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Carmilla

3.82 of 5 stars 3.82  ·  rating details  ·  14,980 ratings  ·  906 reviews
Carmilla (Illustrated) contains 16 beautiful artworks by Babette van den Berg.


Carmilla is a Gothic novella by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu first published in 1872. It tells the story of a young woman's susceptibility to the attentions of a female vampire named Carmilla. Carmilla predates Bram Stoker's Dracula by 25 years. Although Carmilla is a lesser known and far shorter Got
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Paperback, 106 pages
Published March 14th 2012 by Bizarro Press (first published 1871)
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raleigh Yes! Vervegirl TV's web series on Youtube is what influenced me to read this short book. While the show is very loosely based off the original story,…moreYes! Vervegirl TV's web series on Youtube is what influenced me to read this short book. While the show is very loosely based off the original story, I enjoyed both. Be forewarned, however, that the end of this book is NOT anything remotely like the show's happy ending. If you choose to read it, even if you've seen that delightful show, try to come in with as few assumptions and expectations as possible. It's a haunting story, and my mind is still reeling from it. (less)
Glenn Goettel Rambling, verbose and the ending is an utter failure. That said, this protagonist first-person of an isolated woman, frightened and confused by a…moreRambling, verbose and the ending is an utter failure. That said, this protagonist first-person of an isolated woman, frightened and confused by a same-sex attraction, is further proof- were any needed- that Victorians were quite adept at channeling their sexuality into romance, particularly gothic with a paranormal edge.(less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jesse
In many ways the antithesis of Dracula, and if Stoker's novel disappointed me with its clean-cut, heterosexual male-influenced dichotomies, than le Fanu's novella is the flipside of the coin: female-centric, homoerotic, ambiguous and enigmatic (and all in about a quarter of the length!). Here the vampire is not the withered, evil "Other" but the beautiful, sensuous stranger that is readily welcomed into home and heart, becoming the double for the protagonist, leading to a very different sense of ...more
Werner
Dec 04, 2013 Werner rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Any fan of vampire fiction, or of supernatural fiction in general
Note, Oct. 1, 2012: I just modified this review slightly to incorporate a changed perspective I came to as a result of a discussion in one of my groups.

This book is one of the best treatments of the vampire theme I have read (admittedly, I haven't read very many --even counting the ones I didn't like enough to finish!). While the author's diction is Victorian, the book is a short, quick read (unlike the massive tomes that some 19th-century novels are), so it shouldn't be daunting even for reader
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Nick Pageant
Best vampire story ever written. Anyone who disagrees with me? It's on!


description
Alejandro
This is a very important book in a historic sense due that it was published 25 years before than Dracula. Also, it presented lesbian situations. So, it was a pioneer book in two subjects: Vampires and Lesbian literature. Some may wonder how it was possible to publish a book with lesbian issues in 1872. Joseph Sheridan Le Fanú was ingenious in that, since when he was asked about, he just replied that it wasn't a homosexual situation since Carmilla was a vampire and due that it was a creature with ...more
Skeletonorchid
Hellow,
Aren't the books that we like the most, the harder to review?
Carmilla by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu became one of my favourite book of all time, it spoke to my soul through words of darkness, each sentence was like sweet melancholic music echoing and engraving in me.
Sentences like “Girls are caterpillars while they live in the world, to be finally butterflies when the summer comes; but in the meantime there are grubs and larvae, don't you see - each with their peculiar propensities, necessit
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 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja)
I read this story out of the A Taste for Blood Anthology. I was excited to finally read the story that is really the grandmother of the vampire tale. It preceded Dracula by Bram Stoker by more than twenty years.

Well I have to say that I have mixed feelings about Carmilla. In some moments, it was very eerie, if not downright frightening, but those moments didn't quite occur often enough for me. There were passages of description that became rather mind-numbingly boring. I have read enough classic
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Kelly
Apr 28, 2009 Kelly rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of The Turn of the Screw
An atmospheric delight, gems of beautiful images falling off the page in a simple, straightforward, and yet strangely enthralling sequence. Laced through beautifully with the Victorian obsessions of scientific inquiry and the grotesque- of its time, certainly, but beautifully explored for all that. No one does feverish obsession quite like the Victorians.

However, our lady narrator is dumber than Dumbo's inbred country cousin. Shame she fell victim to the narrator explains it all storytelling dev
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Elizabeth
I honestly don't know what to say about this book. It's at once hilarious and ridiculous but clever and full of interesting things to critique. And lesbian vampires. Never doubt the Victorian ability to bring innuendo to every situation.
Evan
So, this week I read two intense tales of strange longing and obsession from the 1870s: the S&M classic "Venus in Furs" and this lesbian-flavored vampire tale, which, you can read for free, and quickly as it is short, at Project Gutenberg (gutenberg.org). I liked "Venus in Furs" more; for me it had more overall gravitas, but this vampire book is impressive and heartbreaking in its own right.

In terms of conveying the idea of the multi-generational lifespan of the vampire, this book is superio
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Kevin
[Spoiler at the end, read at your own risk.]

Seems like lately I never can keep track of how I found out about a particular book. The last thing I read was about Lincoln and flatboats so I'm pretty sure it wasn't that which led me to Carmilla.

Anyway, whatever it was, I'm glad it happened. Of course the first thing I heard is, "This is the book that influenced Stoker to write Dracula" and that alone of course was reason to read it. I felt kind of stupid for never having heard of it before - I just
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Michael
First published in 1872, Carmilla is a hugely influential vampire story told by a young girl called Laura, starved of the company of children her own age. After a coach crash not far from her castle home in Styria, her family agree to look after another young girl called Carmilla for a period of some months. Laura recognises the girl at once from a disturbing dream from years earlier. And Carmilla admits to having the same dream. In the nearby village the deaths begin.
The enduring literary emble
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Mohammed
I finally read this story after having enjoyed Le Fanu's ghost,weird stories for few years. His prose in this story was finer than in his other stories, the way he build the supernatural,creepy mood was near perfect. Carmilla,Laura,the schloss(palace), the gothic country side etc was really well done. The kind of horror story, vampire horror i rate highly when its well written. Carmilla i might have expected to be less freaky ruthless monster which is a nice surprise. I liked how naturally her b ...more
Vanessa
This was a really great novella, an early depiction of vampirism that as far as I know predates the famous Dracula by Bram Stoker.

Le Fanu experiments with elements of lesbianism, horror, and gothic in this carefully crafted novella that is related from the point of view of Laura, a woman who as a young girl encountered an attractive and bewitching girl named Carmilla... although she is not all she seems.

If you like vampire fiction then I'd highly recommend this - it's a quick and captivating rea
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Meave
Poor Carmilla. I guess there are only so many isolated noblemen's daughters you can devour before they start talking.
Duane
A Gothic horror novel featuring a beautiful lesbian vampire, understated as you would expect in a Victorian era novel. This short novel was well structured and very well written. I enjoyed it more than Dracula to be honest, and Carmilla was written two decades before Bram Stoker's classic.
César Lasso
Read in Madrid, and finished past midnight... But we don't believe in vampyres in the city; at least, in the traditional sense, because we actually have paedophiles and corrupt politicians.

Predictable, since I devoured all the British Hammer films as a child and vampyrophilia has few surprises to shock me at a time when my hair goes whiter and whiter.

But if you live in a lonely place in the countryside, a place where you might shout without being heard, be careful with the carefully written twil
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Sonia
Dimentichiamoci la Meyer, la Rice, Buffy e tutti quelli che in questi anni ci stanno bombardando di vampiri e derivati.
Carmilla è la degna compagna di Dracula, è la vampira originale.
In un racconto di neanche 100 pagine Le Fanu è stato in grado di creare un mito indimenticabile. E se leggendo quelle pagine ora, nel 2009, ci rendiamo conto fin dalla prima pagina di come si svilupperà la storia, di come andrà a finire, ciò non toglie nulla all'essenza di questo "gioiello" della letteratura gotic
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Camille Stein
'Jamás desistirá hasta haber saciado su pasión y succionado la vida misma de su codiciada víctima. Pero, en esos casos, economizará y prolongará su disfrute asesino con un refinamiento epicúreo, realzado por las aproximaciones graduales de un complicado galanteo.'

Ya el mismo nombre del lugar donde se desarrolla la trama, Estiria, inicia el proceso de complicidad que Le Fanu pretende del lector: ambientación turbadora, atmósfera desolada y opresiva, paisaje inmenso y fantasmagórico... Tan fantas
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Blair
Wonderfully, deliciously melodramatic classic short story. I was drawn to this after reading Rachel Klein's The Moth Diaries, which directly references Carmilla as well as owing an obvious debt to it. Laura, a lonely young woman living with her family and servants in a Styrian schloß, is thrilled when another girl, Carmilla, comes to stay at her home after being involved in a coach crash. The events that unfold thereafter are predictable and clearly signposted, but no less thrilling for that. Th ...more
Thibaut Nicodème
You know what? I'm glad I read this. If only because for once I read a book by someone who used complicated words that originate from French and used them correctly (looking at you, Cassandra Clare). But seriously I'm not actually a fan of Le Fanu's prose. It's a little too flowery and overdescriptive.

Oh yeah also one of the first literary vampires is a lesbian, that's always nice.

Honestly my only real problem with this book is that the ending is a little rushed. But hey, different time, differe
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E.V.Franzmnn E.V.Franzmnn
Jul 03, 2014 E.V.Franzmnn E.V.Franzmnn rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: to all people that likes vampire stories, classical vampire stories
Why I always feel drawn towards evil? Why Can't I be a good girl that sees the wicked ways and wish for a happy ending where the bad people get what they deserve? Why must I feel for those who hurt and prey on the innocent with no regret what so ever?
I didn't chose to read this book, it chose me and I can't say how or why. Fate brought it in to my way and I fell in its trap like a moth into the flame.

The plot - A girl (Laura) is lonely and longs for a company to talk and be friends with. Then co
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Sesana
Carmilla is famous for basically one thing: Carmilla herself, the prototype for lesbian vampires everywhere. It was a bit of a pleasant surprise to discover that Carmilla is also a good read. The story is presented as the account of a girl (Laura) that Carmilla is fixated on. (Does she love her? I couldn't say. Is there desire there? Oh, yes.) Laura's voice rings very true, and it's through her eyes that we see Carmilla as fascinating and attractive. (I would call this the Bram Stoker school of ...more
Suzie
Nov 22, 2008 Suzie rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: lovers of vampire fiction and 19th century lit
Shelves: horror
I actually read this on Wikisource, since it has long been in the public domain, but for simplicity's sake I just selected the paperback edition.

From a modern perspective, with centuries of lore and creative endeavors on the subject behind us, the narrator of Carmilla seems a little... slow. But even knowing what to expect, Le Fanu's story manages to stay surprisingly suspenseful. (One always knows, when beginning a vampire story, that someone will die in the ensuing pages. The question is, who?
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Kylie
Aug 18, 2013 Kylie rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Dracula
I thought this was a wonderful book and can easily see why it was the inspiration for Dracula. It's beautifully written and the descriptions of the 'schloss' and the surrounding countryside are simply mouth-watering. Having said that, I did struggle a little with the style of writing at times - I like to be challenged though!

It was always going to be interesting to read this book because Dracula became an immediate favourite of mine the first time I read it. This one stood up well, although it w
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Literary Ames {Against GR Censorship}
Carmilla is a pre-Dracula vampire tale first published in 1872 of a 19th century woman living in Austria who unwittingly encounters the female vampire named Carmilla. There are some lesbian vibes coming from Carmilla which 19 year old Laura is very uncomfortable with but she can't seem to resist her. They have a mutual fascination with each other.

Carmilla is a story of coincidence, mystery and I would say trust and deception. I really liked that this story was fairly short and quite concise. I'
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J.L. Dobias
Jun 03, 2013 J.L. Dobias rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Vampire afictionados
Shelves: book-shelf-11
Carmilla by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu

This is an old book,a classic. Published around 1872 and about 25 years before Bram Stoker's Dracula. This is a must read for all vampire lovers.

I would consider this to be quite mild compared to many of today's versions of the Genre but there are many elements that still come through to today.

One of these that shows up markedly in Camilla is the lustful sexual nature of vampirism. In this instance it is of particular note in that there are undertones of lesbia
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Rinda Elwakil
قصة جيّدة..مُقبضة..غريبة..

ترجمة دكتور أحمد خالد توفيق ممتازة، سمعت أن بها بعض المعالجة في العمل الأصلي بشكل أخرج مضموناً أفضل..لكنّي لم اقرأ العمل الأصلي و لم تثر فضولي بما فيه الكفاية لأبحث عنه..سأكتفي بهذه.


تستحق القراءة.
David
The classic vampire story by the best writer of supernatural fiction ever. Made into innumerable movies. The erotic imagery and lesbian undertones ensure that it has never been out of print. I first read it when I was an impressionable teenager and had to look up what a 'schloss' was, and read it again last year as an even more impressionable adult...
Susan
Creepy, atmospheric gothic. I enjoyed it alot and look forward to some of this author's other stories!
Alex
Well.

That was amazingly gay.
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  • The Vampyre and Other Tales of the Macabre
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  • The Willows
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  • The Beetle
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  • Gothic Tales
  • La Morte Amoureuse
  • The Vampire Tapestry
  • The Penguin Book of Vampire Stories
  • The Blood of the Vampire
  • The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner
  • The Oxford Book of Victorian Ghost Stories
  • Ghost Stories of an Antiquary
  • The Italian
  • Anno Dracula (Anno Dracula, #1)
  • The Monk
  • Vathek
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Joseph Thomas Sheridan Le Fanu was an Irish writer of Gothic tales and mystery novels. He was the premier ghost story writer of the nineteenth century and had a seminal influence on the development of this genre in the Victorian era.
More about Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu...
Uncle Silas In a Glass Darkly Best Ghost Stories of J. S. Le Fanu Madam Crowl's Ghost & Other Stories Green Tea and Other Ghost Stories

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“For some nights I slept profoundly; but still every morning I felt the same lassitude, and a languor weighed upon me all day. I felt myself a changed girl. A strange melancholy was stealing over me, a melancholy that I would not have interrupted. Dim thoughts of death began to open, and an idea that I was slowly sinking took gentle, and, somehow, not unwelcome possession of me. If it was sad, the tone of mind which this induced was also sweet. Whatever it might be, my soul acquiesced in it.” 131 likes
“You will think me cruel, very selfish, but love is always selfish; the more ardent the more selfish. How jealous I am you cannot know. You must come with me, loving me, to death; or else hate me, and still come with me, and hating me through death and after. There is no such word as indifference in my apathetic nature.” 120 likes
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