Each autumn Carl runs an event called ‘R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril, or R.I.P. for short, a participatory event wherein we the people spend however little, or much, time we want over the months of September and October imbibing all things ghastly and ghostly.’

This year Carl has removed the word challenge from the title of this event because, as he says, it ‘is primarily about the great pleasure that can be found in embracing this type of fiction/non-fiction during this season of the year.’ I was unsure whether to join in this year as my enthusiasm for challenges has dropped, but I do enjoy reading the type of books he lists:

Dark Fantasy.
Or anything sufficiently moody that shares a kinship with the above.

So, I’ve decided to to take part. Of the various levels of participation I’m aiming to do Peril the First.

Which is to… ‘Read four books, any length, that you feel fit (the very broad definitions) of R.I.P. literature. It could be King or Conan Doyle, Penny or Poe, Chandler or Collins, Lovecraft or Leroux’¦or anyone in between.’

And my choice of books includes:

  • Dark Matter: a Ghost Story by Michelle Paver
  • Dark Matter: the Private Life of Sir Isaac Newton: a Novel by Philip Kerr
  • The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole
  • The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving
  • The Mysterious Island by Jules Verne
  • The Four Last Things by Andrew Taylor
  • The Judgement of Strangers by Andrew Taylor
  • The Death Instinct by Jed Rubenfeld
  • Great Ghost Stories (I’ve read a few of these in an earlier R.I.P. event)
  • City of the Beasts by Isabel Allende
  • The Sixth Lamentation by William Brodrick
  • The Brief History of the Dead by Kevin Brockmeier

They’re all books I own (some on Kindle). But I shan’t restrict myself to these books and I may not read any of them, because I like to read as my fancy takes me. I certainly shan’t read all of them and it could be that I read any other books that come my way in the next two months.

8 thoughts on “R.I.P. VII

  1. The Castle of Otranto is sitting on my Kindle. I was thinking of passing up this challenge this year but may join in after all. Looking forward to your reviews.


  2. I’ve just received a copy of the new James Herbert novel Ash which certainly fits in with the autumnal subject, but it is over 700 pages! But I know I’ll devour it – I haven’t read any of his books for years… Your list of books to choose from is great. The legend of Sleepy Hollow is one I’ve been meaning to read for ages – being one of the key US supernatural tales.


    1. Annabel, I’ve never read any of James Herbert’s books and at 700 pages ‘Ash’ sounds as though it would take up most of the RIP time, ‘cos I still want to read other books. Still, thanks for the recommendation – I’ve looked up ‘Ash’ and it does sound just right for RIP, so I’d like to read it sometime.


  3. What a fun list of potential reads. Cool that two of them have the same title, at least at the start.

    Castle of Otranto is so much fun. Hard to read with any degree of seriousness and yet it is dripping with gothic atmosphere and so I thought it was great fun.

    I really enjoyed The Brief History of the Dead when I read it a few years ago. Parts of the writing were brilliant and with the exception of the next to the last chapter I thought it was a great book. That chapter was a bit too…I don’t know, esoteric? At any rate, a book worth reading.

    Thanks so much for taking part in this non-challenge, especially given your waning interest in them. I hope you have a lot of fun this time around.


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