Gothic books are undeniably fab. I think every literature student has been through a phase where this genre is just the shit. But, have I ever read 'the original' Gothic novel? Nah. This year I really want to read more classics, and this was definitely a good place to start. The Monk is something that I've been told is a must-read for a good, well, six years now. Being told that however actually made me want to read it less.
Now that I've read it I have so many regrets about not reading it before. It is one of the best books I've ever read. I really wish I could go back and read it before reading Dracula because comparing the two whilst I was at uni would have made for some fab coursework.
I was also genuinely surprised at the content, as well as by how much I enjoyed it. Despite being a Victorian novel, The Monk was a whole lot darker than some of its contemporary counterparts. Although, the Marquis de Sade's Juliette was published only a year later.
The Monk is a story all about the vilification of the Catholic faith. It's a story made up of stories; some of which are interlinked by obscure characters and settings. We have the story of the bleeding nun, all about a nun who rejected her veil and was brutally murdered in the past. And in the present we have a pregnant nun: someone who has violated her vows and wishes to lose the veil. There is a monk who commits a vile number of sins against both humanity and his faith. I'm not going to spoiler what he does for you, but it's all filled with a whole load of twists and turns.
This is a novel that both gave me nightmares and made me not want to stop turning each page. It's possibly the first ever truly scary book I've ever read, so if that's your jam then I would 100% recommend it.
Have you read it? What did you think?