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Before Twilight, before Dracula, there was Carmilla.
Laura, a lonely young woman lives with her father in a lonely castle in the lonely Austrian countryside. Along comes a mysterious young woman, a long-term house guest: Carmilla. Laura finds Carmilla strangely attractive yet repellent at the same time. Who is she? What connection does she have to Laura's strange dreams, the attacks on children in the countryside, the sudden death of Laura's friend?
Carmilla was written in 1872 (25 years before Dracula) and is not at all explicit, but this reader definitely gets the impression that Carmilla's seductive pull on Laura has romantic, if not erotic, overtones. So, as much as one could write a "lesbian vampire" story in 1872, J. Sheridan LeFanu did just that.
I think that Carmilla is a more direct ancestor of the "Twilight" saga than, say, "Dracula." We see Laura being seduced by Carmilla's mysterious charm and yet disturbed by the fact. By contrast, Bram Stoker's Dracula focuses on the violent and evil aspects to the vampire's nature.
Tracey Childes' reading was quite good. She told the story well and acted out the part of Laura as the narrator convincingly. The story is told from the first person as a journal, and it is a fitting choice for an audiobook.
If you've read Dracula, Carmilla is an interesting counterpoint.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
An essential vampire tale. I can see the mood and voice struck here by LeFanu to have influenced many future writers and directors in the vampiric story-telling vein! "Carmilla" really gets under your skin! Very accomplished and engaging reading, too.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful