Cover Image: Gothic


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Member Reviews

This was my first dive into the work of Fracassi and I was not disappointed. I am very much looking forward to reading more of his work. This reminded me of the things I read when I was younger, very creepy and funny in places you might not expect. I know a lot of people don't love a slow burn, but I really enjoyed the time spent building up the tension and characters. So well written. Thank you.
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I truly enjoyed it, it was more of a classic in terms of literary content than I'm typically used to, but overall I thought it was pretty fun. Didn't stick with me but I good one to burn through if you're looking to get out of a slump.
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A story about a washed-up writer and a haunted desk? It's certainly not a plot that would normally pique my interest but Fracassi does what he does well. What a strange, violent, and unique ride this book was.
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I finally had the change to read Gothic. This is my first time reading Philip Fracassi and it will surely not be the last. I enjoyed this book a lot. To me the pacing was perfect, as well as the character development. I look forward to reading more!
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A horror novel that modernizes the old school horror novel. It brings to mind an era of horror where the paperbacks had lurid covers and the terrors within were best read away from the eyes of parental figures. The characters in ‘Gothic’ don’t quite get past their types, but it didn’t affect it too much.

Fracassi’s cinematic writing style lends itself well to the escalating terror; Do you read Tyson Parks?
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I enjoyed reading about this author's slow descent into madness. It reminded me a little of 'The Shining' but with its own special spark. 

Thanks to Cemetery Dance Publications for the opportunity to review this book
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Wow, Philip Francassi can write a truly creepy story! This book was slow to medium paced, but it built such a haunting atmosphere that I found the pacing to be perfect. This book was well written and kept me fully engaged. Perfect for anyone that's looking for a creepy read to raise the hair on your arms!
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"Gothic", by Phillip Fracassi, is a book about a haunted desk. The story works amazinlgy well.  The story starts with a gifted writing desk whcih is cursed. The story builds slowly ad weaves in an origin story that really adds to the plot.  "Gothic" has good atmosphere, pacing and imagery. There are plenty of intense scenes. This was an original story that had me hooked from start to finish.
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A simple premise: "A cursed object enters a family's life and upends it." Results in a chilling horror story.

Tyson Parks is a famous horror novelist has-been who is in desperate need of a new best-selling book. His girlfriend Sarah gifts him a very expensive, gothic-looking desk for him to write his next bestseller on. As soon as he starts writing on the desk, he's sent into a dangerous writing trance. On the other side of the world, a mysterious woman is desperately seeking this desk in order to destroy it and end the evil curse attached to it. From the moment this desk entered his life a gory, violent story begins and Tyson literally cannot type fast enough.

 I really enjoyed this book. It's a good psychological episode and/or descent into madness story. There were many moments where I had to put the book down in order to recompose and separate myself from the events unfolding in the book. It's this type of reaction that makes this a true horror story for me. Masterfully done Mr. Fracassi.

Thank you to NetGalley and Cemetery Dance Publications for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review.

4.25 stars out of 5.
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Oh boy, this one got me! I love a good psychological episode and/or descent into madness and combined with the creepy creepiness of it all, this one was a great read!
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This book will forever be stock in my mind! Atmospheric and creepy left me wanting more but this author.
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Fracassi is an incredible storyteller, able to take tropes and ideas we've seen before and make them feel totally new and fun. 
No two of his novels are alike, yet distinctly his. 
Gothic takes the struggling writer and cursed object tropes and spins them into something way more than that.
Looking forward to his next work.
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Now that is how you tell a story! Twisty horror thriller and a slow descent into madness? Sign me up! I found myself flipping back and forth over how I thought the main character was acting and if I agreed or disagreed. And there's just something about books about authors that always pull me in... and Philip Fracassi kept me invested the whole time. That final half was almost impossible to put down.
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Again, another winner. Fracassi had turned into an author who is must buy for me. This book had all the creepiness that I was looking for and more. I will for sure read more of his works.
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This one probably actually falls in the low 4/ high 3 range....3.8ish

Tyson Parks has been a successful horror writer for many, many years.  It seems his career has already peaked though, and he is no longer interested in writing the expected same stories over and over.  His publisher wants what sells, and Tyson is in a financial he needs to deliver.

His long-time girlfriend, Sarah, loves Tyson despite his shortcomings (both in the looks department, and with his career).  She decides to give him a gift of a lifetime - an antique desk that is sure to serve as a muse.  She has no idea about the horribly evil past that this desktop has been a part of...and the destruction it will cause to their family.

Gothic reads like an old school horror book from the 80s....and I was here for it.  It was incredibly self-aware, and I lost track of the number of King references throughout as there were so many.  I don't always love when writers write about....writing.  However, much like Misery and the Shining....this works.  How does an author change with the times, when they are expected to stay true to their style and churn out the same hits repeatedly?  How do you stay relevant with younger audiences when you are getting older?

I don't usually like trigger warnings with my horror, but I will mention that there is a particular brutal scene involving sexual violence with a strong female character, and her reaction to this violence did not ring true.  I believe it was meant to show how much the desk had changed Tyson....but I don't think it was needed to go to this length.  It was uncomfortable to read (as I do believe horror should be), but certainly not for everyone.  Due to this scene and some other unnecessary scenes near the end of the book, my rating came down a bit.  
I never thought a desk could  be scary....but Fracassi pulled it off beautifully!
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DNF at 19%

To start: I am not a Horror Book Reader, I am in fact a huge chicken who was looking for some lovely creeping psychological horror as someone loses their mind in slow, vicious spirals under the influence of evil furniture. The bar is low to scare me. I love being pulled into stories, my ability to suspend disbelief is legion!  

That being said, I did not have a good time here, for all reasons unrelated to me being a huge chicken about horror. 

<b>writing choices:</b>

With any book, there’s going to be stylistic choices made by the author and their own particular brand of writing, plus the genre conventions. It will never work for everyone, but ideally it works for most people. 

On the whole, this wasn’t horrible. I thought that there was too much extraneous information - this was especially apparent and annoying as I’d hit my fourth(!) POV at the time of my DNF, so the book was already starting to feel bogged down by this extra chaff. 

The parenthetical asides - definitely unnecessary and jarring. They’re almost, <i>almost</i> fourth wall breaking at times, like I’m giving the book a suspicious side eye for daring to acknowledge my presence. 



I hate criticizing characters because you can have deliberately awful characters who are well written! That’s <i>good</i> writing! However. <i>However,</i> if your main character is violently unlikable…maybe dial it back. 

He’s already a hard sell for me to care about - oh no, poor *checks notes* struggling former multi-best selling author who spent too much money and is a middle aged white guy surrounded by people with money, woe is him. Not sympathetic. He’s also embarrassingly whiny about it. Writing is hard, writing blocks are hard, he made himself a little hole somehow (I didn’t reach a point where it was explained how he fucked this all up so badly tbh, if there is one) and is now wallowing in it. There’s only so much crying I can take. 

To top this off, he has an incredibly gross and misogynistic internal monologue. Good lord, what a fucking creep. I’m rooting for the desk to eat him from page one. 


I’m sorry honey, please get therapy and find a spine, you deserve better than this. Especially considering what I read in other reviews! Girl. Run. You should have run like a decade ago, evil desk or not. 


She never got past “vaguely interesting source of important background information” for me, and I did bail right when her magic(?) whatever was revealed. Didn’t level up enough to unlock her character.  


MMmmhm. Plot, indeed. 

The desk was just maybe arriving to ruin Tyson’s already rotted and toxic mind, so I suppose in someways the plot had just barely started. While I like some build up in my books - especially for horror! the tension, the drama, the waiting…so good! - I do need forward motion. This fell into the boring category of setup. Not enough meat there, I was stuck gnawing on toothpicks of mediocre appetizers. 

But the desk! My favorite character. Unfortunately it’s appearance was marred by a grievous lack of workplace safety. 

I know, I knooow it’s supposed to be <b><u>Evil Furniture Claims First Victim</u></b>, but all I could think…why was there not one, not two, but <i>three</i> goddamn workers UNDERNEATH A FORKLIFT at all?? SOMEONE CALL OSHA 

So it was mostly very stupid when the evil desk caused the forklift to fail and squash a dudes leg, because I was left wondering why the fuck he was on the floor at all. What kind of business is Anton running here? Someone check his license. I hope that worker sues him for negligence. 

<b>other thoughts:</b>

This does truly have the sense of being from the 70s (derogatory). If I wanted a 70’s horror novel with 70’s attitude towards women and violence, I would simply find one of those novels. This is a stale take, even as someone coming from outside the genre. I was especially displeased to learn from other reviews that this forced a rape plot line and domestic abuse apparently. I don’t trust this book to have included it in a way that is actually relevant rather than a lazy shock-horror scene, especially given how Sarah apparently handles it. Unless this is somehow a subversive masterpiece commenting on the rotted gender structures of relationships in society and how some people continue to be trapped by their perception of how people see them, that could be interesting. (it wasn’t) 

On the whole, this book lacked the visceral creeping horror feeling I like to find in my horror books and movies. I was constantly yanked out by the writing decisions and my general disgust at Tyson’s entire existence. 


Since I have this as an ARC file, I have to manually do quotes. Behold!

<blockquote>He imagines the young, short-skirted assistant as that newborn foal. Naked and wrapped in a moist, milky casing, her slick body breaking through the membrane, those muscular legs wobbling as she tries to stand…</blockquote>

Sir, please back away from the woman. (this is just some poor receptionist living her life, not getting paid enough to deal with creeps. she’s probably not being paid enough at all in the first place, let alone to deal with this weirdo imagining her coming out of a horse. i feel so bad for her.)

<blockquote>This close, he can smell her vitality, the length of her lifespan.</blockquote>

ok freak

<blockquote>His flaccid dick slumps between his pale thighs like a frightened child hiding beneath a black bush,</blockquote>

I have read many a questionable description of dicks in my life, but this one is special. A child. His dick is a scared child. the fuck.

<blockquote>She kisses the collar of his shirt and, shit-day or not, the monkey in his pants gave a life-affirming twitch.</blockquote>

“monkey in his pants” is actually also a new one to me. congrats?

<b>Overall,</b> the true horror was the writing we read along the way.
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Fracassi's writing is rich and evocative, with a keen eye for detail and a talent for creating vivid imagery. The stories are well-crafted and immersive, drawing readers into a world of shadows and fear. The characters are well-drawn and memorable, with their own fears and flaws that make them relatable and human.

One of the standout stories in the collection is "Mandala", which tells the story of a man who becomes obsessed with a mysterious and ancient artifact. As he delves deeper into the artifact's secrets, he discovers a dark and terrifying truth that threatens to consume him. The story is both chilling and thought-provoking, exploring themes of obsession and the nature of evil.

Another notable story is "Fail-Safe", a tense and claustrophobic tale set in a Cold War-era missile silo. The story is a masterclass in building tension and suspense, with a sense of impending doom that grows more palpable with each passing moment.

Overall, "Gothic" is a fantastic collection of horror stories that will appeal to fans of gothic horror and dark fiction. Fracassi's writing is superb, and he has a talent for crafting stories that are both terrifying and thought-provoking. If you're looking for a book that will keep you up at night, "Gothic" is definitely worth checking out.
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Your enjoyment of Gothic will likely come down to your tolerance for misogyny. If I’d read this 20 years ago, I would’ve loved it—internalized misogyny’s a helluva drug. My tolerance for graphic rape scenes and nonsensical characterization for women is pretty much zero at this point.
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This was a really enjoyable and sinister read that felt a bit like an eighties throwback to horror paperback classics. I thought the author did a great job at establishing the characters in the first part of the book - I liked Tyson and Sarah and Billy and Violet, which meant that the fear that something bad would happen to them was heightened. I also appreciated the fact that Fracassi wasn't afraid to 'go there' with the plot. There is a sense of nihilism and inevitability in the narrative that works very well, along with a race against time aspect that I enjoyed. I did feel that the pacing was a bit strange in the latter stage of the novel, but other than that, I had a great time with this one.
I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.
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⭐⭐⭐⭐ -- The cover on this is perfect for this book. It gives an old school horror book feel.

Gothic by Philip Fracassi is an old-school horror novel that tells the story of Tyson Parks, a struggling horror writer who receives an antique desk from his partner, Sarah, as a birthday present. 

Unbeknownst to him, the desk has been sought after for centuries by a mysterious woman who finally tracks it down to Tyson's home. As Tyson begins using the desk, he starts acting strange and his writing becomes more disturbing than ever before. 

I thoroughly enjoyed this book for its spooky atmosphere and well-paced plot. The characters were intriguing, and the writing fantastic. The novel had an old school horror vibe to it that reminded me of classic films like Carrie. 

Overall, Gothic was a really entertaining horror novel that I would highly recommend to any fan of the horror genre.

**ARC Via NetGalley**
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