This was the very first vampire thriller! Pure innocence becomes the target of age-old evil. Virtuous Laura has grown up in a solitary castle and longs for a close friend. Her wish seems granted with the arrival of a beautiful and mysterious stranger named Carmilla. A friendship develops but the brooding mood and sexual overtones mar Laura's happiness. Will she escape with her life and spirit? Megan Follows' brilliant reading perfectly evokes the dramatic atmosphere of this Gothic Victorian tale. This tale was the inspiration for Bram Stoker's Dracula!
©2000 oseph Sheridan Le Fanu (P)2010 BBC Audio
The story rattles along with all the finesse of a bouncy coach ride through Transylvania. I was a little disappointed by the awkward ending -- a somewhat overblown "TA DA!" moment that was a foregone conclusion ten minutes in, but I suppose it may have something to do with when it was written. Still, not a bad addition to the genre for it's day, and the narrator did a nice job -- and sounded the right age -- which was very important to the tale.
Yes, but with a caveat: the text has been censored. The prologue, reported by "Dr. Hesselius" -- an occult scholar, a kind of proto-psychoanalyst ("Carmilla" lends itself well to a psychoanalytic reading) -- is missing; and an unpleasantly racist passage from chapter 3, a throwaway remark about a hideous companion of the mysterious women (unnecessary for the story, but necessary for an unabridged edition) has been cut.
"Your mother warns you to beware of the assassin!" Mothers lurk on the edges of this tale, all of them vampires. Roger Vadim's take on this dream scene in his adaptation "Blood and Roses" is unforgettable (you can find the sequence online).
Laura's first, childhood dream: creepy as hell. And of course, every scene where Carmilla is being languorous.
The very end, after the silly "alliance of fathers" (the weakest part of the novella) has done its job: "The following Spring my father took me a tour through Italy..." It is wonderfully ambivalent: "often from a reverie I have started, fancying I heard the light step of Carmilla at the drawing room door."
Megan Follows is the perfect reader for this, it's just sad that the text has been altered: minus one star overall for this.
Ok, So you have to remember, this story was written a long time BEFORE Bram Stoker, ever penned his now famous "Dracula". Which in my humble opinion, makes the tale even more intriguing.
Being in that "Carmilla" A Vampyre Tale" was written many, many, years ago. I found that, just like many stories written that era, used a dialect that says alot, without really being direct. In this tone, we find a faint lesbian undertone. Making the charater, Carmilla, that much more creepy.
If you love vampires, this is a must read.
If you like classic ghost/horror stories, then Carmilla by J.S. Le Fanu is for you! The story is excellently narrated by Megan Follows, whose voice really brings the characters to life. At around 3 hours, it doesn't take long to get through, but it's well worth the money. Check it out!
I can see how the stories have evolved from this story. The mix of folklore and investigation really make the idea of vampires in that time realistic. Very good story. Buy it while it is on sale!
I read all sorts of books from various non-fiction to YA fantasy. Love them all!
This is one of the oldest vampire books ever written, predating Bram Stoker's Dracula by 26 years. It is well read, creepy, and strangely modern despite its Victorian setting. I think the parallels between this story and Bram Stoker's Dracula are quite striking. They both have a vampire hunter tracing the movements of the abomination. Both vampires sneak in at night and attack the victim several times before death occurs. Carmilla turned into a large cat instead of a dog, as in Dracula, but both vampires slept in coffins. On the other hand, it's been a while since I've read Dracula, but I'm pretty certain he was unable to withstand sunlight, whereas Carmilla moved freely throughout the day. The parallels are likely due to use of the same primary sources of Slavic vampire folklore.
I enjoyed this book a lot. The narration moved along quite nicely, and the book was short and to-the-point. I would recommend it to anyone who find vampire folklore to be interesting.
creepy lesbian vampire
the creepy setting
I have seen all of the Anne of Green Gables movies. I found her reading to be very good, but a bit breathy.
J. Sheridan Le Fanu is one of the classic greats. He is recommended to all, however, the language is a bit antiquated.
"Sometimes life is hard, and you have to laugh your way through it." ... Madea by Tyler Perry
I simply loved Carmilla, from the moment you begin listening you feel attracted to this story and you need to know how it unravels and then leaves you impressed.
You know the character "Carmilla" has to be something wicked but you can't stop the recording, is addictive and entertaining! A must listen for any vampire story lovers out there!
Writer, Reader, Former Bookseller (RIP Borders)
Dark, suspenseful, ended at just the right time. An amazing example of gothic pulp. Stephan King could draw a few useful lessons. Narration and recording are good.
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