The aura of awe and mystery that surrounds the unknown world of the supernatural or paranormal also comes with a generous sprinkling of irrational fear. For centuries, the paranormal has always been portrayed in dark and somber shades of evil, vengeance and creepy haunting, usually set in an environment as gloomy as the plot. In simpler terms, the Gothic and the paranormal always went hand in hand. With the advent of paranormal romance came the effort to break the age old stereotypes of ugly witches, scary vampires and vengeful spirits. The readers were introduced to the idea of sexy witches, charming vampires, intelligent werewolves and spirits who are so busy ruminating on sublime issues that they don’t give a damn about humans living around them.
If you happen to be a sarcastic, witty person, who has an inclination for tales of the paranormal, the paranormal comedy is a genre that must surely be in your reading list. I got introduced to the genre through Dinah Lee Küng’s A Visit from Voltaire. I’m sure a lot of book lovers out there have had thoughts about how half of the problems in the world and their personal lives can be solved if only the ghost of a writer/poet/philosopher from the past can offer help. That’s exactly what the book is about. The protagonist, on the verge of breaking down because of her problems, encounters the ghost of Voltaire, who introduces himself as V. The narrator gives an interesting account about the friendship between the stressed out protagonist of the contemporary world and the great thinker of the eighteenth century.
Those who are bored with gloomy and ugly ghosts in hideous robes should read Sophie Kinsella’s Twenties Girl and meet Sadie, the young, pretty, witty and party loving ghost of the protagonist’s 105 year old great-aunt who exclaims, “But this is how I’ve always felt!” when questioned about why she as a ghost isn’t all wrinkled and old. The popular idea of ‘being young at heart’ couldn’t have been explained in a more beautiful, witty and funny way.
The Jade Calhoun (Deanna Chase), The Accidentals (Dakota Cassidy) and the Undead (Mary Janice Davidson) series are some of the other books in the genre that can simultaneously meet the readers’ standards of wit and humor and fulfill their craving for paranormal tales.