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review 2017-10-12 16:03
Carmilla by J. Sheridan LeFanu
In a Glass Darkly - Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu

This novella was hard for me to rate - I am not really a fan of short works. Carmilla was good, but it could easily have been expanded into a full length novel. It makes more sense to me to put it in the context of the collection of which it was a part, which is why I've attached it to the full Oxford Classics edition of the collection.

 

The five stories in the collection are purported to be five studies from the casebook of Dr. Hesselius, an "occult detective." Shades of Dr. Van Helsing, perhaps? I can definitely see the influences that Carmilla had on Bram Stoker - there are a lot of analogs, from Laura (Lucy Westenra) to the location of story (the Austrian state of Styria, which has a very similar feel to the Carpathian mountains of Dracula). Both vampires have transformation abilities, with Dracula being capable of transformation into a large black dog, while Carmilla transforms into a large black cat.

 

The homoeroticism between Carmilla and Laura is overt, rather than subtle. It amuses me a little, honestly, to imagine how titillated and thrilling the repressed Victorians must've found the lesbian, erotic, languid relationship between Carmilla and her victims. Don't get me wrong, this is not a graphic by any stretch of the imagination, but the overtones are impossible to miss.

 

The weird name anagramming seemed really contrived to me and I didn't get it all. Carmilla. Millarca. Mircalla.

 

Anyway, I decided that I would go ahead & buy the full collection and read it before the end of Halloween bingo. At least, that's my plan!

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text 2017-10-11 21:31
Classic Horror Group Read

Do you need a wild card to help you fill your card?

 

Join us for:

 

 

Carmilla was originally published in 1872.

 

"Before Dracula, there was Carmilla—the first seductive vampire to haunt readers’ imaginations 

This classic of Gothic horror follows Laura, a woman haunted by a girlhood dream of a beautiful visitor to her bedroom. Now, a decade later, Laura finds Carmilla, who appears to be her own age, on the side of the road after a carriage accident. The two recognize each other from the same childhood dream and become fast friends. Soon after, Laura begins to experience mysterious feelings and is once again haunted by nightmares. She finds Carmilla strangely irresistible and longs to be with her.

But as the two friends grow closer, Laura’s health begins to fail. It becomes apparent that her enchanting companion is harboring a sinister secret. To free herself from Carmilla’s grasp, Laura and her family must fight for their lives."

 

A novella, Carmilla is under 100 pages long, and should be a relatively fast read! Because it is in the public domain, it's easily available through Project Gutenberg, or for free or near free download from Amazon.

 

Link to the thread in our discussion group: here.

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text 2017-01-30 19:37
Romance Bingo Update

 

I've filled another 3 spots!

 

1. Gothic: Secrets in the Mist by Anna Lee Huber

2. Love is Murder: Death in Kenya by M.M. Kaye

3. Man in a Kilt: Highlander Untamed by Monica McCarty

4. Free space: Death in Zanzibar by M.M. Kaye

5. Young Adult: Gray Wolf Throne by Cinda Williams Chima

6. Blown Away: Trade Wind by M.M. Kaye

7. Guy/Girl Next Door: Emma by Jane Austen

 

Update:

 

I had a hard time deciding between Rogue and Blown Away for Trade Wind. I ultimately decided on Blown Away because there is actually a part of the book where the heroine, Hero, is actually blown off her ship in a storm and is hauled onto Rory Frost's ship, the Virago. Also, I was totally blown away by the book..

 

With respect to Emma, again, there were a few squares where I could put that one! I went for Guy/Girl Next Door because the fact that Mr. Knightley is Emma's neighbor was integral to the story. If there'd been a friends to lovers spot, I might have put it there. I also considered Wedding Bells for Emma, but ultimately decided on the other square.

 

Finally, with respect to Young Adult, I filled that square with Gray Wolf Throne, the third book in a YA fantasy series that strongly focuses on the romantic travails of Raisa and Han Alister. It's a fun series that I've read before & have been listening to in audio format.

 

So, Rogue and Historical Romance are my next two targets. I just started another M.M. Kaye epic, The Shadow of the Moon, which will certainly fit in Historical Romance, if no other squares that fit better crop up.

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text 2016-10-31 04:25
B-I-N-G-O card

 

 

Update!

 

 

BLACK-OUT!

 

 

 

BOOKS

 

  1. Vampires vs. Werewolves: Mayhem by Sara Pinborough (9/2/16)
  2. Reads with Booklikes Friends: Ammie Come Home by Barbara Michaels (9/2/16)
  3. Genre: Mystery: Death In The Tunnel by Miles Burton (9/3/16)
  4. Free Square: The Redbreast by Joe Nesbo (9/3/16)
  5. Creepy Crawlies: Libriomancer by Jim Hines (9/4/16)
  6. Grave or Graveyard: The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman (9/8/16)
  7. Gothic: Snowfire by Phyllis Whitney (9/8/16)
  8. YA Horror: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs (9/8/16)
  9. Scary Women (Authors): Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
  10. Set in New England: Maplecroft by Cheri Priest
  11. Fall Into A Good Book: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving
  12. Supernatural: The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova
  13. Locked Room Mystery: Mystery of the Yellow Room by Gaston Leroux
  14. Read by Flashlight or Candlelight: The Sign of the Four by Arthur Conan Doyle
  15. Black Cat: The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
  16. It Was A Dark and Stormy Night: Falconridge by Jennifer Wilde
  17. Ghost Stories and Haunted Houses: The Dead Travel Fast by Deanna Raybourn
  18. Full Moon: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling
  19. Witches: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling
  20. Pumpkin: Hallowe'en Party by Agatha Christie
  21. Diverse Authors are Spooky Fun: Sorceror to the Crown by Zen Cho
  22. Magical Realism: The Girl Who Chased the Moon by Sarah Addison Allen
  23. Classic Horror: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury
  24. Horror: We Have Always Lived In The Castle by Shirley Jackson
  25. Set on Halloween: A Night in the Lonesome October by Roger Zelazny
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text 2016-10-08 22:16
The second half (or slightly less) of Bingo!

 

My plan for the remaining squares:

 

Classic horror: Dracula by Bram Stoker (started)

Pumpkin: Hallowe'en Party by Agatha Christie (started)

Set on Halloween: One Night in the Lonesome October 

Diverse Authors: Sorceror to the Crown

Witches: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (started in audiobook)

Horror: A Taste For Monsters

Magical realism: something by Alice Hoffman or Sarah Addison Allen

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