10 Best Gothic Books for you – Favbookshelf

With its inception in Horace Walpole’s 1764 novel ‘The Castle of Otranto,’ the Gothic fiction genre constitutes any work that is gore, horror, morbidity, and romance. However, the gothic is surprisingly a branch of Romantic literature, albeit an extreme version. The aesthetics and work of this genre have always fascinated readers. Finally, for anyone who wants to dive into this mesmerizing genre, here’s a list of 10 books that one must read to enjoy the gothic.

gothic books
Best Gothic books

P.S. The books have been arranged in alphabetical order because duh we just couldn’t rank them.

#1 Dracula by Bram Stoker

About the Book

Dracula by Bram Stoker
Dracula by Bram Stoker

Title: Dracula

Author: Bram Stoker

Genre: Horror, Gothic, Paranormal, Vampires

Publisher: Archibald Constable and Company

Goodreads Rating: 4/5

An epistolary novel, the novel starts when Jonathan Harker takes a trip to stay at the castle of Transylvanian noble Count Dracula. However, after discovering his real identity of being a vampire, Harker escapes. Soon, the Count plagues the people of Whitby. But then finally, led by Abraham Van Helsing, a small group of people eventually hunt Dracula. Can they kill him?

Why do I Recommend The Book:

Firstly, a classic in the Gothic genre, ‘Dracula’ is so famous that the character is now interchangeably used to signify anything horrific. Secondly, the book is an archetype and explores the heinous in its most authentic essence. However, if read under an analytical lens, the novel does shed light on Victorian era gender roles, sexuality, and race and is one of the best gothic books.

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#2 Frankenstein by Mary Shelly

About the Book

Frankenstein by Mary Shelly; Gothic books
Frankenstein by Mary Shelly

Title: Frankenstein

Author: Mary Shelley

Genre: Gothic novel, Horror, Science fiction

Publisher: Lackington, Hughes, Harding, Mavor & Jones

Goodreads Rating: 3.83/5

Also known as the Modern Prometheus (1818), Frankenstein is a Gothic novel with science fiction at its heart. The titular character, Dr. Frankenstein, creates a sapient creature in his lab from pieces of dead corpses. However, horrific-looking, the creature inspires nothing but hatred and disgust in everyone it encounters. Finally, dejected and looking for revenge for such a loathsome life, the creature soon turns against its creator.

Why do I Recommend This Book?

Firstly, a fantastic concoction of the gothic and science fiction, the book serves as not only a premonition but also a thrilling read. Secondly, the book also has a gendered lens, which should be deliberated further. Lastly, it’s a fine specimen of gothic books.

If you want to buy/gift Frankenstein by Mary Shelly, click below: 👇

#3 Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

About the Book

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

Title: Jane Eyre

Author: Charlotte Brontë

Genre: Bildungsroman, Gothic, Romance

Publisher: Smith, Elder & Co.

Goodreads Rating: 4.14/5

A bildungsroman that follows the life of its eponymous heroine, ‘Jane Eyre’ is a chronicle that deals with issues of abuse, madness, toxic relationships, and finally, murder. Orphaned as a child, Jane goes to live in Thornfield Hall under Mr. Rochester after she grows up. But lastly, it is her love for him that forms the core of the story.

Why do I Recommend The Book?

As a feminist classic, ‘Jane Eyre’ is an accurate and poetic representation of the struggles of a Victorian-era woman. However, it is also a glaring indictment of the struggle of a woman of indigenous origin. Finally, the book can be read under various theoretical lenses, and the horror of it all doesn’t leave the author even after the book ends.

If you want to buy/gift Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë, click below: 👇

#4 Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

About the Book

Mexican gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia; Gothic books
Mexican gothic by Silvia Moreno-Gracia

Title: Mexican Gothic

Author: Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Genre: Gothic horror, Postcolonial

Publisher: Del Rey

Goodreads Rating: 3.69/5

Set in the seductive world of High Palace, protagonist Noemí Taboada turns into a sleuth at the request of her newly-wed cousin, who fears that her husband wants to murder her. However, against the backdrop of the Mexican countryside, Noemi tries to unravel the dark secrets that hide behind the walls of High Palace. Finally, the enthralling house also screams stories of violence and madness.

Why do I Recommend The Book?

Firstly, dismantling the predominant book in question is a refreshing and enticing perspective on the genre. Secondly, the protagonist is admirable. Finally, compared to the likes of Daphne du Maurier, Moreno-Garcia deserves more attention than she receives.

If you want to buy/, gift Mexican gothic by Silvia Moreno-Gracia, click below: 👇

#5 Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

About the Book

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

Title: Rebecca

Author: Daphne du Maurier

Genre: Crime, Gothic, Mystery, Romance

Publisher: Victor Gollancz Ltd

Goodreads Rating: 4.24/5

A worldwide bestseller, Rebecca chronicles the tale of a poor young woman who impulsively marries a wealthy widower. Soon, the woman finds out that her life is nothing but a shadow, and Rebecca, her husband’s late wife, haunts her household and her husband.

Why do I Recommend The Book?

However, with exceptional imagery and deep reverence paid to the archetypes of horror, the book captures the thrilling, gothic essence of the story with utmost expertise. Moreover, the layered character tones and up-close plotline lends the book the magic it deserves. Lastly, it is one of the best gothic books.

If you want to buy/gift Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier, click below: 👇

#6 The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walope

About the Book

The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walope; Gothic books
The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walope

Title: The Castle of Otranto

Author: Horace Walpole

Genre: Gothic, Horror

Publisher: Anonymous

Goodreads Rating: 3.2/5

Translated from a recently discovered manuscript, ‘The Castle of Ontario’ was first published anonymously in Naples around the 11th century. However, focused on Manfred, a prince of Otranto, and a disturbing prophecy that he fears will come true. While he seems to be in haste to get his son married, a mishap confirms his fears. Moreover, with no son and a wife who cannot bear children, he proposes to marry his son’s wife. Followed by a series of supernatural events, the story takes an unexpected turn.

Why do I Recommend The Book?

Regarded as the first-ever gothic novel, this has inspired numerous other stories. Purely a satirical fiction and thrilling read, this is a highly recommended book for any horror lover. Lastly, it is one of the best gothic books.

If you want to buy/gift The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walope, click below: 👇

#7 The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

About the Book

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

Title: The Picture of Dorian Gray

Author: Oscar Wilde

Genre: Philosophical Fiction, Decadent literature

Publisher: Ward, Lock & Co.

Goodreads Rating: 4.10/5

Published in 1890, ‘The Picture of Dorian Gray’ is arguably the finest work on narcissism, vanity, and hedonistic selfishness. It narrates the story of how well-known artist Basil Hallward gets obsessed with an impossibly beautiful young man, Dorian Gray. However, as a muse, Gray gets acquainted with his beauty, evolves into a self-infatuated individual, and embraces a life of hedonism. He exchanges his soul for eternal youth and beauty. Finally, the book effectively indulges in many transgressive delights from love affairs, obsession with beauty, and dealings with narcotics to the very act of hunting.

Why do I Recommend The Book?

Firstly, while many critics have shunned this book as a celebration of immorality, it can easily be considered a warning against how even the minutest of wrong choices can have serious repercussions. Secondly, with beautiful quotes that remain etched in the readers’ minds forever, Wilde negotiates a life of duality and the dangers of selfish individuality through haunting goth imageries. It is one of the best gothic books.

If you want to buy/gift The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde, click below: 👇

#8 The Turn of the Screw by Henry James

About the Book

The Turn of the Screw by Henry James; Gothic books
The Turn of the Screw by Henry James

Title: The Turn of the Screw

Author: Henry James

Genre: Horror, Gothic fiction, Ghost story

Publisher: The Macmillan Company (NYC)

Goodreads Rating: 3.19/5

A perfect blend of gothic and horror fiction, ‘The Turn of the Screw’ holds up the experiences of a governess in a seemingly ordinary estate in London. With the duty of looking after two children, Flora and Miles, the governess could not shake the feeling that the children were in danger. However, with myriad ups and downs and strange happenings, the governess unravels a disturbing truth. They can see ghosts. Moreover, her encounters with the spirits – the previous valet and governess of the estate, confirmed her fears. Even though the governess believed they were dangerous for the children, they refused to stop meeting them until things took a turn for the worst.

Why do I Recommend The Book?

Firstly, a thrilling fiction, this book is enough to keep you up at night. Secondly, with questions popping up at every junction, this book makes the readers think. But, lastly, is the governess thinking right? Or is she in danger herself?

P.S.: This book is available on Kindle Unlimited. If you have subscribed to it, you can read this book for free.

If you want to buy/gift The Turn of the Screw by Henry James, click below: 👇

#9 The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins

About the Book

The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins

Title: The Woman in White

Author: Wilkie Collins

Publisher: All the Year Round

Genre: Mystery, Sensational, Detective fiction, Psychological realism

Goodreads Rating: 3.99/5

The story starts when Walter Hartright, a young art teacher, eerily encounters and gives directions to a woman standing in the middle of the road, dressed entirely in white. However, an escape from a nearby asylum, she becomes the central part of the plot. Finally, as a drawing teacher to Laura Fairlie, he becomes messed up by the evil issues of Sir Glyde and his friend, who fancies white mice and poison. With solid images of gothic horror, the book explores madness and psychological horror perfectly.

Why do I Recommend The Book?

Profoundly intriguing and surprisingly feminist, the book is more layered than one might imagine. It talks about the debilitating condition of women’s financial situation and the pathetic knowledge of their bodies. Lastly, issues of psychology have been explored most chillingly.

If you want to buy/gift The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins, click below: 👇

#10 Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

About the Book

Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë; Gothic books
Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

Title: Wuthering Heights

Author: Emily Brontë

Genre: Tragedy, Gothic

Publisher: Thomas Cautley Newby

Goodreads Rating: 3.87/5

Initially published under the pseudonym Ellis Bell, “Wuthering Heights” is one of the most haunting love stories. Set amidst the landed gentry of West Yorkshire moors, the main plotline is the ill-fated love story of the orphan Heathcliff and Catherine Earnshaw. The book is a classic with a violent and visceral depiction of love and physical cruelty.

Why do I Recommend The Book?

The book magically preserves a love story while challenging Victorian sensibilities and societal values; spanning years, it effectively explains love’s transient and haunting nature.

If you want to buy/gift Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë, click below: 👇

Finally, that’s it for the recommendations. These books are fun to read. Give these books a try, and I’m sure you’ll love them.

P.S.: Some books recommended here are available on Kindle Unlimited. If you have subscribed to it, you can read these books. Also, check out this article: Is Kindle Unlimited Worth It?

To conclude, here is the list of Best Gothic Books:

1.Dracula by Bram StokerBuy Now
2.Frankenstein by Mary ShellyBuy Now
3.Jane Eyre by Charlotte BrontëBuy Now
4.Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-GarciaBuy Now
5.Rebecca by Daphne du MaurierBuy Now
6.The Castle of Otranto by Horace WalopeBuy Now
7.The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde Buy Now
8.The Turn of the Screw by Henry JamesBuy Now
9.The Woman in White by Wilkie CollinsBuy Now
10.Wuthering Heights by Emily BrontëBuy Now
10 Best Gothic Books
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