Short Story – The Cask of Amontillado by Edgar Allan Poe

thecaskofamontilladoThe Cask of Amontillado is a gothic short story written by Edgar Allan Poe. He was one of my favorite authors growing up. I just love the way he writes.

The story is direct to the point. Montressor, the narrator was insulted by Fortunato and so he vows for revenge. It seems normal at first but as the story progresses, it gets darker.

We never really got to learn Montressor’s purpose/reason for carrying out the revenge on Fortunato but maybe that’s not really the point in the story. Well, I dunno.

What I know is that Fortunato was buried behind a wall and  Edgar Allan Poe knows revenge at its worst and moreover, a mystery is yet to be solved.

Quotable Quotes:

“A wrong is unredressed when retribution overtakes its redresser. It is equally unredressed when the avenger fails to make himself felt as such to him who has done the wrong.”

“It must be understood, that neither by word nor deed had I given Fortunato cause to doubt my good will.”

“The thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as I best could, but when he ventured upon insult, I vowed revenge.”

Rating: 4/5 stars

 

 

We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson

Castle book coverThis is a first-person tale told in Mary Katherine’s (Merricat) perspective as she lives with her sister, Constance Blackwood and their Uncle Julian in their huge, old family house in a nameless village. Everyone else in their family died of arsenic poisoning some years earlier. The three of them live a normal life although hated and feared by their neighbors until their cousin Charles came.

We Have Always Lived in the Castle is Shirley Jackson’s final work. She has alluring writing style that you wouldn’t want to put down the book until you finish it.

Isolation and death are recurring themes in the story. Add to that paranoid thinking as shown by Merricat several times which makes it more intriguing for me while reading. Such a thrill what she is going to do next.

This is an easy read and you can finish it in a day. It leaves you with several interpretations while trying to make sense of it all.

Quotable Quotes:

“A pretty sight, a lady with a book.”

“I have often thought that with any luck at all I could have been born a werewolf, because the two middle fingers on both my hands are the same length, but I have had to be content with what I had.”

“I always thought about rot when I came toward the row of stores; I thought about burning black painful rot that ate away from inside, hurting dreadfully. I wished it on the village.”

“Fate intervened. Some of us, that day, she led inexorably through the gates of death. Some of us, innocent and unsuspecting, took, unwillingly, that one last step to oblivion. Some of us took very little sugar.”

“All our land was enriched with my treasures buried in it, thickly inhabited just below the surface with my marbles and my teeth and my colored stones, all perhaps turned to jewels by now, held together under the ground in a powerful taut web which never loosened, but held fast to guard us.”

Rating: 4/5 stars

 

 

 

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

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Book #18.

Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again.

This famous opening line begins the story of our unnamed heroine, the second Mrs. de Winter. Young and shy, she met the much older, wealthy widow, Maxim de Winter (I so love the name!). An unlikely friendship started and eventually, courtship followed.

They soon got married and went to Manderley where Mrs. de Winter found it difficult to fit in. Throughout the story, she’s in constant battle of Rebecca’s (Maxim’s first wife) legacy.

There’s much to enjoy in this book, however, I just wish there’s more about Rebecca. Ms. du Maurier made her sound so intriguing. Her presence is strongly felt in the novel but I think I didn’t get enough of her. Was she really a strong-willed woman or was she a psychopath or something? She somehow reminded me of Amy in Gone Girl. 🙂

I also think I have to mention Mrs. Danvers. I personally think she stood out the most among the characters. She’s creepy.

All in all, this book is beautifully written, great characters, terrific plot and pacing. And the ending? Awesome! Yes, I love the ending!

Anyway, I don’t read classics very often but I always find myself pleasantly surprised when I do. And maybe tonight, I’ll dream of Manderley again…

Quotable Quotes:

“If only there could be an invention that bottled up a memory, like scent. And it never faded, and it never got stale. And then, when one wanted it, the bottle could be uncorked, and it would be like living the moment all over again.”

“I suppose sooner or later in the life of everyone comes a moment of trial. We all of us have our particular devil who rides us and torments us, and we must give battle in the end.”

“We’re not meant for happiness, you and I.”

“The moment of crisis had come, and I must face it. My old fears, my diffidence, my shyness, my hopeless sense of inferiority, must be conquered now and thrust aside. If I failed now I should fail forever.”

“I am glad it cannot happen twice, the fever of first love. For it is a fever, and a burden, too, whatever the poets may say.”

Rating : 5/5