Cover Image: Gothic


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Member Reviews

A terrifying Faustian nightmare, “Gothic” will knock your socks off! A once popular author struggles to become relevant again until his wife buys him an antique desk that’s more than meets the eye. Inspiration and words flow but they come at a high cost. How far would you go to get the things you want? Philip Fracassi delivers a horrifying descent into madness. You won’t stop turning these pages once you start!  Reminded me of 80’s or 90’s horror paperbacks. Just so damn entertaining and creepy as hell! Loved it!
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There's a reason Fracassi is going to be talked about as the inheritor to King this year, and GOTHIC legitimizes that claim. Horror, at its heart, is about characters. That's why we remember The Losers Club, Jack and Danny Torrance, and why you will remember Tyson Parks. A scary, tense, celebration of why we love the horror novel.
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This is a good old fashioned evil object story that feels like it came straight of the 1970’s it would fit right in with Rosemary’s Baby and the Exorcist, although it is set in more modern times, with mobile phones, internet etc, which makes it feel more relevant while still having that vintage cursed object feel.
I really enjoyed this one, the writing was good, with characters you could really get into. The story was familiar but different enough as so not to be predictable.

I would recommend this book if you like the the books mentioned above, or even Stephen Kings Duma Key.

*Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for a honest review.*
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Tyson is a horror novelist who’s career has seen better days.  While he still has his die hard fans his book sales have dropped and his publisher wants something different,  more current and less about witches and the days of yore.   He has one month to rewrite and modernize his latest.  Impossible.  On the night of his birthday Tyson puts the stress of the book aside as he celebrates with friends, colleagues, his lovely Sarah and the two best birthday presents ever; his daughter’s visit and an exquisite antique desk from Sarah.  Wood topped with a huge stone slab that he can’t quite identify.  Intricate , yet creepy carvings of faces and symbols and the words “do this is in remembrance of me”.   There’s something about this desk that pulls at Tyson and before he knows it he has rewritten his book, but oddly has no idea what he’s actually put to page.  
As his career soars other things are not so great.   He’s changing from a loving partner and father into a loud, grouchy brute.  Sarah begins to fear him and Violet, his daughter, begins to loath him.   We sense doom waits this nice family.     We find that bad things happen to readers too.  Could a book actually influence “average” people to comment murders and suicide?  

I found the changes in Tyson interesting to observe as he noticed them himself and wrestled with fear, denial, greed, lust, helplessness, love and hate as he is sucked further and further into the abyss of what could be Hell.  Even when a tragedy strikes Tyson he is still so seduced by this evil that he barely blinks an eye…instead he buys fancy new clothes and Italian leather shoes which he finds more befitting a man of his stature and good looks (he seems to be aging in reverse sense the tragedy and this pleases him as well).

It’s a very interesting and terrifying concept.  What if true evil was  leashed upon the world for $24.99 at your local book store?
#Gothic #netgalley
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Absolutely incredible. One of the best writes  out. Very much in the vein of the film "in the mouth of madness". Just read it.
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I’ll be honest this book was horridly dull to me at first, but once I got a little ways in I was hooked! 

Our leading man, Tyson Parks, is a has-been. A once best selling author that seems to have lost his touch for creating resonating, horrifying stories. His agent is pushing him to meet their deadlines, his pocket book has run dry, and he cannot seem to find that drive to write. That is, until his wife decides to surprise him with an antique desk that may very well be his undoing. 

Tyson’s descent into madness is coupled with the occult lore of “The Desk”. The reader gets to experience him losing every bit of himself to the darkness within it and the consequences of his newfound success. This internal dialogue of corruption is something I think Philip Fracassi did very well. The character development Tyson experiences is so enveloping, even if he is an unlikable character. However, there are some aspects of this story that just seemed a bit underutilized in my opinion. 

It’s the lore that really was a let down for me. It felt like it was a completely seperate tale and while I understand why the author included it, I didn’t feel that it was executed well. Take Diana for example: She is introduced as an ancestor of the original owner, which could have been a great tie into the true history of the desk, but dies off so suddenly she almost feels pointless. 

So, would I recommend Gothic? 

It’s really depends on what you enjoy from a horror novel and the pacing you enjoy. I think this book definitely could have benefited from some of the plot points/ characters being better developed, but overall it was a a good, fast paced read. 

Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for providing a free e-arc for me to review! All opinions represented in this review are my own.
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What drew me to Philip Fracassi's new book Gothic is that fantastically evil cover. And the premise behind the book ain't bad either. A struggling horror novelist Tyson Parks is trying to write another bestseller, and he just can't manage to do it until his longtime partner Sarah surprises him on his birthday with a new desk. But what they don't know is that the desk once served as the altar for satanic rituals and feeds off its users.

Cool story, cool cover, but the execution just didn't live up to the promise for me. For one, our main protagonist Tyson feels underdeveloped. We get an idea of his struggles, but I never felt sympathetic to his plight. And once the desk gets its shoots in him and drives him to detestable actions, I like him even less. Side characters Sarah and Tyson's daughter Violet are underutilized and not well-voiced.

There's also another character trying to acquire the desk so that she can rid the world of its evil. She's entirely boring. I didn't enjoy the altar backstory her narrative provides. However, she fits into the book's most shocking moment. It was a welcome jolt to a lackluster journey thus far.

⭐️⭐️💫 out of 5. Fear Nerd says, "Check it out!" Hopefully, you dig it more than I did.
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Gothic is a mesmerizing tale that took me on a dizzying descent into madness. The prologue grabbed me with its thorny tentacles and I was hooked. The next thing I knew, I was finishing the book with its nightmarish images burned into my brain. I'm not kidding. I couldn't look away. I lost time. I was possessed by this book, by that desk, by the darkness spreading from Fracassi's mind. 

Philip Fracassi writes with a style that is so easy to read. In Gothic, he keeps the chapters short, so things can just hum along. He builds characters and suspense early on with a slow burn, giving glimpses of the horrors to come. Then things build and chaos ensues at the climax in classic Fracassi fashion. 

I've come to expect old school horror from PF and this one delivers once again. He is spinning tales that are a throwback while at the same time feeling totally new. Gothic is everything I need in a horror novel. Highly Recommended!
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[Blurb goes here]

Gothic is a novel proposition, written in beautiful prose.

Mind you, it takes a long, long time to get to the good part. And before doing so, Fracassi turns his main character into someone you'll be no longer interested in following through his ordeal. The man "Tyson," wallows in self pity, but the author doesn't seemed to try to get into this man's psique, what drove this guy over the edge? What pathology does he suffer from, to be who he is now? No. We only get to read about the circumstances surrounding his failed life.

Obviously Fracassi tells us that this man used to be a great writer, but is now past his prime. And, of course we get to know about the man's personal and financial difficulties. Fracassi keeps reminding us of the fact, every other page. To me, at least, it was difficult to relate to this person. Tyson is not a likable character. Not from the start. For instance: he gets a book commission, after presenting a clear outline of what the new book is going to be about. Ends up writing something entirely different. Isn't it obvious that his failure is the result of his own actions? Oh, but he's convinced that writing the wrong story is going to end well, somehow. it doesn't...obviously. A few chapters in, and you'll be fed up with this guy, which makes it difficult for the reader to keep on going.

Still, most of us would soldier on,, begging that the author finally gets to the "meaty" part. He does. This is where things go from boring and repetitive, to interesting and fast paced. This is when the book finally stops the long and tedious countdown, and the book shoots out into space.

So, in short: Tyson receives a new desk from his girlfriend, one that used to be an ancient altar for long gone evil doers. Tyson starts writing like he's never done before. His personality changing more and more, every day, turning him into a despicable person. Something I didn't mind, since, as I've said, there's no way you'll be rooting for this guy. Be it by purpose or by accident...though I'm incline to think it was the latter, the author makes Tyson simply unpleasant. Any way, Tyson ends up loosing every one around him, as these things tend to go. His new books start changing the reality of those who read them, for the worst. There is evil lurking between the pages, evil coming from the altar, waiting to be released as the reader dwells into them.

Do I recommend this book? That's a hard one. If you're willing to put up with the fact that it's going to be dull for a while, before it gets real good, by all means, go for it.

Thank you for the free copy!
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A sinfully delicious gothic of a cursed relic that mysteriously ends up in a has-been author’s study. This tale brings a horror to life that has you glued to the pages and unable to look away.
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Gothic feels like a throwback to those sordid 1970s horror novels but with modern sensibilities. A carved desk that's really an ancient altar that possesses a horror author when he writes. Nobody pens books like that anymore. Not only does this have that 70s aesthetic, but it's written so much better than the majority of what was published back then. It begins with a wealthy woman who has hired PIs across the globe to track down an ancient family relic who finally gets the message from her man in New York that he thinks he found it. Cue Tyson Parks, a one-time best selling horror author whose books no longer sell like they used to. After trying to pawn off a manuscript to his agent he's told in no uncertain terms that he isn't meeting the contractual obligations with the publisher and he better try again or there will be consequences. Lucky for him his life partner has found the perfect gift for his upcoming 59th birthday - a unique black desk with a stone top and intricate carvings. This desk may just be what Tyson needed, as when he sits down at it he goes on a marathon writing binge, cranking out a novel like he hasn't in decades, one that is sure to reinvigorate his career. But he's also changing, becoming angry and aggressive to those he loves. What price will need to be paid to his new muse? This story was fiercely engaging and its plot unreeled at a speedy clip. I almost couldn't put it down. Gothic is a modern take on old school horror told the way it was meant to be.
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Every once in a while, you come across a book that you know will haunt you long after you've finished it...Gothic is that book. I am still in shock after reading it so I will do my best to give it the review it deserves. 

The main character is a well-known bestselling author who hasn't been able to produce the same bestselling works in a while. His agent is depending on him to finish his book and gives him an insane deadline. So of course, the man is stressed. His loving girlfriend decides his needs a new muse, some inspiration. So, for his birthday she buys him an extravagant desk, not knowing the dark history of the object. 

First, the lore behind the desk was so interesting and set such a tone for the book that I was invested in this story just from that alone. I love horror stories with haunted objects, and this gave me everything and more. 

I will say that the story did give me The Shining vibes, which is one of my favorite horror novels to this day. The stressed, writer slowly descending into madness is very present in this novel. I absolutely loved this book. Also, the gore was so well done. 

I highly recommend this story to anyone who enjoys horror especially fans of The Shining. This is my first Phillip Fracassi novel, and it won't be my last. Looking forward to reading more of his horrifying and amazing work.
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A grim gamut of suffering, Gothic is one of fracassi's finer works.

When Tyson Parks struggles  with horror writing, his reception of an antique desk begins to have a grim effect upon him. As his writing becomes more disturbing, Tyson experiences newfound success at the detriment of his mind. At its core, Gothic is a story of success and what it can do to a writer, through the grim struggles of the human condition.

And Tyson's descent into madness is so exquisitely written. While the writing style is initially somewhat opaque, to persevere is to achieve an understanding of a dizzying decay of thehuman condition. Fracassi handles this with utter skill, with the horror both the dark recesses of Tyson's mind and his spiraling insanity, as well as the external factors that refuse to allow him to recover.

What is success if it comes at such a cost? That is the question Gothic answers.
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dnf at 22%

this was my first book by Philip Fracassi and ngl i’m a bit wary to pick up the next one by him lol. i’ve seen the cover of this book on netgalley and thought right, this looks good, but oh well… the story within didn’t capture me 😂

these were my issues with the book:
« going back in time to 1700s. that was the main thing that put me off continuing. soon as i saw the going back in time note, i was like oh no… i don’t want this 😩 i just didn’t care at all.
« it takes too long for the horror part to take place. i love books that start right off being creepy or at least takes a few pages to roll into horror. it’s just my preference tho 🤷🏻‍♀️
« the main character Tyson was a tad annoying with his self-pityness. he kept moaning about the same shit page after page. i understand why, but instead of being a crybaby, maybe sit down and actually try to think of a new story and at least work on it, take notes etc ??? he came off to me as just wanting the others to take pity on him instead of trying to put actual work and that was annoying as hell.
« the going back and forth between Diana and Tyson wasn’t really picking my interest at all either. 

in conclusion, i guess this book just isn’t for me. people on goodreads seem to enjoy it, so again, maybe i’m in the minority here 🤷🏻‍♀️
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Review Copy

Do you like a slow burn novel as much as I do? You know, one that's so descriptive the characters jump off the page and you can see everything the author mentions? That's GOTHIC, Philip Fracassi's newest horror novel.

His pacing is perfect. The first third of the book is set-up and introduces the characters. There is no confusion between characters - they are not cookie cutter and all are their own person. Then he dives into the meat of the story and you will begin to realize that all is not what it seems. Watch out for that last third of the book. Don't make plans and be prepared to read in one sitting. The horror happens throughout the novel, but that last part is a warp speed ride into terror .

I closed my kindle feeling a satisfaction I hadn't felt with horror in years. Absolutely incredible writing and story! Highly recommended.
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A good old fashioned cursed object tale (and who doesn’t love those?) Reminiscent of early EC Comics, Twilight Zones and Stephen King.

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2.5 stars. 
This book was well written and has some disturbing prose, but the story just didn’t come through for me.
The lore behind the desk ended up feeling irrelevant to the story, and there were so many unresolved plot points. I felt that there wasn’t enough build up to the desk taking over Tyson, and I was ultimately left with more questions than answers by the end of the book.
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A great horror piece! 
I loved the story and the development of it, which I felt was cleverly written. 
The really created a sense of doom and suspense throughout. 
If you like horror it’s a great read comparable to my favourite horror writers, such as Stephen King and James Herbert.
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As a horror writer myself, the whole premise of this novel had me hooked. A former best-selling author, now run dry, turns his life around when he is gifted a mysterious desk as a birthday present. As writers, we all experience that sense of dread from time to time, so I could well imagine the MC's euphoria when he discovered that suddenly the words just flowed. Another bonus for me was the use of the desk as a magical item/cursed object with a life of its own. Anthropomorphism is always a winner if done well, and it was done well. Exceedingly so.
The opening chapters had me hooked, then we were provided a bit of back story. When we arrived at Part Three and the back story, I have to admit my heart sank a little, because I thought the rest of the novel was going to travel back and fore in time. However, this was not the case, and the back story was entirely necessary.
With the arrival of the desk the story moved up another notch, and I found myself more and more engrossed. Tyson's lust for greed and fame is his undoing. We sense this, we feel it in our bones, but when an opportunity arrives to undo the damage I willed him with all my heart to grab it with both hands, knowing all the while he wouldn't.
Did I sympathize with the MC? No, for the reason stated above. Could I empathize, though? Yes.
To sum up: well written, as I knew it would be. Great story-telling and just the right amount of horror.
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GREAT book! Phillip Fracassi is quickly becoming a modern day master of the Horror genre, no doubt about it. He has a completely original voice, but you can feel the influence of those greats who came before him. I would love to know who his biggest influences are. GOTHIC is everything I love in a Horror novel. Pervasive evil.... So many genuinely scary moments. I loved this book. You will also if you're smart and grab a copy when it comes out!
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