Cover Image: Gothic


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Member Reviews

First off— a huge thank you to NetGalley and Cemetery Dance Publications for the opportunity to read this book! 

This book starts off with a horror author, Tyson Parks, who is on a tight deadline to produce a new book. The problem: he doesn’t want to write what he originally pitched, and he doesn’t feel inspired. In fact, Tyson has not felt inspiration in a long time. With his birthday right around the corner, his wife, Sarah, wants to give him a gift to rekindle this inspiration. She finds the perfect antique desk, that she thinks will do just that. And it does. However, there is a more sinister and dangerous backstory to this antique. One that will affect Tyson’s life more then he could ever imagine.

I really liked this book. I will say, it did take me a little while to get into it, but once I got hooked… I was hooked. I liked getting a glimpse into Tyson’s life, without knowing a lot of his backstory. The author was very descriptive with his character, and I could see how he changed throughout the story. I also liked Sarah, and his daughter, Violet. 

I found this book atmospheric, creepy at times and I liked the idea that his books somehow made people so crazy things. It was interesting that he was writing all these things and had NO idea what he was writing. I would have liked to see more of the confrontation with Ben throughout the story. I found that interesting, especially with the newspaper clippings.  

I will say that I did not like Diana, and I do not think she added anything to the story. If she was intertwined more within the story, instead of just being a somewhat “convenient character,” I think it would have added more. I felt the story was a little disjointed when she became involved, especially in the middle. I didn’t expect things to end up that way… and it seemed like it was the climax of the story. However, it wasn’t… because we jumped to one year later, and there were still about 50 (or so) pages more to go. 

In addition, weaving in more of the story behind the desk.. throughout the book, might have also made it flow a little better. I also felt the quick couple chapters about this made me feel like I was almost reading another book. 

I also HATED the rape scene and the lack of conversation around that. I did not like that Sarah just forgave him… and acted like “well he isn’t USUALLY like that, so..” that was the only part of the book that really rubbed me the wrong way. He does not get a pass because she “thinks” he has changed. That is a crock if you ask me. That does not justify this scene at all.. I just don’t like how Sarah was portrayed in that scenario. 

I would have also liked more discussions on him actually acting different. It was like we, as the readers knew, Sarah and Violet knew… but they never said anything. They just almost accepted that he was suddenly working all hours of the day, and acting weird, and having outbursts.
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Thank you to NetGalley, the publisher, and the author for this ARC!

~ ~ ~

Author Tyson Parks has hit a wall in his career. Unable to impress his publishers with his latest works, Tyson worries that he may be washed up after all. Until he's gifted The Desk. Then everything changes. So what if he's not been himself lately? It doesn't matter that he can't even remember what he's written so long as the publishers are eating it up. And they are. Tyson Parks has made his comeback. But at what cost?

~ ~ ~

This was my first book by this author, and I was completely wowed by the end! The first handful of chapters were a little bit of a struggle for me, but once the story got going I could not put it down. Gothic was everything I was hoping it would be and more. It had strong 70s - 80s horror vibes and reminded me a lot of early Stephen King, particularly The Shining. The whole descent into madness was wonderfully terrifying and seriously left me breathless with how dark it went. Really brings to mind the old adage "be careful what you wish for." Absolutely recommend this book to those who enjoy bleak stories that pay homage to older horror.
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I had just about given up on new horror when I decided to take a chance with an intriguing title (and cool cover) that kept popping up on my Facebook feed. As a fan of gothic fiction, I had to check it out. I'm so glad I did because I absolutely loved this old-school page-turner. A complete discussion is coming to my YouTube channel soon. I just want to get it out there that GOTHIC is great! There were a few formatting issues, but nothing that distracted me from the story. This might be my best read all year, definitely the best new-fiction read. Do check it out if you can.
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Rating: 3.5 stars. Genre: Horror
Received via Netgalley

I enjoyed the creepy and horror vibes the author did for the story. It did catch my attention right away. The scenes about the table and what it was used for in the past was a good intro for the book and the story line. Then pass the 70ish% part of the book when most of the characters meet each other and find out the motives in the characters is where it gets interesting. This would have been better if it was made a novella and/or an audiobook. A good read during the fall/Halloween time. 

I didn’t like all the parenthesis throughout the novel, it distracted and made me automatically skip it. The chapters that was slow, which was in the body of the novel, had one liners as the last sentence placed for shock value and left me confused rather than intrigued. Some of the characters should have been emphasized and if not, should be removed from the story. Scenes of horror was well described but felt unfinished. Scene of SA- felt blown off, which left me feeling WTF, not in a good way. The ending could have been better and once again felt unfinished.

Overall, I enjoyed reading the scenes of gore and horror. The beginning was good, then skip to the 70% mark is where it picks up again, then the climax of the story was horrific but then the story goes back down. Felt like a roller coaster ride spanned out in 400 pages.
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Fans of Stephen King will love this creepy horror novel by Philip Fracassi.  It was one of the best horror books I've read this year.  It kept me on the edge of my seat.  This was the first book I've read by Fracassi, but I can't wait to read more.  

This book delves into human nature and how far will you go to get what you want and be successful.  Tyson Parks is becoming a washed up author until his wife gifts him a writing desk.  Once he starts writing, he can't stop and his writing is more horrific than it has ever been.  Tyson rides to fame, but without consequences.  His books have unleashed a terror that he can't stop and is affecting his loved ones.
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On paper (get it?) Philip Francassi’s “Gothic” sounded like everything I would want in a horror novel. A struggling horror writer is given a desk for his birthday and he turns his career around. Was he do or is something seriously going on with that desk? 

While I enjoyed the journey, the story was missing a little something. I’m not quite sure it was, but I think it might have been our protagonist. Horror author Tyson Parks starts out as a likable guy, but the success and the possibly demonic desk does a number on his charter and actually makes the dude quite unlikeable. That’s what Francassi was trying to do, and he succeeds, but it turns the book into a bit of a harder read as the charters that we continue to care about are just forced to endure misery throughout the book. 

“Gothic” is certainly not a happy read and there are some really messed up things that occur, but it’s still very good horror in the vain of Bentley Little and Laymon with a touch of early King. 

Check it out, just don’t expect to feel super upbeat afterwards.
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Received a complimentary ARC of Gothic by Philip Fracassi from Cemetery Dance Publications/NetGalley. Scroll past the BOOK REPORT section for a cut-and-paste of the flyleaf copy for if you want to read my thoughts on the book in the context of a summary.

Oh good Lord. I’ve obviously got just about the sense God gave lettuce and am not to be trusted, to boot, because it was only last month when I said—for the record—and I quote: “I don't need to be reading any more books about people writing books. It's just as simple as that.”

Yet here we are…..

To put it as plainly as I can, I found this book to be both derivative and unbelievable. As in, derivative all the way back—way, way back—to The Red Shoes. As in, the Hans Christian Andersen dark faerie tale, not the 1948 movie of the same name. 

And truly, y’all, I for sure don’t need to be reading any more books about middle-aged white male authors who are past their prime yet still living in New York City trying to craft that just one more best seller. Ugh.

On his 59th birthday, Tyson Parks—a famous, but struggling, horror writer—receives an antique desk from his partner, Sarah, in the hopes it will rekindle his creative juices. Perhaps inspire him to write another best-selling novel and prove his best years aren’t behind him.

A continent away, a mysterious woman makes inquiries with her sources around the world, seeking the whereabouts of a certain artifact her family has been hunting for centuries. With the help of a New York City private detective, she finally finds what she’s been looking for.

It’s in the home of Tyson Parks.

Meanwhile, as Tyson begins to use his new desk, he begins acting... strange. Violent. His writing more disturbing than anything he’s done before. But publishers are paying top dollar, convinced his new work will be a hit, and Tyson will do whatever it takes to protect his newfound success.

Even if it means the destruction of the ones he loves.

Even if it means his own sanity.

Advance Praise
"Not since The Shining has the descent of a writer into madness been so masterfully rendered on the page.”  - Ross Jeffery, Bram Stoker-nominated author of Tome

“A high creep factor chiller with a sinister edge that had me reading well past my bedtime. Frightening and fun, and deliciously original!" — James A Moore, author of the Blood Red trilogy and Cherry Hill.
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I really enjoyed this book. Very sinister with ever increasing dread. I especially liked the brief glimpses of the object's history and almost wish that there was more of it! This was my first book by Fracassi, but definitely won't be my last.

*I received a free e-ARC of this book through NetGalley
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First a huge thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with a copy of this ARC in exchange for a fair and unbiased review. 

A very enjoyable horror story from Phillip Fracassi that echoes writer's insanity, when pushed to the brink by malevolent forces, in the pursuit of their work. The story follows horror writer Tyson whose girlfriend buys him a new desk to help bring him out of his writer's block. Things begin to take a turn for the worse when the desk ends up being haunted and begins to control Tyson through his writing. When a woman who has been hunting the heirloom down zeros in on Tyson, a series of gruesome events begin to  unfold. Fantastic characters, highly descriptive historical settings, and horror filled confrontations make this a stand out horror title that fans of the genre are sure to enjoy.
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I have heard from a few people on bookstagram about this one. So many great reviews on it. Most have said it is slow and it was definitely the case. I usually like books that start right in the action or give a prologue that sets up what I am going to expect later on. Once I read a few chapters, the dark and creepiness set in. Even some humorous parts which also kept me engaged. My first read from this author and it definitely will not be my last!
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Highly enjoyable tale from Fracassi about Tyson, a slumping horror writer whose long-time girlfriend buys him a new desk to help bring him out of his funk and write another best-seller. However, the desk has a dark and tortured history of evil and seeks to control Tyson through his writing. A mysterious woman who has been hunting the family heirloom for a long time closes in on the new owner, and the whole thing is set on a course for bad times all around. Well-written with nice historical flourishes, solid characterizations and gruesomely intense scenes throughout lift this one above the more standard horror fare out there. Highly recommended for fans of the genre. Thanks to Netgalley for the free ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for a free copy in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Gothic was a good book. The writing style reminds me of Stephen King in that it's so bare-boned and honest in places and none of the characters escape their flaws. The story has a great basis. It's based in that fantastic ancient religion sell your soul for power through this mysterious relic but what are you unleashing magic. The build-up of tension is nearly perfect with consequences cutting through the characters deeper and deeper. 

And then the ending, I don't know, petered out.  There was a mini-climax, several more absolutely anti-climatic pages, a teeny building up again, and the story ended. Something somewhat happened and that's it. We know something HUGE happened after the pages ended, but we don't get to see it, only guess at it. It was a bit of a let down. 

Still, I'll look for more of Phillip Fracassi's work, and I'd recommend Gothic to horror fans.
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Gothic | Philip Fracassi

Tyson Parks is washed up. He was once a renowned horror writer, but now he’s out of ideas. When Tyson Is gifted and antique desk his words seem to flow again, they are horrible and disturbing, and his publishers love them. What is he going to have sacrifice to be famous again?

Gothic is a great horror novel. The desperation and madness are palpable in the writing of this dark and tragic story.
I’m usually not sold on cursed objects, but Gothic is so well written and believable that you can’t help but be invested. I found myself really feeling sorry for then main character as the book evolves and he looses his grasp on reality.

Read this book if you like:
- Cursed objects
- Strangers foreshadowing disaster
- A slow descent into madness
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This was my first read by Philip Fracassi, and I could not be more pleased with it. It has serious “Best New Horror Book of 2023” potential (and yes, I’ve read Grady’s and SGJ’s books slated for early 2023). If I didn’t have to work, I would’ve devoured this book in one sitting. 

Tyson, an aging author, needs to write a bestseller to revive his career. Forays into historical horror have not worked out, and he’s in a slump. For his 59th birthday, he receives a special desk – one that helps his writing, but at a terrible cost. Someone with great means and resources wants the desk, too. One person’s holy grail is another’s cursed totem, as they say.

At times it feels like the Shining, other times it feels like a best-selling psychological thriller. The whole time, Gothic feels like a hit. I love the way the story combines tragic characters, quick pacing, and a bounty of twists and turns to make the pages practically turn themselves. Every page makes the story better, livelier and scarier. This book is a jaw-dropper and one I’ll be recommending for a long time.
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At first, I thought this was going to be a one-star read for me, because of how self-pitying and annoying Tyson was in the beginning. However, once the desk entered the picture, the story improved tremendously. I'm still trying to figure out what to think of the ending, and whether it's meant as a cliffhanger or a sequel-set up, but overall, I liked it. I also liked that some of the twists and turns surprised me. Overall, a really solid horror novel.
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I was given a copy of this book to review

This horror novel is a very detailed story. Not much is left to the imagination. Much detail has been given throughout the story, making this a excellent horror story to read. The tale of a horror writer and a desk that gives him use is very gripping and enjoyable.
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Gothic is an old-school horror novel that manages to still feel fresh. Tyson Parks is a struggling horror writer who is desperate to revive his dying career. His wife buys him an antique desk which works magic on his writing abilities but exacts a toll on his sanity as well. Parks descent into madness is fascinating and no one is safe from his ambition. Entertaining, and at times shocking, Gothic doesn't disappoint. Thanks to Netgalley for the copy.
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This title will be featured in the upcoming January 2023 issue of Fangoria Magazine, in the Nightmare Library column. Please contact the reviewer directly for more information.
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This felt like a throwback to the gothic hits from the 80's. Very Edward Lee vibes for me personally. A little tamer the Lee but I think I liked that more. This was first Fracassi and I look forward to more of his work.
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This is the first I’ve read by Philip Fracassi, what a ride! 
The main character feels familiar- Tyson Parks is a over the hill writer, out of ideas but desperate to stay afloat. He’s too proud to lean on his partner or friend for financial help. He’s full of self-loathing and drinks too much.  Instead of suggesting therapy, his partner buys him a desk. 
The story has multiple viewpoints and switches chapter to chapter. It started slow but I read the last 200 pages in one sitting. I found myself hating the MC but rooting for him to make the right decision too.  
For me, this is great story telling.  The slow build at the beginning sets up the chaos that carries to the end.  It was original, and peppered with humor and homages to those that came before. 

Thanks to NetGalley for providing this ARC. 
#OldSchoolHorror #NetGalley #CemeteryDance
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