Sunday, December 21, 2014

132. Uncle Silas

Uncle Silas
Sheridan Le Fanu
1864
Around 500 pages












I FINALLY finished Marcel Proust's In Search of Lost Time (the longest book on The List) so I am able to return to you all in the 1860s.  Now comes the question: when we do finally get to Proust on The List (#685 I believe) do I confess that I have read it before or pretend that I finished it in a week and shock the world?  Time will tell!

I am sure any reader could tell you that after you are reading a book or a series for a long time, it is a bit hard to get your land legs back.  I had a tough time adjusting from Proust's prose to this.  Yes, I will be exploiting the fact that I read Proust for the rest of my life.  Deal with it.  Anyway, I am hoping this is the reason that I didn't enjoy this book at all since the premise is absolutely genius.

Maud Ruthyn must stay with her sinister uncle after her father dies.  For a reason that is never fully clear, her father put a stipulation in his will: if Maud dies before she turns 21, her estate will go to her uncle.  This is one of those million dollar ideas, like Crystal Pepsi or comedy sequels.

The cheesiness of a gothic novel can be definitely be fun at times, but it can be somewhat exhausting in a 500+ page book.  I did enjoy how dark the novel got; I wasn't expecting real horror.  Worth a read?  Perhaps.  Worth a place on The List.  Debatable.

RATING: ***--

Interesting Facts:

First example of a locked room mystery genre.

Trailer for the BBC drama, Dark Angel, which is based on the novel.  From YouTube:


UP NEXT: Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens