Thursday, October 18, 2012

Blogwatch: Psychosexual Ravenloft

Back in the 2nd Ed days my game world of choice was Ravenloft.
I loved all the gothic trappings mixed with heroic horror.  So even though I was a poor college student most of the time, I tried to get everything I could for this game.

Including all the novels.

Jack over at Tales of the Grotesque and Dungeonesque is doing a series of reviews on the Ravenloft novels.  So I have been reading them.  The reviews that is.

I can remember reading Ravenloft novels while in my apartment I shared with three other guys, I remember reading them while giving exams when I was a TA, I remember reading them and feeling guilty about it when I wasn't working on my dissertation.

I don't remember them being quite this bad though.

Oh, I remember that many were not very good.  I remember that in the cases of authors that would later go on to do bigger things (like Laurel K. Hamilton, P. N. Elrod and Christie Golden among others) that they read like, well, young but inexperienced authors.

TotGaD though is not doing your typical review, he is looking at the psychosexual mess that underlies each book.

If you have read these books then you owe it to yourself to read these reviews.
I am enjoying every entry so far and many times I have wished I still had those books laying around.

For myself, I always felt that the Ravenloft books were more akin to a Hammer film; scholcky, over the top, with an abundance of flesh and blood but not a lot of plot.  So I am inclined to see these books more favorably than others might.  That all being said a lot of good points are raised in these reviews that I must have just glossed over.

Honestly though I am waiting for him to get around to Tapestry of Dark Souls.  That thing is train wreck.


Unknown said...

Okay, I'm glad I'm not the only one who completely missed the subtext when I read them way back when. I'm enjoying the hell out of these writeups though.

Timothy S. Brannan said...

Well in Dance of the Dead and Tapestry of Dark Souls the subtext is fairly overt.

But yeah I was reading these more as pulpy-horror pastiches and not delving too deep into them.

Jack is a braver man than I am.

David Baymiller said...

Loving Jack's reviews. I had forgotten how bad some of those RL novels were. damn... almost twenty years ago,