09 October 2007

In A Glass Darkly--With Spoilers!

First off, i want to congratulate myself on 100th post. while 53 were before i turned this into a mainly reading blog even some of those were about books. It is kind of a big deal to me to stick with this for not quite two years. With 2 1/2 months left in the year i should blast past my 2006 total number of posts.

Finished In A Glass Darkly by Sheridan Le Fanu. It is actually a short story collection, threaded together as the collected cases of a doctor, sort of a Van Helsing type. Basically liked the stories, although not all 5 are supernatural they are all quite eerie.

SPOILER SPACE



and some more...


The first stories, titled Green Tea, The Familiar and Mr Justice Harbottle, all involve people seeing things that may or may not exist. In Green Tea, at least, there is the suggestion that the drink of the title lead to the torments of the visions. The second doesn't seem to suggest at all what the cause is, while the third makes you suspect the evil judge really is held accountable by the men he hung unjustly in the course of his years on the bench. Of those three, I'd say Green Tea was the best, perhaps just because of being the first, perhaps because the monkey the main character describes seeing sounds very frightening.

The last two stories were my favorites. The Room in the Dragon Volant is a straight up mystery. In fact, it is so straight out of Tales from the Crypt that they may have ripped it off for the comic. An Englishman traveling in France after the defeat of Napoleon becomes wrapped up in the schemes of a gang and barely escapes with his life. Moves right along though.

The last story is Carmilla. Yeah, that Carmilla, the lesbian vampire story. I loved it! i have read a LOT of vampire things but managed to miss this one. Definitely great descriptions, wonderfully atmospheric. Stoker seems to have pulled the Lucy and Mina characters both from this tale. In this case the survivor is Laura and she is writing the story 10 years after the men vanquish the vampire. One thing about the vampire is that she has to use as her name all the letters in it again. so what would my vampire name be? maybe Elimena? Laineme? Imenale? My name need more consonants.

i have put The Vampyre by Dr. Polidori on my list for sometime next year. Maybe next years RIP!

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