2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
gothic and hilarious,
This review is from: Count Karlstein - The Novel (Hardcover)
I warn you: this is not a book that children should read. It's a book that adults should read to children. The fact is that Philip Pullman does a beautiful job of spoofing Victorian "trash" novels and horror romances like Stokers "Count Dracula" whilst writing one himself - for children, supposedly, but I doubt that any child will find it half so funny as their parents will.
Count Karlstein owns a castle deep in the Swiss Alps (which bear a surprising resemblance to Transylvania at times) and has made a pact with the Demon Huntsman Zamiel that ensures Karlsteins continued good health and ownership of the castle. But the time has now come for him to pay his side of the bargain - a life. Fortunately his two orphaned English nieces are sent to live with him as their only remaining relative, and so he decides to sarifice them to Zamiel! But the girls (who have read far too many "horror" stories themselves and use various Victorian expressions in capitals) enlist the aid of their old Headmistress Augusta Davenport, the travelling magician Dr. Cadaverezzi, and, of course, the maidservant Hildi and her brother Peter. A Horrifing Tale ensuses...