8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Short, but a fun read!,
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This review is from: Carmilla (Paperback)
Where do I start wit this little story? Well first of all as the blurb suggests, this story is about a young girl of seemingly aristocratic standing living with her father within his Eastern European country manor. Things go well until the mysterious arrival of a sickly young woman named Carmilla, for whom whose care is thrust upon the father/daughter duo by the stranger's apparently caretaker. No sooner was this done do the two girl become friends, albeit with a sinister almost sexual predation underlining it. And that is when things get interesting..
Now, some of you are no doubt curious as to what that last sentence meant. Basically without meaning to spoil the story, Carmilla herself is a sort of vampiric were-creature that has a tendency to befriend and eventually feed off delightful young girls such as the heroine of the story. Although for the time the author probably couldn't afford to be overt about his intentions for the characters relationships, there is none the less a very strong innuendo that suggest that their friendship goes a little beyond platonic. This makes for an interesting character dynamic, as much like Dracula was written after it, the story itself is told in a diary like narrative. You gain the impression that although the heroine was disturbed by her experiences, she none the less still held a deep fascination for Carmilla. I presume this was to make up for the fact that due to the heroines elevated social status she was to a large extent isolated and alone, thus yearned for the sort of companionship Carmilla provided.
As for the writing style of the book, I found it surprisingly accessible for a book written so long ago. Although I occasionally sniggered at the quaint descriptions given to otherwise mundane topics i.e. "we went to sit upon a rude bench", overall you will find the autobiographical nature of the book to be easy to follow.
Ultimately this is a fun little book that reads much like a detective horror story. Although not as in depth and sophisticated as Dracula it is none the less a good insight into how the modern romanticized vampires came to be.