Thursday, 1 January 2015

Varney the Vampire by Thomas Peckett Prest


"The eyes look like pol­ished tin; the lips are drawn back, and the prin­ci­pal fea­ture next to those dread­ful eyes is the teeth—the fear­ful look­ing teeth—pro­ject­ing like those of some wild an­i­mal, hideously, glar­ingly white, and fang-like."

I had no idea what a marathon i was embarking upon when I commenced reading this never-ending vampire tale. It took me over a year of sheer bloody minded perseverance and and impending new year deadline to finally knock this one over and the fireworks were warranted.

This is the penny dreadful vampire figure so ingrained in our popular culture. This is the kind of melodrama that would have been delightful for a small snippet and yet becomes fiercely tiresome after more than 500 pages and unbearable by the end.

Reading this makes for an interesting exploration of the history of the vampire in popular culture and that is about where the interest wanes. There are moments of entertainment that kept me going, but I continually lost interest, broke off, only to return much later, still confused about where  I was up to.

I have since discovered that the Gutenberg epub that I read missed the final few chapters. Well I won't be actively seeking them out at this stage. I'm calling this one read!

3 out of 5 Gothic moments won't make this worth the 

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