Archive for novella

Book(s) of the Week: The Shadow over Innsmouth and Other Stories of Horror

Posted in Books with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 4, 2015 by ranranami

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Ahhhh, H. P. Lovecraft. It’s no secret how fond I am of his work. A man claimed by death before he could properly greet the old ones, who many say was only beginning to truly perfect and hone his skills when he died at the relatively young age of 46. It took a bit of soul searching to figure out which of his books to feature, which collection of stories had just the right balance and style to feature for the un-initiated into his world. So I picked the one that started me off, a book my mother almost donated to Goodwill when I was a kid (before I pillaged through the junk boxes and saved both this book, along with another book I’ve featured, Carmilla.)

Intrepid adventurer, know ye this: step wisely into the written word, and with your imagination sharpened. To read Lovecraft is to read a whole story in one sitting, for each one deserves no less than your full attention. Also, keep in mind that a good deal of his writing reflects the mind-set of the time, as well as a certain style which does turn some people off. To an avid reader, this book is a delight. To someone who doesn’t really enjoy reading…well…why are you reading an article about a book of the week in the first place?

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Book(s) Of the Week: “Carmilla”

Posted in Books, Media with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 28, 2014 by ranranami

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Carmilla

By Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu

When I was about 8, my mom went about getting rid of several crates of books she’d collected over the years. It was an annual thing to clean house by making a Goodwill donation stop. Of course I couldn’t understand why she’d get rid of so many, so on our way there I dug through the crates. This particular book stood out to me, so I kept it and read it. The cover I posted in this article is the edition of Carmilla I found. There was something very alluring about the way the illustrator drew the girl’s red hair. To this day I am glad I kept that book, because it became one of my favorites.

Some stories reach through time and refuse to age. The language used in them is neither overly-flowery nor simple. Carmilla is one of them.

Don’t let the many erotic covers, the Hammer adaptations (pumped up with 3 times the sexuality, thanks to the gorgeous Ingrid Pitt) or loose interpretations of Carmilla fool you. It is a wonderful novella from the Gothic period which serves as one of the best ways to introduce a person to the style.

It is about Laura, a young girl telling of her experiences with a beautiful woman named Carmilla. Admittedly, there are some erotic undertones to that element. But what I find strangest about Carmilla, is that there is one particular aspect of the story that gets taken and used in the countless film/television adaptations of Dracula. Despite her lack of humanity and the darkness that lurks behind Carmilla’s nature…I always felt she loved Laura. She genuinely loved her in a small way only a soul-less monster of the night could.

The atmosphere is excellent, the story is a classic. If you are an avid fan of anything vampire-related, but you aren’t yet ready to tackle Dracula or Varney, this is the perfect stepping stone into the classic genre.