Halloween Special: Book Review #7 – Carmilla, by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu

Hello my dears!

It’s finally Halloween! I’m not doing anything to celebrate it but I went to college dressed as a cat. I guess it was a good way to remember the day. It was fun at least.

It’s time for my last post of this season. I liked doing this a lot, I have to do specials more often. You can find the other ones here and here. This one is a review for Carmilla, by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu.

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I read this book a long time ago when I came across an article about it. Carmilla precedes Dracula! Which means that it’s one of the first modern appearances of a vampire in literature. I just HAD to read it. Last week, at a book fair, I found a book with lots of vampires stories and tales, and for my surprise it had Carmilla! I couldn’t believe it. It was an instant buy and it will be featured in this month haul, that will be posted sometime soon.

This story isn’t particularly anything new for our days, even though there is a juicy detail that I’ll speak later on. An english family, composed of Laura and her father, live in a castle in Austria, with only a few servants. One day, in a walk around their property, something very strange happens. A carriage that is passing by has an accident. The passengers of that carriage, a girl and her mother are a bit shaken up. But the mother is in a whole lot of hurry and must keep going on. So, Laura’s father offers to take care of the girl while she recovers. The girl’s name is Carmilla. Laura’s thrilled, she never had a friend before. And with that starts a very strange tale.

Of course that for us (or at least me), pretty accustomed with vampire stories, it’s clear from the beginning that Carmilla is a vampire. She has all the strange habits: only comes out of her room after a certain hour, doesn’t eat much, and has that incredible attractiveness, both physical and physiologic, that only vampires have. I think it’s incredible that these habits haven’t changed at all since the beginning of the creation of this monster. But, the thing that mostly stands out in this story to me is the weird “friendship” between Laura and Carmilla. They kiss and touch each other in a very peculiar way. Some people even refer to them as lesbians which I totally agree. I’m not sure if Laura herself is aware of that as being her sexuality or if she’s just under the spell of Carmilla. The vampire speaks a lot of Laura being with her for ever, and even dying with her. The intentions of turning the girl too are very clear since the beginning.

As I said before, the whole story is pretty predictable, even the end. But that doesn’t take a lot away from it. It’s a fun little tale, that you can read quickly and still enjoy it a lot. It’s more of a strange tale than a scary one but hey, who isn’t always afraid of vampires even when they aren’t all that bad? I think it’s a very interesting story, that’s definitely worth reading. At least you can say that you have read one of the first vampire stories! That will always impress. Since it’s a very short book, there’s not a whole lot more to say.

But I’m very happy that I re-read this one. I definitely saw the story with a different look. Re-reading books is starting to become a real thing to me and I find my reactions so interesting. It’s so funny how your view of something changes with time. My opinions really grow with me. Also, I’m very happy to own a copy of this tale, my horror collection has a new addition!

This Halloween posts were so much fun! As I say, I totally want to continue doing specials. This was my first one and I will, for sure, be doing more of these in the future. I just have to think of some themes now.

School is starting to become really difficult, with all these works and papers to do. But I’m trying to keep up posting as much as I can. If you don’t have a weekly post, please don’t worry. I’m not planning on abandoning the blog, I just don’t have the time.

Thank for reading guys! I just reached my first one thousand views and I’m so happy! I appreciate every single one of them so much.

Cat.

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