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THE LAST GOTHIC TUESDAY

unmade

Originally published at Sarah Rees Brennan. You can comment here or there.

Gothic Tuesday List

THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER
REBECCA
JANE EYRE
THE WOMAN IN WHITE
GREYGALLOWS
THE MISTRESS OF MELLYN
HOUSES OF STONE
TRELAWNY
MERLIN’S KEEP
NINE COACHES WAITING
THE TURN OF THE SCREW

And there’s the Sleuth Thursday list too…

NANCY DREW
THE WOMAN IN WHITE
KATE DANIELS
ROBIN SCHERBATSKY
MISS MARPLE
ROXANNE RITCHI
GEORGIA MASON
LOIS LANE
LYNDA DAY
VERONICA MARS
REAL LADY SLEUTHS

This is the last Gothic Tuesday, written for the day of Unspoken’s release, and the last Sleuth Thursday was last week. Behold them all are in LIST FORM for your delectation, kindly readers.

But what is our final Gothic Tuesday?

Most Gothic books are not meant to be hilarious. Unless Charlotte Bronte was playing an elaborate practical joke writing JANE EYRE. ‘Ahahaha, the hero gets a fake girlfriend and he has a secret wife! Hee hee hee! Time to dress up like an old lady! Eddie you kill me!’

… In which case, I have to say: Well played, Bronte, well played.

Jane Austen, however, definitely intended NORTHANGER ABBEY to be funny, which makes everything MUCH trickier. Who guards the guards? Who parodies the parodies?

Apparently the answer to that second question is… me. Lucky, lucky me. I knew the curse would fall upon me. I resisted it! I thought maybe I could do THE MYSTERIES OF UDOLPHO, or THE CASTLE OF OTRANTO, or Jenny Crusie’s MAYBE THIS TIME, or Susan Howatch’s THE DEVIL ON LAMMAS NIGHT (Satan gets a kitty cat to steal a letter in its tiny kitten teeth!), but… come on. I love Jane Austen. This is my last Gothic Tuesday: my funny Gothic book comes out TODAY.

In vain I have struggled. It will not do. You must allow me to parody NORTHANGER ABBEY.

JANE AUSTEN: Catherine Morland, not really heroine material. She was kind of plain and not that bright.
BELLA SWAN: She was just before her time, yo.


CATHERINE: If I could sum up my homeland of Wiltshire with one phrase that phrase would be: who let the dogs out?
FAMILY FRIEND MRS ALLEN: Want to go on a trip to Bath to hook up with hotties? Bath, the Ibiza of its time!
CATHERINE: … Let me go pack my SEXY bonnet.

CATHERINE: Dear Mum and Dad, Not waylayed by dangerously attractive highwaymen on way to Bath. Disappointed but planning to rock out tonight! Love, C.

MRS ALLEN: I’d like to make it clear that I only care about one thing.
CATHERINE: That I have a good time as your guest?
MRS ALLEN: I was going to say ‘awesome designer frocks’ but, I mean, go nuts, Camille.
CATHERINE: Catherine.
MRS ALLEN: Whatever, Celine. Does this bustle make my ass look big?

CATHERINE: I imagined this more as ‘dancing in my best dress, fearless!’ and less as ‘awkward standing around.’
MRS ALLEN: I dunno, I’m having a pretty good time. I was looking around and I thought, who is that honey in the fabulous satin? Then I realised I was looking in a mirror. Boo yeah!

MASTER OF HOOKING UP: Hey you, young lady! You wanna hook up? Here’s Henry Tilney. The first rule of Bath: what happens in Bath, stays in Bath. The second rule of Bath: don’t drink the water. Seriously, don’t do it.

HENRY TILNEY: Hey girl. I have an ironic sense of humour and several observations to make about the inherent absurdity of society!
CATHERINE: That’s cool. I’m seventeen, so I’m working my way up to irony, but what’s cookin’, good-lookin’?
HENRY TILNEY: Hey do you keep a journal? I think dudes and ladies are about equal in writing talent, really!
CATHERINE: I bet you get a lot of carriage-parking tickets, because boy you are fine.
HENRY TILNEY: Also I’m super into fashion.
MRS ALLEN: I like him. He can stay.

JANE AUSTEN: I hear from the newspapers and dude novelists that ladies are physically incapable of fancying dudes unless the dudes are into them first. Newspapers and dude novelists, you are full of it. Catherine Morland wanted to rock Henry Tilney a) like a hurricane, b) like a wagon wheel and c) all night long. Jane out!

MRS THORPE: Hey Mrs Allen, old schoolfriend, I don’t know if you’ve met my daughter Isabella and my son John and my other daught-
MRS ALLEN: Lady I don’t know why you’re so self-centred. Can we talk about me for a minute? More importantly, can we talk about my jaunty hat?

ISABELLA THORPE: I know your brother James. He’s hot, don’t you think?
CATHERINE: No.
ISABELLA: Come on, we’re in a Gothic novel.
CATHERINE: No.
ISABELLA: Little bit?
CATHERINE: Let me show you the world. The world of no.

JANE AUSTEN: Isabella and Catherine became friends through reading novels together. I am not going to slam on novels like other people do because, damn, I am WRITING A NOVEL here, why would I do that? Also I work really hard on my books and I bet other people do too. Also, sorry books are more fun to read than the news, y’all. It’s hard out here for a literary genius.
JANE AUSTEN: Uh, I mean, ‘there seems an almost general wish of decrying the capacity and undervaluing the labour of the novelist, and of slighting the performances which have only genius, wit and taste to recommend them.’
JANE AUSTEN: Because I’m pithy like that.

CATHERINE: Girl this Gothic mystery is so compelling! I’m pretty sure there’s going to be a skeleton in a minute. What’s that you have there?
ISABELLA: I may have made us a list of AWESOMELY CREEPY books.
CATHERINE: Hit me.
ISABELLA: Brace yourself because there are necromancers!
CATHERINE: Necromancers are better than cake!
ISABELLA: Hey check out those two foxy dudes.
CATHERINE: Wait, but I want to talk about the book some more…
ISABELLA: To the Flirtmobile, away!
CATHERINE: I think books are equally exciting as dudes.
ISABELLA: All the single ladies, put your hands up! All the single ladies, make noise!

CATHERINE’S BROTHER JAMES: Hey Isabella hey.
ISABELLA’S BROTHER JOHN: Hi Cathy check out my sweet ride.
CATHERINE: Yeah, it’s nice.
ISABELLA’S BROTHER JOHN: All the honeys describe it as pretty fly.
CATHERINE: … Do you read at all?
ISABELLA’S BROTHER JOHN: I would but the thing is books are dumb?
CATHERINE: … I think we’re done here.

CATHERINE: Omigod here comes Henry Tilney with a hot girl! I assume it’s his sister because he was totally flirting with me earlier.
ISABELLA: You are throwing away an opportunity for a dramatic misunderstanding!
ELEANOR: Hi I’m Henry’s sister Eleanor?
ISABELLA: Prime swooning opportunity lost! You missed your chance, Morland! YOU MISSED YOUR CHANCE.
CATHERINE: Nice to meet you. Forgive Isabella, she’s been at the rum punch.

ISABELLA’S BROTHER JOHN: My hobbies include drinking, swearing, and horse racing.
CATHERINE: Awesome. Here’s my number.
ISABELLA’S BROTHER JOHN: Um, Catherine, you just gave me the number for Mario’s Pizza Place.
CATHERINE: Oh, shoot.
ISABELLA: I’m going to be flirting with your brother all day every day, later.
CATHERINE: Isabella! Ovaries before brovaries!
ISABELLA: You’ll have fun with my brother, ’K?
CATHERINE: In the same way I have fun with carriage accidents, large vicious animals, and the Black Death, sure.

HENRY’S SISTER ELEANOR: Hey girl, how’s it going?
CATHERINE: I spend my days mostly writing ‘Mrs Catherine Tilney’ in my trapper keeper, and climbing out of windows to avoid John Thorpe. If you see John, tell him I’m washing my hair and I’ll keep washing my hair until L’Oreal is invented, because I’m worth it.
ELEANOR: Got it.
CATHERINE: If you see your brother, tell him I’m free. Tell him I’m single. Tell him I’m totally unattached, low maintenance, and interested. Don’t you think he’s hot?
ELEANOR: A world of no.
CATHERINE: Uh, I mean, totally objectively. Can you give him this note?
ELEANOR: ‘Wanna hook up check Y or N?’
CATHERINE: I’m objectively interested in his opinion on this matter.

HENRY TILNEY: Wanna dance? Hey, isn’t it weird how dudes have to ask, and ladies have to wait to be asked? Would you ask dudes to dance if you could?
CATHERINE: If I could rearrange the letters of the alphabet I’d put U and I together.

CATHERINE: Who’s that silver fox staring at me?
HENRY TILNEY: Um, it’s my dad…?
CATHERINE: Awk.
HENRY TILNEY: Ward.

JOHN THORPE: Hey there sexy lady, wanna ride?
CATHERINE: No thanks, I’m meeting Henry Dreamboat Tilney today!
JOHN: Uh, no, I saw them go that way. Guess you got stood up and can come with me.
CATHERINE: Oh. Fantastic. Wait stop the carriage, that’s Henry!
JOHN: Oh yeah, I remember now. I was totally lying.
CATHERINE: STOP THE CARRIAGE.
JOHN: I would, but I don’t feel like it.

HENRY TILNEY: Being stood up for another dude is hurtful. Being stood up for John Thorpe is both hurtful and deeply puzzling.
HENRY TILNEY: Is she really going out with him? Is she really gonna take him home tonight?
CATHERINE: Help! Help! I’ve been kidnapped! BY AN UNATTRACTIVE GUY. Will nobody help me?

CATHERINE: I did not stand you up yesterday! Come on, think about it for a second. That guy? Really, you think I’d stand you up for that guy?
HENRY TILNEY: Compelling point.

CATHERINE: I suppose you don’t read novels?
HENRY ‘ACTUAL QUOTE, HE’S SO FINE’ TILNEY: The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel must be intolerably stupid.
CATHERINE: I am going to hit it like the fist of God.
HENRY: Beg pardon?
CATHERINE: Nothing! Please continue to talk about books!

HENRY: Do you like history?
CATHERINE: Um, no. How do I put this? Too many misters, not enough sisters.
HENRY: Point. Do you like art?
CATHERINE: I don’t know anything about art. Tell me about it!

JANE AUSTEN: Even dudes as cool as Henry really, really like it when ladies don’t know stuff and they can hold forth at great length.
JANE AUSTEN: It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of some knowledge from wikipedia must be in want of a girl to patronisingly explain it to.
JANE AUSTEN: Why such dudes are single is not a Gothic mystery. But I digress!

ISABELLA: Great news Catherine! But you probably already guessed… you’re so sly and quick!
CATHERINE: Wut?
ISABELLA: Your brother likes it and he’s gonna put a ring on it!
CATHERINE: Sorry, on what?
ISABELLA: Your brother popped the question.
CATHERINE: And the question was…?
ISABELLA: Your brother James asked me to marry him, by which I mean be his wife, and I said yes. To that question. That he asked me.
CATHERINE: Oh wow, that’s so great! Congratulations! I can’t believe it!
ISABELLA: And I no longer believe in feminine intuition.

GENERAL TILNEY, HENRY’S HOT DAD: Hello Catherine. You’re really pretty.
CATHERINE: Thank you.
GENERAL TILNEY: So you agree with me, you think you’re really pretty?
CATHERINE: If this dude wasn’t Henry the Hotass’s dad, I would say he gives me the creeps. But I am one hundred per cent positive it’s all OK and I should ignore any warning signs going off in my head!
HENRY AND ELEANOR: Wait till you meet our brother Captain Tilney. He inherited the evil gene.
CATHERINE: The what?
HENRY AND ELEANOR: Nothing! Did you say something? I didn’t hear anything.

CATHERINE’S BROTHER JAMES: Oh sweet Isabella, we will be so happy togethee in our humble cot!
ISABELLA: I truly disliked two of those words you just said. Sounds like ‘jumble spot.’
CATHERINE: Aw, you and James are going to be so happy!
ISABELLA: Excuse me, I have to go dance with Captain Evil But Chiseled & Rich Tilney!

CATHERINE: Captain Evil But Chiseled Tilney is pretty chiseled, but I have to say I’m not feeling it. Maybe it’s the evil. No love triangles in this book!
ISABELLA’S BROTHER JOHN: Well, I…
CATHERINE: No.
JOHN: Love is in the air…
CATHERINE: Just no.
JOHN: If you were the only girl in the world and I was the only boy-
CATHERINE: I would strangle myself with my own bonnet strings. I knew a man once and his name was Hell, No.

ELEANOR: Oh Catherine, great to see you. Look, I was wondering if you might come pay me a visit at my home in Northanger Abbey. I know my dad’s a little weird and the house is a little Gothic and creepy, but–
CATHERINE: Did you say Gothic and creepy? I’m there. I’m there with eldritch bells on.
ELEANOR: Oh, fantastic! You may be interested in our antique furniture–
CATHERINE: Ghastly skeletons!
ELEANOR: –we have a very nice shrubbery…
CATHERINE: I hope there’s a nun who got buried alive!
ELEANOR: –also our roses always get first prize at the flower show—
CATHERINE: Can’t wait!
ELEANOR: Sometimes I worry we’re having conversations in two different dimensions.
CATHERINE: Maybe there’s an interdimensional portal to a demon realm at your place!

GENERAL ‘EVIL’ TILNEY: Maybe Catherine would like to ride with Henry in his carriage!
CATHERINE: Boy would I!
HENRY: It’s awesome you’re coming to stay.
CATHERINE: I’m totally stoked about it. And the best part is—
HENRY: Yeeeees?
CATHERINE: It’s going to be a Gothic manor! I so hope there will be a ghost seeking vengeance!
HENRY: Well. Imagine that you go in and you find a secret passageway! And then a golden and jet casket, in which lies papers containing a dread secret, and then in the dank breeze of the passageway your single candle gutters and goes out, leaving you in utter darkness—
CATHERINE: Ahhh! Right. Right. You don’t have any smelling salts on you, do you? Okay, never mind.
HENRY: I’ll stop.
CATHERINE: DON’T YOU DARE STOP.
HENRY: This your first time telling horror stories with a guy?
CATHERINE: Yeah, but I’m a fast learner.

CATHERINE: I wish I had you to tell me bedtime stories eeeeeevery night.
HENRY: Uh, well, maybe something could be arranged.
CATHERINE: I won’t get into the other bedtime stuff because I know you’re a bashful clergyman and all.
HENRY (faintly): Right. Right. You don’t have any smelling salts on you, do you? … Okay, never mind.

CATHERINE: Uh, what kind of abbey do you call this? Nothing is mouldering!
GENERAL TILNEY: I’d have serious words with housekeeping if something was.

CATHERINE: Night-time at the abbey. Hey, this chest in my room looks sort of gold and black-y, just like the chest from Henry’s story.
CATHERINE: Not that I’m going to tamper with someone else’s private property. Nope. Not me.
CATHERINE: Catherine Morland, lawabiding citizen.
CATHERINE: I can resist everything except temptation! Let me at it! Let me at it! Omigod papers, just like in Henry’s story, no doubt containing some dread tale, let me just snuff my candle…
CANDLE: goes out
DARKNESS: is absolute
CATHERINE: Let me just huddle in bed with my papers and wait for daylight I know I shall never zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz….

CATHERINE: It’s daytime! Finally I can pursue this dark and midnight tale of…
CATHERINE: This dark and midnight tale of a drycleaning bill.
CATHERINE: I’m just going to go have breakfast. Let’s keep this between you and me, Sweet and Fresh Linens!

GENERAL TILNEY: Hey you want to see Northanger Abbey?
CATHERINE: Boy do I! Take me to your crypt!
GENERAL TILNEY: Or we could take a walk outside and see the gardens. It’s a lovely day!
CATHERINE: This fixation on sunshine and fresh air is very suspicious.
GENERAL TILNEY: I love gardening!
CATHERINE: WHAT ARE YOU HIDING?

ELEANOR: Let’s take this gloomy walk down a chestnut avenue, it was my dead mother’s favourite walk.
CATHERINE: Gloomy? Possibly haunted? Say no more. I’m in!
GENERAL TILNEY: I’m out, Goth girls.
CATHERINE: Has it ever occurred to you that your father might have brutally murdered your mother?
ELEANOR: Sorry, what?
CATHERINE: Just thinking out loud, good buddy. Just thinking out loud.

GENERAL TILNEY: Let me show you around the Abbey! Wait till you see my kitchens, they are divine.
CATHERINE: Vile monster, I scorn your gleaming countertops!
GENERAL TILNEY: Best not go in the old deserted wing.
ELEANOR: My mother died there. Bad memories.
CATHERINE: Oh, poor gullible Eleanor. It’s obvious that General Tilney either murdered his wife or is keeping her locked up in there and feeding her only gruel!
GENERAL TILNEY: Time for dinner!
CATHERINE: You will not glory in your ill-gotten kitchens much longer, fiend!

CATHERINE: Oh uh hi Henry, good to see you. I was just… wandering through the locked part of the abbey… checking out your dead mother’s belongings… for like, evidence, bloodstained clothing, ropes and chains. Normal stuff. Normal stuff.
HENRY: I think ‘Maybe your dad murdered your mom’ is the least sexy thing anyone has ever said to me.
CATHERINE: Or maybe imprisoned her!
HENRY: Catherine, what can you be thinking? RICH BRITISH DUDES NEVER COMMIT CRIMES!

CATHERINE: I have learned a valuable lesson. Sometimes a douchebag is just a douchebag and doesn’t murder anybody. Also sometimes an abbey is just a big old house.
CATHERINE: Omigod I am so embarrassed the boy I like must think I’m an idiot because I acted like an idiot!
HENRY: Hey girl. I find naivete about human nature charming.
CATHERINE: Well lucky for you I am ten pounds of naïve in a five pound sack.

CATHERINE: Awesome I got a letter! ‘Dear Catherine, In a totally unforeseen and narratively unforeshadowed turn of events, Isabella has left me for Captain Evil Tilney. Listening to Evanescence, nothing matters anymore. Love Your Brother James, The Dude Formerly Known As Isabella’s Fiance’
CATHERINE: This was not at all the letter I was hoping for.
ELEANOR: Cathy you OK?
GENERAL TILNEY: This comic strip in the newspaper is very droll!
CATHERINE: *crying openly*
HENRY: Catherine speak to us!
ELEANOR: Cathy honey!
GENERAL TILNEY: And my cocoa is deeeeeelicious! … Wait is something going on?

HENRY: I guess it could be true: my brother always had a low opinion of women, so he’s enough of a dumbass to get snared by Isabella.
ELEANOR: Uh, our father is not going to let our brother marry some broke girl.
CATHERINE: Why not?
HENRY: Well. I ain’t saying he’s a gold digger…

CATHERINE: Sucks about Isabella, but it’s nice to hang out with Henry and Eleanor, and now I get to visit Henry’s house. Oh what a great house, not Gothicky or manory at all!
GENERAL TILNEY: Yeah, it’s an OK house. Needs a lady’s touch. If only Henry had a wife to pick out wallpaper for him? koff koff.
HENRY: DAD OMG.
GENERAL TILNEY: Hush lad, I’m being SUBTLE.

CATHERINE: Oh cool another letter. ‘Dear Catherine, Uh your brother seems to have misunderstood something, like, he ran out yelling something about ‘bleating on me!’ Please write and reassure him there are no sheep in Bath and I totally love him 4 eva. If you happen to see Captain Evil Tilney tell him I hate his stupid hot face and his amazing ass in a military uniform, Love Isabella.’
CATHERINE: … Huh. I guess Isabella thinks I’m the stupidest person in the world.
ELEANOR: It’s cool that you’re growing up. It’s also cool I won’t have to deal with Isabella as a sister-in-law. I got problems enough already, half my family is evil.

ELEANOR: Okay Catherine, I hate to break in on your bedroom in the dead of night, but uh… I don’t really know how to put this…
CATHERINE: Oh Eleanor, it can’t be that bad.
ELEANOR: My dad is throwing you out of the house first thing in the morning and you will be unaccompanied and have to travel all alone and young and unprotected and—and maybe get murdered by bandits and he won’t care!
CATHERINE: … Okay that’s pretty bad.
STRANGE STORM: *howls through the noise*
CATHERINE: Shut up atmospheric weather, I have a lot on my mind!

ELEANOR: I am so so so sorry, I hate my dad and I hate myself!
CATHERINE: Oh Eleanor, don’t hate yourself!… I also hate your dad.
ELEANOR: Please take this cash.
CATHERINE: Oh yes I forgot your dad was turning me penniless out of the house and I am unable to get home without money. Maybe the bandits will take me in!
ELEANOR: When you leave I’m going upstairs to listen to the Smiths.

CATHERINE: Thinking dark thoughts on a long lonely journey, totally unprotected…
CATHERINE: I could really use a distraction. Where are those bandits at?
CATHERINE: Lazy good-for-nothing bandits…
CATHERINE: Totally safe if depressed journey home. What kind of Gothic novel is this?

CATHERINE’S MOM: And then General Tilney sent Catherine home. It was a long way in the dark with nobody to protect her! She’s sixteen! I’m outrage.
MRS ALLEN: It IS an outrage. But you know what else is an outrage? That you’ve been in my house five minutes and you haven’t admired my gloves yet. Check out the fine stitches on these babies!

CATHERINE’S MOM: You seem depressed.
CATHERINE: I don’t know why you would say that.
CATHERINE’S MOM: Your sister Sarah says you want to paint your bedroom black.
CATHERINE: Black like my black bleak future, black like the colour of my dead dreams!
CATHERINE: … I’m totally fine. God, Mom.

CATHERINE’S MOM: We’re well rid of those awful Tilneys!
HENRY: Hi I’m Henry Tilney, and I just came by to say I was so sor-
CATHERINE’S MOM: Say no more! Casa Morland is always open to the handsome!
HENRY: You’re very kind. Uh, could I maybe take a walk?
CATHERINE’S MOM: You just got here?
HENRY: I better visit the Allens, maybe someone could show me the way…?
CATHERINE’S MOM: You can see that house from our window.
HENRY: Can I go outside with your daughter so I can propose to her?!
CATHERINE’S MOM: Oh! Oh totally. Oh, we have like ten children, which daughter do you want?
HENRY: Catherine.
CATHERINE’S MOM: Good choice. Good choice. Sarah’s kind of a pill.

HENRY: See the thing is… you remember Isabella’s brother John?
CATHERINE: John ‘Busy Hands’ Thorpe? Sadly yes.
HENRY: He told my dad you were rich because he wanted to boast about courting a rich girl. When Dad found out you weren’t rich he threw you out of the house. Uh. See the thing is… Dad is a huge jerk…
CATHERINE: Ten four. Fully understood.
HENRY: So will you marry me?
CATHERINE: Oh Henry. I’m going to love you like nothing you’ve ever known, I’m gonna love you and you all alone. When can we get to the macking?
HENRY: Well, I mean, we could do it now or we could wait until we’re married, which would obviously be fine, either way, really…
CATHERINE: REGENCY LADY MACK ATTACK!

JANE AUSTEN: Let’s face it, there are like two pages of the book to go, you know the Evil General said OK. Eleanor married a rich dude and the General was in a good mood, the General figured Mrs Allen might leave Catherine her dress collection and they’d be rich, baby, rich.
JANE AUSTEN: In conclusion, distrusting your parents, really wanting to bang a dude, and reading lots of sensational novels always works out awesome. Jane out!

There are a lot of things to like about Northanger Abbey. Of course there are. Jane Austen is a freaking genius.

One of the best things is that Jane Austen is in conversation with the Gothic genre, saying, look, I like things to be grounded in realism, for heaven’s sake, why would you run upstairs when the masked killer was after you, call the cops!

But she wasn’t making fun of her heroine the whole time: she is on her heroine’s side, and it isn’t all funny. Catherine may be wrong about dire murders and veiled skeletons, but her belief in those things come from her belief, her instinct, that she is not safe in Northanger Abbey. Even a sympathetic, understanding guy like Henry Tilney will try to tell her that she is wrong: that she is safe.

But Catherine is right. Catherine is not safe.

Gothic novels are a way of talking about feeling endangered, and feeling trapped, and having all those feelings validated. Jane Austen, I think, understood that. She talks about Gothic novels and the women who read them with love as well as amusement: she knew that you do not have to be serious all the time to make points that should be taken seriously.

A book shouldn’t be just funny or just serious: a book should be both, and the serious moments should help the funny ones. Just like a book shouldn’t tell one story but dozens of stories, entwined with and illuminating each other.

That’s what I tried to do with Unspoken, anyway.

This is my very last Gothic Tuesday, and Unspoken is OUT TODAY! Gothic Tuesdays and Sleuth Thursdays have been a big project for me, but also a lot of fun, and I hope they’ve been fun for you guys too.

I would be most happy if you guys wanted to read Unspoken–(which, shamelessly linking, one can buy online or in a store: support your local indie. If the book is not in your local store you would be doing me a solid if you asked for it, though of course you do not have to). I would feel I had not blogged in vain! It is the book of my heart, and by talking about Gothic novels and lady sleuths, the jokes I made and the thinky thoughts I had, I hope you guys see what drew me to the idea and the kind of humour and danger I was going for.

I hope you enjoyed this: I hope you enjoy the book. Happy Unspoken day to us all!

Comments

( 45 comments — Leave a comment )
kukla_tko42
Sep. 11th, 2012 11:44 pm (UTC)
I ordered your book through "All on the same page" bookstore here in St. Louis. They're a small independently owned bookstore (right between a New York-style Authentic Deli and a gorgeous Thai restaurant that also serves sushi.)

I actually ordered three copies. One for me, one for my friend, and one to loan out and dangle in front of people, while I say "Neener Neener!"

I tried to persuade the co-owner that he ought to order several of your books and display them prominently in his YA section (which not only exists but is pretty awesome) but he would have made me pay for them all. I am not made of moneys. Sigh.

In retrospect, I ought to have ordered as many as I could afford and then given them as Christmas gifts this year. Hmm. Perhaps I'll go do that now...
sarahtales
Sep. 11th, 2012 11:49 pm (UTC)
Holy gosh! Three copies is more than I could ever, ever ask for, so a) thank you very much and b) do not feel you have to buy more! And also, thank you a second (and also a millionth) time for talking me up. ;)
stlscape
Sep. 12th, 2012 03:41 pm (UTC)
OMG, I had no idea there was a bookstore (much less an indie) in Creve Coeur! I know where I'll be stopping on my way home from work. Woo-hoo! Bookstore close to home! ::does the Snoopy happy dance::

Ahem. Apologies, sarah, for Woot!-ing out on your LJ...but...bookstores close to home: very exciting.

sarahtales
Sep. 12th, 2012 03:48 pm (UTC)
Very. ;)
aubade_saudade
Sep. 11th, 2012 11:57 pm (UTC)
No little quirky independent bookstore *sighs


Unromantic ebook for me


Edited at 2012-09-11 11:57 pm (UTC)
sarahtales
Sep. 12th, 2012 12:06 am (UTC)
Well, any bookstore should order a book in, but I sorrow for your indielessness, and of course ebooks are much loved and appreciated!
rockinlibrarian
Sep. 12th, 2012 12:33 am (UTC)
Not that I wasn't going to read Unspoken, anyway, but just making the connection now, how much it has in common with Northanger Abbey...! LOVE that book. Totally underappreciated for Austen... which isn't saying much, but still, it always bugs me when scholars brush it off as being "lesser" of her works. ("Lesser" of Jane Austen is up with the "greatest masterpieces" of most writers). Also, Henry Tilney is one of my biggest literary crushes and definitely my favorite Austen hero, so there, grouchy Mr. Darcy.
sarahtales
Sep. 12th, 2012 12:34 am (UTC)
Henry Tilney is pretty babelicious, no lie.
katherynne
Sep. 12th, 2012 12:33 am (UTC)
Shall request from indie because am certain do not have it as never have What I Am Looking For. :D
cacata
Sep. 12th, 2012 01:04 am (UTC)
I went into my bookstore today and found out that they had NOT ordered unspoken as I had asked for months ago, but another novel that they thought I would like. AGHHHH. After mewling like an infant, i drove to Barnesand Nobles to purchase it, but they don;t have any sense or taste in books, so Unspoken is not there., I just reordered it today. Despite the fact that I read the arc on netgalley, I still want the book in my grubby hands, so I can ignore my professional and parental responsibilities and read it all the time.

Edited at 2012-09-12 01:07 am (UTC)
sarahtales
Sep. 12th, 2012 09:56 am (UTC)
Aw, thank you! And I am sorry about B&N, and the mystifying other book ordered for you!
livejournal
Sep. 12th, 2012 01:49 am (UTC)
The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel must be intolerably stupid
User meganbmoore referenced to your post from The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel must be intolerably stupid saying: [...] to rock Henry Tilney a) like a hurricane, b) like a wagon wheel and c) all night long. Jane out! [...]
evalangui
Sep. 12th, 2012 02:06 am (UTC)
I'm halfway through Mansfield Park, which I spent wondering if you had named your Crawfords after these Crawfords (I'm pretty sure these suck, but I'm keeping an open mind) because it's Austen and you are you.

I loved Northanger Abbey and I loved your parody. I meant to ask, what's your Austen novel ranking order look like? I feel like none other can come close to P&P but I still have a few to go so if you can hint to the right order... :p

Loved the short stories, too. The Kami one particularly and will try to get the book asap :) Happy Unspoken day to you!
sarahtales
Sep. 12th, 2012 09:58 am (UTC)
I did. ;) Crawfords 4 eva!

Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, Emma, Persuasion, Mansfield Park, and Northanger Abbey. But I love them all!

I'm glad you like the stories and hope you enjoy Unspoken!
evalangui
Sep. 12th, 2012 01:17 pm (UTC)
Now I feel like a literary detective of sorts XD. And it gives me some hope for them in the novel, as well. Henry's pursuit of Fanny is bit too close to stalking for my taste... I don't even like Fanny that much but when she's right, she's right.


"I should have thought," said Fanny, after a pause of recollection and exertion, "that every woman must have felt the possibility of a man's not being approved, not being loved by some one of her sex at least, let him be ever so generally agreeable. Let him have all the perfections in the world, I think it ought not to be set down as certain that a man must be acceptable to every woman he may happen to like himself.

I have no doubts about Unspoken, I'm just a bit reluctant because I know I'll have to wait for the sequels :p
elwenstarmaid
Sep. 12th, 2012 02:34 am (UTC)
I love your parodies so hard. I have to say, though, the first line that hooked me wasn't actually the parody:

In vain I have struggled. It will not do. You must allow me to parody NORTHANGER ABBEY.

Jane Austen. *fans self* I've never really wanted to read Northanger Abbey, but I'm going to have to go dig up a copy now...
miraba
Sep. 12th, 2012 03:00 am (UTC)
There are no local independent book stores left in my area, if you can believe that. *facepalm*
sarahtales
Sep. 12th, 2012 09:54 am (UTC)
It is all good! I mean, sad, but all good, since all bookshops will order in books and also there is the sweet onlines, I just meant, hey, indies might have it already for thy conveniences, dear readers!
blindmouse
Sep. 12th, 2012 03:20 am (UTC)
Happy Unspoken day! I'm stopping at bookshops on my way home, with my fingers crossed.
sarasusa
Sep. 12th, 2012 03:56 am (UTC)
Have ordered it through GLBT bookstore Giovanni's Room in Philadelphia. Want to read it naoaow.
sarasusa
Sep. 12th, 2012 03:57 am (UTC)
Also, will be missing the Gothic and Girl Sleuth Tuesday/Thursdays. Enlightening and frequently enchortling.
sarahtales
Sep. 12th, 2012 09:59 am (UTC)
Thank you twice. ;)
laineynzo
Sep. 12th, 2012 07:37 am (UTC)
I love Catherine and Northanger Abbey! Cathy is such a teenager and she acts like it (which is a good thing!). I was a little bit older than her when I first read NA but I could remember thinking 'wow, that is how I would react too' whenever Cathy would get excited about something. I like Lizzy and Elinor and the other sensible Austen heroines but I could never be that mature when I was 18, Cathy is the one I can relate to the most.

Also the BBC adaptation with Felicity Jones and JJ Feild is really, really good. I haven't seen any other NA adaptations so I can't compare but I think JJ nailed the role. He was charming and funny but there was also that serious side to him.
cassiphone
Sep. 12th, 2012 09:04 am (UTC)
I've really enjoyed these posts! I would have ordered Unspoken anyway, of course, but I am extra psyched about it because of Sleuth Thursday and Gothic Tuesday. I will miss them!
fadedbluejeans
Sep. 12th, 2012 11:35 am (UTC)
Sometimes, being Australian sucks. Today it sucks because Unspoken is out and I do not have it.

This is not for lack of trying. I have the paperback on order at the bookstore where I work, and the hardcover on order with bookdepository (because it may be quicker, by a day or two, maybe). My bookdepository hardcover is currently somewhere between England and my front doorstep. My paperback, and the four shelf copies I intend to foist off on customers as soon as possible, are currently somewhere between England and the publisher's warehouse, and not expected to reach me until next week.

Excuse the whining, I just want to be reading Unsoken!
sarahtales
Sep. 12th, 2012 12:03 pm (UTC)
Your wish (and awesome ordering) VERY MUCH appreciated!
elouise82
Sep. 12th, 2012 12:50 pm (UTC)
Henry Tilney! *swoons*

The first time I read NA I was a teenager and I squirmed in embarrassment for Cathy the entire time. Couldn't even fully appreciate Henry's awesomeness due to how much I wanted to shake sense into her. Then I re-read it as an adult, and fell wholly in love with the story, the characters, and everything about it. I think I was too much like Cathy to be able to enjoy reading it the first time around!

I think my favorite part of your parody is this:

CATHERINE: Sucks about Isabella, but it’s nice to hang out with Henry and Eleanor, and now I get to visit Henry’s house. Oh what a great house, not Gothicky or manory at all!
GENERAL TILNEY: Yeah, it’s an OK house. Needs a lady’s touch. If only Henry had a wife to pick out wallpaper for him? koff koff.
HENRY: DAD OMG.
GENERAL TILNEY: Hush lad, I’m being SUBTLE.

Because really, that's just about how it went!
mizkit
Sep. 12th, 2012 01:03 pm (UTC)
I love you, Sarah Rees Brennan. :)
genarti
Sep. 12th, 2012 02:27 pm (UTC)
I love this parody enormously.

Also, I have a copy of Unspoken in my hot little hands (not literally -- it's at home) and I thought you might like to know that when I called my local independent to ask if they had it on order already, they said "Oh yes, we have three coming! Want us to hold one for you?"

So now they have two. Unless other people have bought them already, which wouldn't surprise me in the least.

I'm probably not going to get a chance to read it until the weekend, because otherwise I will fall into the book and devour it and not get to sleep until *mumble* o'clock and I have way too busy a week at work to be allowed to do that. But I WANT TO.
sarahtales
Sep. 12th, 2012 02:32 pm (UTC)
Aw, yes, thank you for telling me... that cheers me greatly!
genarti
Sep. 12th, 2012 06:48 pm (UTC)
Better news: my friend tried to buy it from the same store and they didn't have it, which is sad for her but means that they sold out all three copies the first day! :)
genarti
Sep. 14th, 2012 01:18 pm (UTC)
Er, I just realized this can read as "Yay, they're out of your book!" But knowing this bookstore and the number of geeks in their market, I feel pretty sure that this means they'll order more, not that it will henceforth be invisible.
sarahtales
Sep. 14th, 2012 03:37 pm (UTC)
Oh no, I'm delighted--once you know they had them and sold out, it's marvellous. You're a star for telling me.
chicleeblair
Sep. 12th, 2012 02:43 pm (UTC)
I love Northanger Abbey so much. In fact, the other day I had a conversation with a friend about it wherein I called it "Gothic" and she said "Well..." and I went on a rant about how Gothic parody is still Gothic, okay?

Also I went to three bookstores yesterday after the indie I ordered Unspoken from didn't get it in on time. (They hadn't put my preorder in yet! Losers!) but I got it from another indie.

Edited at 2012-09-12 02:45 pm (UTC)
sarahtales
Sep. 12th, 2012 03:29 pm (UTC)
I am so sorry you had to go to the trouble but so glad you found it!
chicleeblair
Sep. 12th, 2012 03:30 pm (UTC)
*Blinks* Going to bookstores is trouble?
woollythinker.wordpress.com
Sep. 12th, 2012 03:27 pm (UTC)
A coolness of which your readers may not be aware: those of us addicted to the convenience of online ordering can still support local bookshops (in the UK) via hive.co.uk. Orders can be posted, but can also be delivered to your choice of local shop, in which case shop gets a cut (yay!) and you get the pleasure of visiting a temple of literary temptation. Win/win.
elvenjaneite
Sep. 12th, 2012 03:47 pm (UTC)
The first time I read Northanger, I was about 13 and had just discovered Austen. It was not the book I was expecting (I knew nothing about Gothics) and I was all, "WHAT IS THIS. DO NOT WANT." Then I re-read it a few years later and totally loved it. :) It's not my favorite Austen (tie between P&P and Persuasion) but it always makes me happy. And your parody was HILARIOUS.

Still waiting for Unspoken. Someday...*stares at mail box*
marici
Sep. 12th, 2012 05:29 pm (UTC)
Thanks! Just bought it on the google book store, looking forward to reading it.
livejournal
Sep. 13th, 2012 10:30 pm (UTC)
Friday Links Meets House
User cassiphone referenced to your post from Friday Links Meets House saying: [...] Gothic Tuesday and Sleuth Thursday (sob! I’ll miss them!) with a parody of Northanger Abbey [...]
livejournal
Sep. 13th, 2012 10:30 pm (UTC)
Friday Links Meets House
User cassiphone referenced to your post from Friday Links Meets House saying: [...] dimensions. CATHERINE: Maybe there’s an interdimensional portal to a demon realm at your place! [...]
ashfae
Sep. 13th, 2012 10:50 pm (UTC)
It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of some knowledge from wikipedia must be in want of a girl to patronisingly explain it to.

Need this on a t-shirt.

I loved Northanger Abbey. I find it odd how many people think Catherine is an idiot, especially given how many Halloween things/slumber parties I went to that involved people reading Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark and the like. She's not *that* foolish for indulging in the gothic horror habit. Or at least, far from unusual.
sarahtales
Sep. 13th, 2012 11:27 pm (UTC)
She's very convincingly young, not stupid.

I am so glad you liked the line. ;)
(Anonymous)
Sep. 17th, 2012 12:35 pm (UTC)
Oh god I love this parody (and Northanger Abbey itself) (and Unspoken) So Much. Especially these bits:

CATHERINE: Captain Evil But Chiseled Tilney is pretty chiseled, but I have to say I’m not feeling it. Maybe it’s the evil. No love triangles in this book!
ISABELLA’S BROTHER JOHN: Well, I…
CATHERINE: No.
JOHN: Love is in the air…
CATHERINE: Just no.
JOHN: If you were the only girl in the world and I was the only boy-
CATHERINE: I would strangle myself with my own bonnet strings. I knew a man once and his name was Hell, No.

CATHERINE: I spend my days mostly writing ‘Mrs Catherine Tilney’ in my trapper keeper, and climbing out of windows to avoid John Thorpe. If you see John, tell him I’m washing my hair and I’ll keep washing my hair until L’Oreal is invented, because I’m worth it.
She writes John so well! Gets 'annoying bore' down to a fine art. And the L'Oreal bit made me laugh so hysterically that my mother asked if I was OK.

ISABELLA THORPE: I know your brother James. He’s hot, don’t you think?
CATHERINE: No.
ISABELLA: Come on, we’re in a Gothic novel.
CATHERINE: No.
ISABELLA: Little bit?
CATHERINE: Let me show you the world. The world of no.
"Come on, we're in a gothic novel" Hee!

JANE AUSTEN: Even dudes as cool as Henry really, really like it when ladies don’t know stuff and they can hold forth at great length.
JANE AUSTEN: It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of some knowledge from wikipedia must be in want of a girl to patronisingly explain it to.
JANE AUSTEN: Why such dudes are single is not a Gothic mystery. But I digress!
So True! Hilarious in the original - even more so here!

CATHERINE: Uh, what kind of abbey do you call this? Nothing is mouldering!
GENERAL TILNEY: I’d have serious words with housekeeping if something was.
I love when they first get there and she's all like "where are the ruins? Where is the gloom? This is a perfectly nice, ordinary house! And the Tilneys are like, well, yes, we do live here.

GENERAL TILNEY: Hey you want to see Northanger Abbey?
CATHERINE: Boy do I! Take me to your crypt!
GENERAL TILNEY: Or we could take a walk outside and see the gardens. It’s a lovely day!
CATHERINE: This fixation on sunshine and fresh air is very suspicious.
GENERAL TILNEY: I love gardening!
CATHERINE: WHAT ARE YOU HIDING?
And I love that she manages to find it suspicious that he takes an early walk. Only villians with troubled minds get up early for walks!

Though I have to admit this is my very favourite of them all:
HENRY TILNEY: Being stood up for another dude is hurtful. Being stood up for John Thorpe is both hurtful and deeply puzzling.
HENRY TILNEY: Is she really going out with him? Is she really gonna take him home tonight?
CATHERINE: Help! Help! I’ve been kidnapped! BY AN UNATTRACTIVE GUY. Will nobody help me?
Because anyone would be deeply offended to be stood up for John Thorpe
livejournal
Jun. 4th, 2014 10:06 am (UTC)
Wednesday Reading Meme
User osprey_archer referenced to your post from Wednesday Reading Meme saying: [...] I’ve decided to check out some of the other books Sarah Rees Brennan reviewed in her Gothic Tuesday [...]
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