It’s that time of year again, time for Carl’s annual RIP Challenge (Readers Imbibing Peril). It sure doesn’t look or feel like fall outside but maybe a little gothic, a little psychological horror and a little laughter will help me ignore the oppressive heat and thick humidity. I will be undertaking Peril the First, which means reading four books between now and October 31st.

Here, is my list:

  • Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen. A nice fit for RIP as I continue my reread one Jane Austen a year endeavor. It’s been a Very Long Time since I have read this book and the details are so fuzzy that it will be almost as if I have never read it before. Plus, thanks to RIP, I have read a good many gothic novels over the last several years and hope to find this so much funnier than I did when I read it a Very Long Time ago.
  • The Other by Thomas Tryon. This is a NYRB and Bookman has read it before and he is certain it will give me nightmares. Well, it might. Just looking at the cover and reading the description gives me the creeps, but that’s good, right? Twin 13-year-old boys, a quaint New England town, an ancestral farm, a recently dead father. This book just might put the “P” in peril!
  • The Infernals by John Connolly. This is a sequel/follow up to The Gates which took place on Halloween. It featured a boy named Samuel Johnson and his dachshund named Boswell. This time an angry demon is after Samuel for his part in foiling the invasion of Earth by the forces of evil.
  • The fourth book, well I’m leaving it open for the moment, a wild card. It might be one of the other RIP readers finds something so good I want to read it too. Or maybe I will give The Green Man by Kingsley Amis a whirl – part ghost story, part moral fable, part comic novel. Or maybe I will find myself in the mood for some short stories by Daphne Du Maurier or H.P. Lovecraft. Who knows!

The challenge starts now. First up for me will be Northanger Abbey. I will very likely start it in a day or two.

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