Tuesday, January 22, 2008

American Gothic

Author: Robert Bloch

First line: The castle stood in shadows.

Why you should read this book: Based loosely on the true story of con man, corpse robber, and serial killer HH Holmes, who murdered dozens of people against the glorious backdrop of the 1893 Chicago World Fair, this book is a fluffy little piece of pulp fiction pitting a young female newspaper reporter with an insatiable thirst for the truth against a seemingly genteel businessman. When her insurance investigator fiance makes a big pay out to a wealthy doctor known as C. Gordon Gregg, Crystal is immediately suspicious of the circumstances, and battles widespread gender discrimination to uncover Gregg's nefarious plot. With hints of sexual danger and a pretty satisfyingly gruesome discovery preceding the story's happy ending, American Gothic is the literary equivalent of a bag of potato chips.

Why you shouldn't read this book: It's not Psycho, it's not Grant Wood, and it's certainly not The Devil in the White City. It's a bag of pulp fiction potato chips. Consume at your own risk.

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