Cover Image: Gothic


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Member Reviews


As emotionally charged as it is terrifying, this is one special horror story. I felt for these characters and their plights and that’s very a la King. Totally cool!
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This book is not reinventing the wheel, but it is extremely enjoyable. Definitely has an 80's horror vibe, as one can see from the cover. I really liked it, although I was able to tell where it was going. Still, a fun and easy read for horror fans.
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Gothic by  Philip Fracassi

I couldn’t put this book down!  A true horror story, this gripping thriller will have you on the edge of your seat.  A struggling past his prime author and a cursed desk. What a story this is! The suspense, drama…I felt this book was perfect.  Just what I needed to renew my faith in a good old horror novel. Five stars! 

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Gothic is about a writer, Tyson, who's career is on the rocks. When his girlfriend gets him a new desk to get him inspired for his 59th birthday, strange things start happening. When he starts to use his new desk, he starts pumping out best sellers left and right, but at what cost?

The gore and body horror is really good, and I enjoyed to descriptions in this book. It was a very visual experience. I haven't read anything quite like this before, and I love the premise, it's unique. The vibes were also creepy and sometimes really unsettling. The only thing I didn't like about this book was the format. There were chapters that felt out of place so the flow of the story was a little off to me in certain places, however, I still really enjoyed this book.

Thank you so much NetGalley and Cemetery Dance Publications for giving me the opportunity to read a E-ARC for a review.
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This was an excellent book by Philip and the first book I've read by her. I thought it was creepy, spooky, and fantastic and made me want to pick up all of his other books. Thank you to NetGalley for the chance to read this early!
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What is there to say about this novel other than that I feel it will be HUGE.

To me, it has this immense sense of retro, 80's horror in the vein of James Herbert, from the cover to the gothic haunted desk which turns out to have this sprawling, blood soaked history, it is an absolute revelation for readers like me who are, ahem, old enough to remember devouring novels with covers like this behind my nan's parlour settee. It was such an incongruous setting, everything in there was for best, and yet there was this bookcase in the corner crammed with 70's and 80's horror classics.

In this book, Tyson is an author battling expectations of his public, his editors, and himself as a writer.

He is broke, his much younger wife is one of his biggest and earliest fans, his brand of horror has fallen out of fashion and so the advance for his latest book has been long spent.Pride dictates that he does not borrow from his very well connected other half, or any of his friends, he wants to capture his glory days without compromise to what he wants to write.

However, he cannot write.

Given the ultimatum of having a month to write a whole novel, after failing to sell the historical one which he has written, he is at his actual wits end. He cannot tap the vein of darkness which would let him pour forth the words which once made him top the bestseller charts.

Unbeknownst to him, his wife is planning to surprise him on his 59th birthday, where he is tipping from being a recognisable man to a properly middle aged has been, he is about to have his wishes come true...

She has tracked down the perfect writing desk, hoping that he will be able to write once more.

But what he produces has a very particular audience in mind and what moves him to work has a sinister intent...

There is so much to revel in, the lush descriptions of the desk, the blood soaked scenes of horror, the inner workings of a writer's mind, all of it are so rich and vivid.

You could feel Tyson's frustration rising off the page, his wife's need to be the muse which brings him back, all of which lead to the buying of what turns out to be something much more horrific than anything he could conjure.

It's a cautionary tale, raising the spectre of just what you would sacrifice for your goals and the motif of a writer's desk as a sacrificial altar is brilliant. His wife is so desperate to make him into the object of her desire that she leaves herself open to the dark influence of this desk, Tyson is so caught up with his professional and personal failings he will sacrifice his peace of mind to be able to write.

And the thing is, the dark force moving through the desk makes this writer both vulnerable and a perfect target because he already has this in him.

Greed, ambition, perception of all matters in this situation and I genuinely felt completely creeped out, compelled to keep reading and enthralled by the back story of the writer's desk from hell.

Using an unlikable character as the principal narrator takes balls, it takes talent as you could so easily be put off by Tyson. But the essentially hopeful nature of the human heart anticipates him being strong enough to fight this malevolence in the same way you root for Jack Torrance in The Shining.

Embracing all that is good and great about the gothic genre, this is a reinvigoration of the classic art form with a very modern twist.

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Downright chilling. I loved every word. Fracassi is coming into his own and I'm ready to follow him on any journey he takes.
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There were a few things that fell a little bit flat for me, but overall, I really enjoyed this read. 
I did feel like it tried to re-do some things we've seen before (Jack Torrence's descent in the Shining, for example) - it won't really stick with me, it's not going to be a classic I loan to all my friends, but it is a fun creepy escape.
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Gothic had a lot of great things going for it. The cursed object trope in horror is almost always a win for me and Fracassi succeeded in crafting a disturbing story that will appeal to many fans of the genre. I really enjoyed the backstory of the object and the way Fracassi used family lineage to connect the object to modern day in a reasonable way. As someone who frequents antique stores, there is nothing more terrifying than wondering if a fantastic new piece of furniture you stumbled upon is going to bring some evil and mayhem into your own four walls. There was clear inspiration from King, and I liked that the book was set in our world, with call outs to several other authors and publishing houses. The story itself was strong and captivating, it was a slow burn that read like old school horror. I loved the idea of an author main character on the decline of his career, and the slow descent into madness as a result of greed. I did find that the beginning was a bit too slow, it took me longer than I would've liked to get into it. While the voice of the main character, Tyson, was incredibly well done, I think the voices of the other characters could've been better. Overall, a fantastically creepy, gory read that is worth checking out if you're a fan of Stephen King type of horror.
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So well put together with a strong voice.
This writer knows how to make you feel inner turmoil.
Be warned, this one gets deep, and will mess with your head, a lot.
Very enjoyable
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I had read Fracassi's short fiction, but this was the first novel of his that I picked up. I enjoyed it and felt it would make a great film!
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I gave this book 3.5 stars
First of all, omg wtf did I just read? I loved it so darn much. As a Stephen King fan girl, I was surprised by the amount of King references that's sprinkled through out.  This book is a gift that kept giving. Good lord I was exhausted by the end of it. I'm really glad I don't own a work desk. I'm so glad I picked this up for the 1st week of October, it's put me well in the mood for Halloween 🎃 Overall, a very fun and entertaining read for all horror lovers. 
Thank you Netgalley!
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The subject of what it takes to make good art, what kind of Faustian deals are made with powers both mortal and immortal to become a great artist, and what frustrations and horrors lie along the way, has been one that has captured the public imagination probably since art began. This book tackles that subject by way of the cursed object trope and does so wonderfully. A compulsively readable occult thriller with twists you never see coming, multidimensional characters that you invest in, and an accomplished throwback to literary horror pulp novels (think King, Straub, and Simmons), I adored this one.
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I discovered Philip Fracassi, with this book and I am so glad I did. 

I loved the writing. This is a type of horror, that I can live with. I am not into gory and excessive description. Here I Mr Fracassi managed to make the balance between creepy, gory details and the very vivid characters. I find fascinating how Tyson's voice keeps slightly changing, but stays the same. The work he had on them is fantastic. Although,  I felt kind of bad for Violet, Diana and Ben, I feel like they could have been used for more and more detailed.. Especially Diana and her family history, more of it.
But nevertheless, It was a great read, with lots of visuals to feast on and lots of feelings to attach yourself too.
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The beginning was a bit slow and the ending was a bit rushed considering how well structured the rest of the book is. But it's old-school horror and that's my cup of tea. Nothing beats an unsettling and disturbing book.


Thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for an advance review copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
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It's a slow burn, but that's not a bad thing. It's what I enjoy the most sometimes, and Gothic was no exception.
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Famous author, Tyson Parks, has had writer’s block. He doesn’t want to write the genre that’s expected. When his wife buys him an antique desk, the writing just flows without him even thinking. He also begins to act different.

I really enjoyed the current timeline in this story. It reminded me of The Shining, with an author who is going crazy. I didn’t love the scenes that went back into the past as much and couldn’t wait to get back to the main scene. It got pretty creepy, pretty fast.

“It’s almost as if it has an aura about it, like a chest you know is filled with gold and jewels, or a piano-sized Pandora’s Box.”

Gothic comes out 2/3/23.
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I predict Philip Fracassi’s latest novel Gothic will be labeled an instant classic. The novel accomplishes that rare feat of being a page-turner and a slow burn as Fracassi builds the characters, context and impending horror over the first two hundred pages. As a reader, you can see it coming, which works well in this book. What you don’t see coming is the climax and denouement of the last act that really puts that final nail in the coffin proving this is more than just a mystery thriller, earning its place alongside classic horror novels that swim in gothic themes. While the story of a writer being slowly driven mad by his craft is well-trodden ground, Fracassi has breathed new life into this familiar narrative while evoking mastery of such horror icons as Stephen King and John Carpenter. This is the first of Philip’s novels I’ve read and I’m excited to discover his other works.
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This ARC was provided by the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.

An author just wanting to reclaim his voice finds inspiration in an object that may not be an inanimate as it seems. What ensues is a spiral into madness the likes of the stories he writes. 

The imagery in this book is phenomenal, and some of it is truly horrifying. I loved the flow of the story and how well it kept me guessing how it was all going to play out. Some of the scenes were so visceral, I could feel the physical pain of the characters. The characters as well were all very deep and well rounded. 

My only minor criticism, would be in the storyline of the female owner of the desk, it didn’t seem to do her character justice; I can also see how it played well into the plot. 

Overall, a great book that makes you feel the insanity as you’re reading and makes it a book not easily put down.
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First time reading Philip Fracassi, and really enjoyed this book. It had great, well-developed, characters, and a great story and pacing. Will need to find more from Philip Fracassi. #oldschoolhorror #NetGalley
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