stay grounded in the pressure cooker she knows as her “real world.” There’s not much subtlety in either characterization (the humane psychiatrist, the horrible mother, the supportive therapy group) or plot. But Levenkron evokes the magical thinking, the loss of control, and the other psychological particulars associated with self-mutilation so adeptly that readers can’t help but be drawn into Katie’s bizarre, frightening world. The girl’s struggle to regain control won’t be easy to forget.

Recommended by: Chastity

Girl Interrupted : When reality got “too dense” for 18-year-old Susanna Kaysen, she was hospitalized. It was 1967, and reality was too dense for many people. But few who are labeled mad and locked up for refusing to stick to an agreed-upon reality possess Kaysen’s lucidity in sorting out a maelstrom of contrary perceptions. Her observations about hospital life are deftly rendered; often darkly funny. Her clarity about the complex province of brain and mind, of neuro-chemical activity and something more, make this book of brief essays an exquisite challenge to conventional thinking about what is normal and what is deviant.

Recommended by: David Haddad

Quitting the Nairobi Trio : You kind of get the feeling that if Jim Knipfel sat next to you on the bus, you’d get up and move. But it’d be your loss. Sure, he’s surly, whacked out, and often socially unacceptable, but he can’t be beat for smart, bitterly funny writing on subjects as varied as scuba diving and suicide attempts. In Quitting the Nairobi Trio, he ends up in a psych ward after a botched attempt at ending his life with pills and scotch. Unhelpful attendants and randomly communicative wardmates fill his days, along with preposterously short weekly doctor sessions and rare family visits. Knipfel’s memory for conversational bits is unerring; a simple question on his part is as likely to descend into violence as it is to end politely, and the result is a book that’s hard to put down. Page after page grinds on in the black humor found only on a locked-door psych ward, and when the final illumination arrives–thanks to an Ernie Kovacs segment on a public television fundraiser–he can’t even share it with his doctor. No classic happy ending from this author. Knipfel’s viewpoint is definitely one-of-a-kind–and even fervent fans will agree that’s probably a good thing

Recommended by: David Haddad

The Dark Garden : Thea, 16, struggling to recover from traumatic amnesia after a bike accident. Released from the hospital, she returns as a stranger to a dysfunctional family she doesn’t remember. She knows their old house, but her memories belong to another time, long before her family lived there. She sees evanescent figures, hears voices, and even seems to be someone else at times. Illness, insanity–or a haunting? With help from a sympathetic clergyman and a young, handsome neighbor, Thea uncovers and, in part, relives a long-ago tragedy involving a romantic triangle, a murder, and a madman. She also intercedes with her self-absorbed parents to free herself and her troubled younger sisters from the burden of their neglect.

Recommended by: Janet Lopez

Edgar Allen Poe : Short stories and poems that every Goth should know.

We Have Always Lived in the Castle : The first paragraph is:
My name is Mary Katherine Blackwood. I am eighteen years old, and I
Live with my sister Constance. I have often thought that with any luck at all I could have been born a werewolf, because the two middle fingers on both my hands are the same length, but I have had to be content with what I had. I dislike washing myself, and dogs, and noise. I like my sister Constance, and Richard Plantagenet, and Amanita halloides, the death-cup mushroom. Everyone else in my family is dead.
It just gets better from there.

Recommended by: Brian Zimmerman

Crosses : kind of a teen book, but it involves gothliness, razors, 80’s new wave, blood, and drugs….what more could an InstaGoth want?

Recommended by: Xerxies

From Molly B.
This one is great because it even converts non-goth
kiddies! “A Series of Unfortunate Events” by Lemony
Snicket. These books have it all…they look old,
have dismal illustrations, and are all about the
horrible fates that continually befall the Baudelaire
children after their parents perish in a fire. The
author states repeatedly that if you wish to read
something cheery, bouncy, perhaps with a happy ending,
you should elsewhere, possibly to some volume about
wee old elves. From ages 8-29 (after all, no *real* goth makes it
past that) these books are a treat.

From em Maiden:
If you want to read some dark stuff, read the Borderlands anthologies. Dave Mckean did the cover art for these short stories

collections and the books, terrofy, disturb, depress, excite, excite (the special way, and just over all stimulate any gloomy

and intellectual mind. You might also check out Drum and Candle, an anthrophology book from the 60’s on brazilian

religion/culture. Most editions also have summoning and spell directions, info about all that devil and saint jazz.

Cabal :Book that Cradle of filth’s Midian was based

From Dr. Splice:

  • Bunnicula, for all the growing little goths.

From Bitter Overlord:

  • The Amphigorey series, by Edward Gorey (esp. the first one, though they
    are all at least mildly disturbing).

From Gothicka:

From alana norton:

  • Tasha left Gloom Cookie off her comics list, and also, a great cute book called Creepy Susie. Ever seen “The Oblongs”? Same guy. Greatness.

From Goddess of the Crusifix:

  • Anything by Anais Nin– for anyone who’s into dark bisexual s&m

From Mr. Eff:

  • Candide – an
    18th century satire about optimism (*fiendish smirk*) what’s not to love
    about that?

From Alchemy:

  • Dracula, by Bram Stoker — This should be obvious.
  • Anything by HP Lovecraft — Insanity, dreary old houses, alternate
    dimensions, Evil Gods from Beyond. Need I say more?

  • Necronomicon — Supposedly the dread book of al-Hazred, the Mad Arab. Good
    to memorize sections of to scare the hell out of normals, especially after
    muttering cryptic things about the Elder Gods. Several versions of the
    Necronomicon have the various sigils of different demons and suchlike so they
    can make good decorations for notebooks and bedroom walls. Some versions
    also have chapters detailing the items needed for summoning these creatures
    such as black-painted pillars, iron plates, and swatches of black silk —
    more home decorating ideas!

  • Anything by Aleister Crowley — The son of Satan himself wrote about magick,
    dark gods, alternative universes and serious drug trips. Ozzie Osbourne
    wrote a song about him. His books were burned. You need to read them.

  • The Bell Jar, by Sylvia Plath — A autobiography of sorts of one of the most
    psychologically screwed up writers of the 20th century. After winning a
    dream assignment in a fashion office in NYC, a young girl does her best to
    keep up with the status quo while trying to maintain a relationship with a
    medical student. The pressures she’s subjected to make her wind up in the
    loony bin.

  • The Collected Poetry of Sylvia Plath — Very good read if you’re interested
    in the emotional aspects of eroding sanity. The early poems have a forced
    light-heartedness to them (“Fiesta Melons”) which quickly degenerate into the
    author picking over the fragments of her past and trying to make sense out of

From Tasha:

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