So the idea of Catherine Morland’s Reading List came mostly from the fact that I am a huge Gothic fiction/mystery fan. Before I met Jane Austen I devoured all these books that I know, if Catherine was alive, she would have been reading.
It started with reading one, and then before I knew it I had a list of thirty I was planning on eventually reviewing. What can I say…
And of course if you like Gothic fiction, one of the best is Edgar Allan Poe
This story The Tell-Tale Heart has been used/referenced a thousand times in literature and film. It is an amazing part of literature that if you haven’t read, you need to read it.
“The Tell-Tale Heart” from The Complete Stories and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe by Edgar Allen Poe
This is one of those stories, no matter how many times you read it, it will always be as creepy and thrilling as the first time you read it.
One of things that makes it so spine-tingling is that it is told in first person, allowing the reader to become the character, and our hearts to beat in unison.
I can’t review it with proper justice, I swear it is one you have to read to get the full:
A man rents out a room from an older man and is intent on stealing from him. Every day the old man watches him and eventually the lodger decides to kill him.
“It is impossible to say how first the idea entered my brain; but once conceived, it haunted me day and night. Object there was none. Passion there was none. I loved the old man. He had never wronged me. He had never given me insult. For his gold I had no desire. I think it was his eye! yes, it was this! He had the eye of a vulture –a pale blue eye, with a film over it. Whenever it fell upon me, my blood ran cold; and so by degrees –very gradually –I made up my mind to take the life of the old man, and thus rid myself of the eye forever.”
When he goes in to kill him, he hears the heart beat get louder and louder, a crescendo.
After he kills him, he cuts the body up and chops it into pieces and buries him under the floorboards.
But is it that easy? The heart, he can hear it-it calls to him.
Yes it is that time of the year, our new tradition of a 30 Day Challenge. As I am a book lover and just can’t get enough books, I decided this year we will cover that love.
As any book lover knows, it is difficult to choose a favorite book.
So this will either fit the category of the book challenge, or will be a book I love. I’m hoping to meld both, but I know that won’t happen for every one of them. I also ran into a few issues finding 30, so I had to get a tad creative.
I am also going to skip the Jane Austen novels as I always talk about them on this blog. I’m going to try and do books I haven’t mentioned already, but no promises on that.
I can’t help it.
Now every time I try to do something in December, it tends to fail. I just get toooo busy.
As a kid I remember that this movie used to scare the bejeezus out of me. The headless horseman was uber creepy.
Ghosts are bad, but the one that’s cursed, Is the Headless Horseman; he’s the worst!
But the film is amazing!
One reason why it was so fantastic was that they had the very handsome, and very charming Bing Crosby be the narrator and singer.
I love this man!
He doesn’t even have to show his face, just listening to his voice is enough for me.
With this film, Disney actually manages to do an extremely good job at creating a fun, but still creepy children’s film. They also managed to keep it very similar to the short story, in fact taking pieces from the actual text and placing it in the film.
🚨FYI Spoiler Alert🚨
So the cartoon starts out with the classic Disney opening:
All fairy tales or films based on short stories and novels used to open with the pages of a book. I miss that opening and wish they portrayed it in more films. I know they brought it back for Enchanted, but I still wish there was more of it.
The first person we are introduced to is Brom Bones
I never liked Brom. He always seemed like a jerk to me. He was big and brawny, “handsome” to some; but a mean bully. He reminds me of a lesser cool Gaston. (I love Gaston, even though he is a jerk. His song is awesome)
Anyways, Brom is shocked at the appereance of a new man in town. In fact this stranger suprises everyone. It’s Ichabod, Ichabod Crane, the school teacher.
“Debonair and devil-may-care It’s the new schoolmaster What’s his name Ichabod! Ichabod Crane!”
He’s tall, rail thin, and has one heck of a schnozza; but I always liked him better as he was well-read and not a loser like Brom.
Icabod also loves to eat. He goes to his student’s homes to partake in their food, making it a complete part of his lifestyle.
Even though Ichabod isn’t really a looker he still has all the girls in town’s hearts a flutter.
With a voice like Bing Crosby’s who could blame them?
This of course upsets Brom, who tries his best to prank Ichabod and make him seem dumb.
Next to enter the scene is the lovely Katrina Van Tassel. Not only is she the prettiest in the town, but her father is the richest man.
“Narrator: Oh, Katrina, my love. Who can resist your grace, your charm? And who can resist your father’s farm? Boy, what a set-up! There’s gold in them acres…Dear Katrina, my love, my treasure. Treasure? Ah, that barn’s a gold mine. How I’d love to hit the jackpot. Sweet Katrina, Papa’s only child. Papa? Well, the old goat can’t take it with him, and when he cuts out, that’s where I cut in.”
Every guy in town wants to get with Katrina, Ichabod included. The only problem is that Brom is interested in Katrina, in fact he is planning on marrying her. Katrina however is enjoying the attention of Ichabod. She likes the fact that he is so different from anyone she’s ever met.
Ichabod is also able to to best Brom in every way, by using his brain over brawn.
However, Ichabod is also a very superstitous person. We saw in his song how he doesn’t like black cats, walking under ladders, salt over the shoulder, etc.
Brom catches on to this and tells a horrific story about the Headless Horseman.
“Brom Bones: [singing] When the ghosts have a midnight jamboree, they break it up with fiendish glee. Ghosts are bad, but the one that’s cursed, is the Headless Horseman; he’s the worst! Chorus: [singing] That’s right, he’s a fright on Halloween night! Brom Bones: When he goes a-jogging across the land, holding his noggin in his hand, demons take one look and groan, and they hit the road for parts unknown!…I’m telling you, brother, it’s a frightful sight for what goes on Halloween night.”
Its midnight and Halloween, and after hearing the story, Ichabod is doubly freaked out on his walk home.
Of course on his way home he runs into THE HEADLESS HORSEMAN!
“Next morning, Ichabod’s hat was found, and close beside it, a shattered pumpkin, but there was no trace of the schoolmaster. It was shortly thereafter that Brom Bones led the fair Katrina to the altar. Now, rumors persisted that Ichabod was still alive, married to a wealthy widow in a distant county. But of course, the settlers refused to believe such nonsense, for they knew the schoolmaster had been spirited away by the Headless Horseman.”
I always thought that the horseman was Brom and not a ghost, but I like how they end it so that you can draw your own conculsion as to what has really happened.
Hope you enjoyed this hair-raising tale. More to come!
Here is a cover page I made for my facebook for my Halloween countdown