A young Anglo-Austrian woman living at her father’s castle is the narrator of this novella. When a mysterious and beautiful stranger is stranded at the castle in odd circumstances and becomes a guest, the heroine quickly forms a close bond with her —but she subsequently discovers that her “friend” has a dark and lethal secret.
I read this in two hours, standing still in the kitchen as my housemates cooked and ate around me. Time did not seem to pass at all, I was so engrossed.
A classic vampire novella (and in recent light, a lesbian vampire novella apparently), this chilling, tale offers readers a whole new experience and conception of “vampire.” With the Twilight series, we’ve romanticized and de-villainized the vampire to a laughable degree. Anne Rice sexualized and humanized the vampire. Bram Stoker offered a classic capable of reworkings for every decade since – the fear of contagion, fear of AIDs, fear of homosexuality – that allows the reader to be awed and terrified of and attracted to the vampire ideal.
Carmilla contained several popular ideas of the modern idea of vampire – being staked, puncturing humans with the teeth, sleeping in coffins – while dismissing other notions such as bursting into flames in the sun; Carmilla was perfectly capable of walking in the daylight.
The history behind Carmilla’s character is haunting as well! The most intense image that is still seared into my brain is of her in her coffin, laying in a pool of blood several inches deep, eyes wide and skin healthy. So terrifying! Le Fanu wonderfully crafted thrilling images and suspenseful events in this short Gothic tale!
Goodreads: 3.79 of 5