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Varney the Vampyre; or, The Feast of Blood, Book One: The Feast of Blood

3.3  ·  Rating Details ·  44 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
Varney the Vampire; or, the Feast of Blood was a Victorian era serialized gothic horror story by James Malcolm Rymer (alternatively attributed to Thomas Preskett Prest). It first appeared in 1845–47 as a series of cheap pamphlets of the kind then known as "penny dreadfuls".

The story was published in book form in 1847. It is of epic length: the original edition ran to 876 d
Paperback, 342 pages
Published December 1st 2000 by Wildside Press
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Bill  Kerwin

I was a fool. I thought this would be fun. A trashy Victorian serial appealing to the basest tastes of the barely literate elements of society--what could be more enjoyable than that? Sure, it stretches to more than 1100 pages, but if I digest it a tiny piece at a time--the same way that guy in the urban legend was rumored to have consumed a whole car--it should be relatively pleasant. Besides, it is credited with establishing much vampire lore as well as humanizing the vampire, so it should be
Samuel Rippey
Highly overwrought, super-Gothic Victorian penny dreadful trash. Depending on your bent, this is either horrible or delightful. I only made it through 800 pages or so -- enough is enough. Best in small doses, as was originally intended.
Varney is a three volume penny dreadful that I found a lovely complete wordsworth edition of. It's almost 1200 pages of very tiny Wordswoth print. I wasn't sure if I'd manage all three volumes in one go. But as much as I was enjoying the book after finishing volume 2 I thought I'd take a short break as I was just desperate to read some history and I found that my enjoyment was starting to slip. So I thought I'd write up the first two volumes while I could still remember and will probably go back ...more
Titus Hjelm
The previous review pretty much said it all, but this is still required reading for any proper vampire buff. 'Varney' is often mentioned in books about vampires, but few people seem to have actually read it. I mean, although sometimes 'evil', he is the original suffering vampire, way before Barnabas Collins or Rice's Louis.
Louise Henderson
Aug 15, 2013 Louise Henderson rated it really liked it
people have said that they have given up because of repetition etc. However, I found the first of this 5 volume series well edited, and did not exhibit any of the complaints from previous additions (in my opinion). it kept me hooked from beginning to end
Nov 22, 2015 Neri. rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Fancy, and full of 18th century style language 'Dracula' rip-off.
Timothy Morrow
As I strove to inquire and read the foundation of the Vampire Lore, I discovered the Penny Dreadful series called "Varney the Vampire" and decided to take it upon myself to read it. As a synopsis it should be stated that the story is about the Bannerworths family and a vampire named Varney who wishes to be the owner of the estate which the family has possession of. There is plenty of shenanigans that ensues between the romantically inclined characters and of course Varney himself, but you will h ...more
Ebster Davis
“Hang me,” said the admiral, “if I shan't like the fellow at last. It is cool, and I like it because it is cool.”

Sir Frances Varney is reported to be a Vampyre, but personality-wise he's a Troll. And he's hilarious.

Other than Sir Varney, my favorite character is Admiral Bell. He and Jack start out as the comic relief characters, but actually they're the most hardcore of the whole group.

I'd recommend this one if you like vampire stories and you have a little time on your hands. It's a bit long
Eh, it's not good, but it's not the worst thing I've ever read. It's pretty obvious that the authors of these 'penny dreadfuls' get paid by the amount of words and not necessarily the content.... so the dialogue is about on par with terrible B-movies... I don't think I want to read the remaining two volumes.
Oct 09, 2012 Larissa marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: vampires, e-read
I joined Media Bistro's 2012 Literary Remix Competition to rewrite a page of this book which would then, if I'm selected, be recombined with pages written by other people in other styles. Since there is a free download of the book available via Project Gutenberg, I might as well check out the book in its entirety, just in time for Halloween.
Kassie Kmitch
My mom let me read this as a kid because it was an old-timey book, and she assumed it would make me smarter. Wrong, mom. WRONG. I was captivated by the cover and the cover alone. The guy had an exposed rib cage! It does not disappoint.
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James Malcolm Rymer was a British nineteenth century writer of penny dreadfuls, and is the probable author of Varney the Vampire, often attributed to fellow writer Thomas Peckett Prest, and co-author (with Prest) of The String of Pearls, in which the notorious villain Sweeney Todd makes his literary debut.

Information about Rymer is sketchy. In the London Directory for 1841 he is listed as a civil
More about James Malcolm Rymer...

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