Cover Image: Gothic


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Member Reviews

Don’t you just love it when you find a new author (okay, at least new to you!) who’s writing style you just immediately vibe with? I’m 100% going to dive into Philip Fracassi’s catalog after this!

Gothic is a twisted, fast paced occult thriller that feels a lot like Stephen King at his meanest. The idea of cursed objects corrupting the people nearest to them isn’t new territory, but the writing here is really engaging, which keeps the story from feeling boring or stale.

Fair warning, the violence/gore can get pretty descriptive at times, especially in one of the final scenes (I was safe in bed and still wincing!) so if that’s not your thing then maybe steer clear of this one.

But if dark and twisted is your vibe, then this is the one for you!

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**3.5 stars**

Gothic is my second Fracassi book after last years fav Boys in the Valley, I’m guessing demons are his thing. Very dark story, think I need to visit a church after reading this! This reminded me of Evil Dead except the possessed item is an altar-turned-desk and not a book. This book reminded me of old-school body horror for sure. I’d love to have had more about Ty and Ben and Violet at the end. Overall a good read, but is definitely not for the faint of heart!

**Thanks to the author and publisher for the e-ARC I received via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.**

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Gothic pits the protagonists against a formidable supernatural terror, and just when you believe there could be a way out, that a hero might show up, things take an unimaginably bad turn. suffocating you with the illusion of transient gain at the price of immeasurable loss.

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I was really looking forward to reading this one, but I just couldn't get past the first few chapters. This was a did not finish for me, my only of 2023.

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Thank you to NetGalley for providing a free copy in exchange for an honest review. I’m usually one who tries to push through and finish a book, but this was not the case for me. I was losing concentration and it was a slow burn,

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An incredibly intense piece of work. Philip Fracassi keeps proving he is in this for the long haul and keeps feeding us with escalating tales of terror that are well worth the time spent.

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A once successful horror writer, a cursed desk, and a woman trying to track it down.
The flashback to the history of the desk was an amazing bit of story building. The story with the Montrisore family is amazing, adding the history of this demonic item!
Tysons immediate draw to the accursed desk sets a quick tone to the fourth part of the story.
The change the desk has over Tyson is powerful and terrifying, that this object could change a person so. It really shows that it was “Made” from a sacrificial alter
The cursed object gave what Tyson wanted, but also takes what it wants from him. Blood and the life of those around him.
Omg the ending and the title!!!!

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A Horror Book of Old

Gothic feels like an old school atmospheric horror, one you found in your parents library and read far to young.
A beloved horror trope, of possessed items raging war on an unsuspecting family, made up of characters you can’t really bring yourself to like.

I did love the feel of building dread that Fracassi creates, I do think it would be a bigger hit for me if it was a touch shorter, closer the the 300 mark. It did feel like a bit of a slog to make it through to the payoff.
The pay off is worth it.

I can see the audience that will love this book, it does feel like a book people will love and hold as a favourite, recommend and share.

I’ve just always been a Jason girl and this is firmly in the Rose Red camp

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When I first saw this was about a haunted desk, I had Heart Shaped Box flashbacks. Haunted objects have not worked well for me in the past. However, I kept seeing the style to a paperback from hell book. I was instantly interested. I, overall, thought the story was a little campy, and it worked. There were definitely creepy moments, but the story really is very wacky in some ways. I can't wait to read more from the author.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an advanced copy of the book in exchange for a honest review.

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What an amazingly written book! A fun and quick read that captures you from the start and holds on until the end. I couldn't put it down. Definitely will recommend to friends and colleagues.

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So...yeah. Gothic was my first experience with Philip Fracassi's writing, and ultimately there were some things I enjoyed about it and some things I didn't.

Tyson Parks is a horror writer past his relevance, struggling both professionally and financially, when his longtime girlfriend Sarah gifts him with a new desk for his 59th birthday. The desk is a massive piece of Gothic furniture, all stone and shiny black wood and intricate carvings, and as soon as Tyson sits behind it, he feels truly inspired for the first time in years. Soon, he is producing a new novel at a frenetic pace -- the best thing he's ever written. So what if something about the process is turning him into a man he doesn't recognize? Because at the same time that the desk is infusing Tyson with inspiration, it's taking something from him too: his very humanity.

Yep, it's a possessed desk. Suspend your disbelief, ladies and gentlemen: We're in the horror genre, where anything goes. And as unbelievable as it sounds, it's a concept that worked for me. I love stories about a writer possessed (Jack Torrance, I'm looking at you), and I thought it was a creative take to tie that possession to a physical object. Fracassi relays Tyson's descent into madness in fascinating, disturbing ways. The horror elements are well done (mostly -- I could have dealt without the diversion into the 1700s), and I found the imagery with the desk, specifically the carved vine tendrils, to be incredibly compelling. The book never quite scared me, really, but there was a scene involving a desk drawer that was pretty visceral and exactly the sort of thing you'd expect (and honestly hope) to find in a book like this.

One of my issues, though, was that Tyson is never a likeable character, so it made it hard to sympathize with him when the desk starts in with its nastiness. The very first time we meet him, he is ogling his agent's assistant, and he's full of entitlement and self-pity. Honestly, the only thing that saved his character for me was picturing him as Matt Berry's Laszlo character from What We Do in the Shadows, complete with that accent and that wardrobe.

Speaking of the agent's assistant, though -- that's my second issue: Fracassi definitely engages in some objectification of his female characters. Gothic is the only book of his I've read, so I'm speaking specifically about this book, but the female characters are not written very well or with much depth. And that brings me to my third and biggest issue, which is the on-page rape scene. I'm not even hiding that behind a spoiler tag, because if you are planning to read this, you should know going in that it contains a graphic depiction of sexual assault, which feels completely unnecessary. There were plenty of other ways, even within Tyson's relationship with Sarah, that Fracassi could have shown Tyson's devolving humanity. The assault felt gratuitous, and Fracassi's attempts at justifying its occurrence felt icky.

So overall, Gothic was a mixed bag for me. I enjoyed the horror elements, but found it hard to forgive some other things about the book. I'd definitely read another book by Philip Fracassi, because I did like the old-school horror vibe of Gothic. Thanks to Cemetery Dance Publications and NetGalley for the complimentary reading opportunity. 2.5 stars rounded up.

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Philip Fracassi once again proves he can do no wrong with this stunning tale. A woman is seeking an ancient artifact that her family has been trying to obtain for years. It just so happened to be gifted to horror writer, Tyson Parks. His wife gifted it to him in order to help spark his creative juices and get him writing again. But once Tyson sits down at the desk, things start going funny, and he starts acting very much unlike himself. A new work has been sparked out of Tyson and people are chomping at the bit for it - Tyson is unwilling to give this opportunity up no matter what it might cost him.

I love the vintage, atmospheric vibes we get from this novel. It is creepy and chilling in all the right ways. I feel heavy call backs to traditional horror, just freshened up for a more modern audience. I loved the spiral we witness, a dark walkway into insanity where we don't know where we are going to end up. Start to finish, this was a joy of a read - in the bleakest of ways. Highly recommended to traditional horror fans and those looking for a creative spin on some older ideas.

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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.

This is a thrilling read.
Wonderful well written plot and story line that had me engaged from the start.
Love the well fleshed out characters and found them believable.
Great suspense and action with wonderful world building.
Can't wait to read what the author brings out next.
Recommend reading.

I read a complimentary advance copy of the book; this is my voluntary and honest review.

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well written, slow burn horror novel. it took me awhile to get through, just because of its denseness, but it was well worth it. Fracassi is definitely one to watch. it's rare to see a book with an older protagonist these days which made it unique.

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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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