This novella, first published in 1907, is very unusual as far as vampire stories go. It is one of the first psychic vampire stories, where a vampire feeds off more than just blood. A young writer visits an older master to help him hone his craft but ends up succumbing to the powerful influence of the mysterious old man. We soon find that he has left a trail of ruined protégés in his wake. It is a chilling tale with an unusual twist.
This may be the most overwritten, overwrought mess I've ever read. From the beginning, I found the writing to be so florid, the prose so purple, I actually laughed out loud several times. Surely this isn't a good thing when you're reading a classic vampire story.
I switched to the free public domain Kindle version, but the story didn't improve upon seeing it in print.
The whole story can be summed up in a British expression, "I want to take your mind." The vampire wants intellectual "blood."
Not recommended at all, not even if you must read a cereal box instead.
The narrator did what he could with this mess, so I won't fault him for the one-star result.
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