Sunday, October 26, 2014

Get a Scary 15% off my books through Sunday, October 26th at Barnes & Noble




Get a scary 15% off my books through Sunday, October 26th. Online use coupon code: JP4KGWP3JPAGF  A best bet for Halloween is 6a66le: The Best Horror Short Stories 1800-1849.


An anthology finalist award winner in the Next Generation Indie Book Awards and a Gothic Readers Book Club Choice Award WinnerThe Best Horror Short Stories 1800-1849 delivers 12 of the greatest horror stories for the first half of the 19th century.

Andrew Barger, author of the award winning Coffee with Poe: A Novel of Edgar Allan Poe's Life as well as Edgar Allan Poe Annotated and Illustrated Entire Stories and Poems, read over 300 horror short stories to compile the 12 best. At the back of the book he includes a list of all short stories he considered along with their dates of publication and author, when available. He includes background for each of the stories and author photos. A number of the stories were published in leading periodicals of the day such as Blackwood's and Atkinson's Casket. Read 6a66le:The Best Horror Short Stories 1800-1849 tonight!
  • 1836 The Old Man's Tale About the Queer Client by Charles Dickens (1812 -1870)
  • 1817 The Deserted House by E.T. A. Hoffmann (1776 - 1822)
  • 1836 The Minister's Black Veil by Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804 - 1864)
  • 1843 The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe (1809 - 1849)
  • 1830 The Mysterious Mansion by Honore de Balzac (1799-1850)
  • 1828 The Severed Hand by Wilhelm Hauff (1802 - 1827)
  • 1826 The Lighthouse by George Soane (1789 - 1860)
  • 1842 The Pit and the Pendulum by Edgar Allan Poe (1809 - 1849)
  • 1832 The Executioner by Honore de Balzac (1799-1850)
  • 1832 The Thunder-Struck and the Boxer by Samuel Warren (1807 - 1877)
  • 1845 The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar by Edgar Allan Poe (1809 - 1849)
  • 1839 The Fall of the House of Usher by Edgar Allan Poe (1809 - 1849) 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination by the British Library


The British Library is doing what hundreds of other libraries around the world should be doing this time of year. It is hosting "Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination" that focus on the literary Gothic.

The exhibit contains rare manuscripts of fragments of the literary Goth over the past 250 years. It is running now until January 20, 2015. If you are near London, you have to pay it a visit!


Saturday, October 11, 2014

Morrissey Uses Title of a Cure Song in Quote



On The Cure's 4:13 Dream album there is a peppy song titled "Sleep When I'm Dead". Morrissey, perhaps unknowingly, used the phrase (or pretty darn close to it) this week in an interview about the state of his cancer:

"I'll rest when I'm dead," he said.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Score 15% Off Books Today Only at Barnes & Noble


Score 15% off books at Barnes & Noble--today only! A best best is Edgar Allan Poe's Complete Stories and Poems Annotated. Online, use 4XUZ4X3V8S46L at checkout.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

A Tea Bag Error in "Coffee with Poe"



This week it was astutely pointed out to me that I made a mistake in Coffee with Poe. In the novel about Poe's life, there is a scene where Poe meets Charles Dickens in Philadelphia. It was a lot of fun to write, but I got one of the details wrong. In the scene I mentioned that Dickens was using a tea bag. A gentlemen named David, who is reading CWP, pointed out to me that the tea bag was not invention until the early 1900s where it was introduced to a skeptical British public.

It is tough to get all of the details right in historical fiction, but that is no excuse. Thank you, David, for pointing out my tea bag boondoggle (and excuse me, Boz).

Sunday, September 7, 2014

New Annotated Book of Tolstoy's Best Novellas Published



I am happy to announce that Leo Tolstoy's 5 Greatest Novellas Annotated is now published in both ebook and print formats. The cover is not too shabby, either.

After reading "War & Peace," Fyodor Dostoevsky put the book down and said, "The fool hath said in heart there is no God." Yet, Tolstoy's shorter novels (i.e., novellas) are filled with all the war, adventure, comedy, religion, tragedy, and Russian tradition that inhabit the longer novels of the Russian bear of literature. But there is much more to this anthology. I have included a short biography on Tolstoy and a chronology of his life and publications.

1) The Invaders - A Russian team moves against Shamyl and his Islamic army in the Caucasus, which is based on Tolstoy's military experiences in the 1850s.
2) The Death of Ivan Ilyich - When a man who has done good his entire life is stricken with an illness, it makes him question everything.
3) Two Hussars - When a hell-raiser takes lodging in a small Russian city, debauchery is inevitable but will it be matched years later by his son?
4) Father Sergius - The taboo subject of a priest being subjected to physical temptation is explored in one of Tolstoy's most scandalous stories.
5) Master & Man - By the end of this snowstorm adventure, you will be asking yourself, Who is the master and who is the servant?

What do some of the world's greatest literary minds have to say about the works of Tolstoy:
"A second Shakespeare." Gustave Flaubert
"No English novelist is as great as Tolstoy." E.M. Forster
"The greatest Russian writer of prose fiction." Vladimir Nabokov
"The greatest of all novelists." Virginia Woolf

Read the shorter novels of Leo Tolstoy today.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Did Edgar Allan Poe Write a Ghost Story?


Edgar Allan Poe is America's forefather of Gothic literature and responsible for its most popular poem, "The Raven." I have argued in a past post that Poe did not (unfortunately) write a vampire story. But what about a ghost story? Poe had a mostly pitiful life where he suffered through poverty (much of it self-inflicted for his art) and the deaths of his mother, father, foster mother, foster father (John Allen), wife (Virginia Poe), former fiancee (Sarah Helen Whitman) and close friends. Who better to write a ghost story than the forefather of Goth who had lost so many relatives?

In my view he wrote at least four ghost stories:

1835 Morella;
1838 Ligeia;
1842 The Mask of the Red Death (Included in The Best Ghost Stories 1800-1849); and
1842 The Oval Portrait.

Arguments have been made (spoiler alert) that the revived sister in The Fall of the House of Usher is a ghost, and I get that. She is either someone who was laid to rest by her brother when she was near death (ala The Premature Burial) or locked away, which explains Roderick Usher's nervous condition. Anyway, yes Poe did write a ghost story or two or four. All are fantastic and worth a slow read.