The NYRB Classics list is very dangerous. I'm tempted by just about every title. Such as The Black Spider, an early horror novel written by a Swiss German in 1842. Also the cover is freaky scary, right? It's an allegorical wax sculpture of Vanity.
In an idyllic and fertile Swiss valley, a family is preparing for a christening. During the party, a guest notices an old and blackened post which has been built into the neat and well-tended window frame. The grandfather tells the story of the post, which goes back centuries and is a cautionary tale of demonic horror, warning against the sins of pride, vanity, and ingratitude to God.
I hadn't realized when I started the story that it is a devout tale which takes demonic power quite seriously. It's also a really Swiss German tale; you can just see all these prosperous, careful farmers with their incredibly neat houses and fields and their concern with making sure everything is just so.
|An older collection, with Gorey cover!|