27 April 2015

Telling Stories



We thought it'd never come but it's winter again.
Days are shorter, darker and colder; however we can't deny each season has its charm and we have to try and make the most of these long dark nights.

A winter pleasure I absolutely love is reading a good story on a cold stormy night, specially those with a touch of mystery; what's more, if they are somewhat gothic and scary, much better.

I know that many of you like Stephanie Meyer's saga, so why don't you have a go at the real thing, with vampires who are not so squeamish and know the appeal of red blood?

You may like Edward and all those gentle 'Twilight' vampires, but there is something about Count Dracula, with his sinister elegance, that you should not miss; something worth experiencing form the safety of your sofa, so far away from Transilvania. After all, he has first attracted and then scared the hell out of hundreds of people throughout the years; there really must be something worth discovering about him.

To start with, you can click here and read an extract from Bram Stoker's 'Dracula', but you'll have to do some work choosing the right tenses for the narration.
After doing the exercise, you may feel more curious about the count's story.

A completely different option for a stormy night reading could be 'Tales of the Unexpected', a collection of short stories by Roald Dahl.
This is a terrific book, with some of the author's best stories, all of which are suprising, clever, twisted and, of course, completely unexpected. Dahl has an incredible ablility to make the macabre laughable and the stories never fail to shock and amuse the reader.

If you click here, you'll find an extract from 'Lamb to the Slaughter', one of the stories from the collection, and you can practise the use of narrative tenses with it.

Well, last but not least, I have another suggestion for you: 'Misery' , by Stephen king, a master at scaring readers. I must admit I haven't read this book myself. I've seen the film ,though, so I think it's high time I read something by S.K. just to know first hand if he is as good as they say.

Click here to do some practice with your narrative skills. This time the excerpt is from 'Misery'.
Well, now it's your turn, I'd be deligted to know about your favourite mystery stories or tales. I'd be great if we could share our experiences as adventurous readers, curled up under a blanket with a good book in our hands on a spooky night, fighting demons, vampires or any other monsters which dare try to scare us. They may succeed at first but eventually we'll win and enjoy the ride, that's for sure.
You can send your recommendations if you click here :
You can also add them to the reading section in the forum
By the way, why don't you do a crossword on monsters in literature and culture? It'll be fun!

4 comments:

Paco González said...

I think if we’re talking about mystery stories we can’t forget Edgar Allan Poe, one of the great masters of the genre. For those who don’t know him yet, I recommend Tales of Mystery and Imagination which contains some of his best stories. Roald Dahl is one of my son’s favourite writers, so I have included the book you have recommended in the letter to The Wise Men.

María Jesús Balán said...

Allan Poe is a great option indeed and his stories are superb. They are not only scary, they are also eerie and disturbing.
As for Roald Dahl's 'Tales of the Unexpected', they are funny and horrible at the same time, which is a weird combination.

Saro Rosales said...

Thanks for your tips. I'm going to use some of the exercises with my students
Saro Rosales

María Jesús Balán said...

I'm glad you liked them,Saro. You're most welcome!

 
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