2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
For enthusiasts of gothic literature only,
This review is from: The Castle of Otranto: A Gothic Story (Oxford World's Classics) (Paperback)
I had read 'The Castle of Otranto' years ago but recently, as part of an effort on my side to (re)read all major works in the history of the English novel, I decided to include this in the list and see what I thought of it now. To be honest, I felt a bit let down. One should of course consider that it was first published in 1765 and, both in terms of being horrified and in terms of what the novel as a genre is capable of, we have come a very long way indeed and have become used to quite a different level of horror. I think not a single present-day reader will be horrified by 'The Castle of Otranto'. The problem, at least in my case, was quite simply that I could not, or at least less than when I first read it, get into the story enough to grant the proverbial suspension of disbelief.
This is not to say I am sorry having reread 'The Castle of Otranto' and feel that it is a waste of time. On the contrary, the fascinating aspect of it was this time rather the insight it clearly gives in the literary standards and expectations in those early days of the English novel, and as such it is and will always remain a must-read of course, which has heavily influenced scores of other (later) authors. So if you're an avid student/lover of the English novel I can heartily recommend it, if you're searching a good horror story I would go elsewhere.