Thursday, 2 October 2014

Children of the Night: Classic Vampire Stories selected by David Stuart Davies

"But though it did not, I still shudder at the thought that if I had given in to Sdenka that terrible night, I should myself have become a vampire!"

Well I think this would serve as an interesting introduction to a reader innocent to the history of the vampire novel and its origins. This reader, is however, far from innocent in that regard. Tainted as I am by countless tales of bloodsucking fiends, this collection of short stories and excerpts from vampire classics was a little of a disappointment.
I'm about halfway through more than 800 pages of Varney the Vampire for instance and here only a chapter is provided. Likewise I'd already read Carmilla, Dracula  and The Vampyre. However, if you are curious and haven't explored these classics before, this serves as an easy, if not comprehensive, introduction.

The stories that I hadn't read were interesting, although some were questionably vampiric in nature - something more along the lines of general supernatural fiction.

I haven't much further to add on this one. My love of vampires is always a puzzlement. Are they the ultimate sexual predator? Is their appeal the notion of timeless beauty and unfettered lascivious experience that culminates in a final end? What is it about them that still draws us in as readers? It is something that has remained fascinated for centuries - I mean Polidori's work dates back to 1819, just hanging out with Lord Byron.

I'm giving this a fairly generous mark purely for the everlasting appeal of the children of the night.

3 out of 5 necks might enjoy a bite.

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