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3.82  ·  Rating Details  ·  19,552 Ratings  ·  1,300 Reviews
"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 and has been adapted many times for cinema.
Published November 7th 2003 by Project Gutenberg (first published 1872)
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raleigh maeve 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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Bloody relevant to read!


But to die as lovers may - to die together, so that they may live together.

This is a very important book in historic sense, in the genre of vampire reading, due that it was published 25 years before than Dracula.

Also, it presented lesbian situations, easily one of the first open mentions of the topic in literature.

So, it was a pioneer book in two subjects: Vampires and Lesbian literature.

Some may wonder how it was possible to publish a b
With Dracula, The Picture of Dorian Gray and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, some of the most famously recognized horror stories of the nineteenth century have been created, yet only few people seem to know this little story which may have been the ultimate inspiration for Bram Stoker to write his popular novel Dracula. Carmilla is an early vampire story, laying the foundation of a genre which would see many other vampire tales in the upcoming years, until the development recently c ...more
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
May 05, 2015 Ariel rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
PRETTY AVERAGE. I don't feel like I particularly learned anything. It was a very monotone and non-climactic. Very /quaint/. And the giant plot twist was spoiled for me (i mean, it'd be spoiled for anyone living in 2015 because it's SO OBVIOUS) but I really feel that that spoilers shouldn't have the power to ruin a story, but I really feel that all this book had was that one spoiler.

I still see merit in it, don't get me wrong. I read it for school and after intense studying I can see value in it,
Nick Pageant
Sep 03, 2014 Nick Pageant rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Best vampire story ever written. Anyone who disagrees with me? It's on!

Dec 04, 2013 Werner rated it really liked it  ·  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
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
Μερικές φορές για να νιώσεις χρειάζεται μια ιστορία τρόμου. Και τι καλύτερο από την Carmilla.

Υπέροχη σκοτεινή γοτθική ατμόσφαιρα, με μια ηρωίδα-βαμπίρ σαγηνευτική, αιθέρια και επικίνδυνη. Διάχυτος ο ερωτισμός ανάμεσα στην Laura και την Carmilla. Λιτή, μελαγχολική και ονειρική η γραφή.

4 αστέρια. Ένιωσα.
Apr 01, 2016 Fernando rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Además de Edgar Allan Poe, se podía leer a Sheridan Le Fanu, que junto a Hugh Walpole o E.T.A. Hoffmann llevaron a la perfección al género gótico y el cuento fantástico o de terror.
Este autor posee grandes cuentos de fantasmas y terror, puesto que en eso consistía su especialidad. Fue un escritor admirado por los grandes del género.
Carmilla, junto con El Vampiro de John Polidori anticipa lo que iba a instaurar el libro Drácula de Bram Stoker: el género del vampirismo, tan vigente hoy en día.
Carmo Santos
May 23, 2016 Carmo Santos rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Uma vampirice à moda antiga a fazer lembrar os contos de Bram Stoker, quando afinal, foi este quem se inspirou em Carmilla para escrever Drácula.
Os cenários são os apropriados para histórias de terror e o suspense é uma constante até ao final.
Com uns toques de erotismo e um lesbianismo mais que subtil, é capaz de ter chocado os mentecaptos da época.
Barry Pierce
I'm glad this was a novella. While the plot is interesting and the writing is just superb the entire concept of "oh she's a vampire, no wait, she's a lesbian vampire" gets tired quite quickly. However this is one of those works that you have to read just off of its sheer influence alone. The trope of the lesbian vampire was so important in early horror movies, B-movies and especially Giallo horror.

(Also I love the fact that two of the most pioneering and influential works of vampire fiction wer
Apr 28, 2009 Kelly rated it liked it  ·  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
The image of the vampire has been through a series of metamorohosis: the vampire Dracula trying to adapt to the Industrial Revolution, the story of vampirism that proclaims that only the Greeks of the Orthodox Church whose bodies are reanimated by the devil,etc. A lot of these are ofcourse conjectures and delusions. But once in a while, there comes this carefully constructed narrative, a story that thrills, a potion that excites and inspires a whole slew of other works. Perhaps, I have already h ...more
Jan 29, 2016 Brian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The author takes advantage of the power of contrast. Many horror writers use contrast to throw a reader's mind off balance. Stephen King made Pennywise a joking freak of a clown, and Randal Flagg a humorous and diabolical psycho-demon. In this story, a small girl meets Carmilla, two petite and intimate little girls. The contrast twists the mind into suspended insanity when supernatural visitations come, and the small girl correlates to the events. His descriptions of vampires bring a terror seen ...more
Nov 28, 2014 Elizabeth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Apr 21, 2011 Meave rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Poor Carmilla. I guess there are only so many isolated noblemen's daughters you can devour before they start talking.
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja)
Jul 20, 2009 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja) rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Vampire fiction fans
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
Dec 15, 2015 Ryan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Good:
This influential little tale is moody and dark, and gives that sense of the otherworld common to many books written so long ago. The plot itself might seem cliche to those of us raised with vampires all over TV, but the reason it's been redone so often is that it is an excellent, tense mystery that hits you right in your scary gland. The rustic Austrian setting is beautiful and very well conveyed.

The Bad:
The language gets a bit florid, though it may have been viewed as colloquial by rea
Mar 20, 2013 Kevin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
[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
César Lasso
Mar 10, 2016 César Lasso rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Melisa Ramonda
Apr 08, 2016 Melisa Ramonda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Es el libro "original" sobre vampiros, quizá el primero de su clase, y lo ha copiado todo el mundo hasta el cansancio y de tal manera que cuando agarras Carmilla y lo lees, no te sorprende para nada. Esta historia y cómo está narrada sentó las bases del vampiro moderno hasta que llegó Anne Rice y les dio una refrescada, digamos.
Recomendado porque tiene privilegios.
"The amphibious existence of the vampire is sustained by daily renewed slumber in the grave. Its horrible lust for living blood supplies the vigor of its waking existence. The vampire is prone to be fascinated with an engrossing vehemence, resembling the passion of love, by particular persons… It will never desist until it has satiated its passion, and drained the very life of its coveted victim."

This description of a vampire is not anything new and surprising to anyone that has an interest in v
Scarlet Cameo
Nov 15, 2015 Scarlet Cameo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: rc-15
"El amor exige sacrificios, y en los sacrificios corre la sangre. Ahora deja que me abandone al sueño."

El mito inicial, aterradoramente bello, donde la extraña seducción, parecida a un amor apasionado, y la alimentación se conjuntan para envolvernos en las redes de esta vampireza. Carmilla es un personaje hermoso, condenada a la vida eterna, pero hechizante y cautivador, deja un rastro en el lector tan fuerte como lo dejo en Laura.

"Yo vivo en ti, y tú morirás en mí."

El cuento, nos muestra co
Nov 02, 2015 Lily rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, classics, 2015
"Girls are caterpillars while they live in the world, to be finally butterflies when the summer comes; but in the meantime they are grubs and larvae, don't you see - each with their peculiar propensities, necessities and structure."

This year, for the first time since I was in elementary school, I wanted to read something "spooky" during the fall. But I didn't feel emotionally up to the task of reading a full-fledged horror novel, so I instead picked up this little 1872 vampire story. It was just
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 ( 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
Aug 10, 2015 Mateo rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Esta historia es totalmente imprescindible para los amantes y seguidores de la literatura vampírica. Es sin duda alguna un clásico de esta corriente. Con una trama rompe esquemas, un suspenso muy bien logrado, un estilo poético, y una forma diferente y misteriosa de ver el vampirismo, Carmilla se quedó con un lugar muy importante en mi experiencia de lectura vampírica.

Oct 06, 2015 Jonfaith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In the rapture of my enormous humiliation I live in your warm life, and you shall die--die, sweetly die--into mine. I cannot help it; as I draw near to you, you, in your turn, will draw near to others, and learn the rapture of that cruelty, which yet is love; so, for a while, seek to know no more of me and mine, but trust me with all your loving spirit.

Carmilla proved to be a delicious detour. Such was a GR group read. I flashed from the gate on a rather warm October evening and finished the nov
Jun 04, 2011 Michael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, vampire, 2011, review
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
juan carlos
Sep 16, 2015 juan carlos rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Nov 28, 2014 Vanessa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
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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Joseph Thomas Sheridan Le Fanu (28 August 1814 – 7 February 1873) was an Irish writer of Gothic tales and mystery novels. He was the leading ghost-story writer of the nineteenth century and was central to the development of the genre in the Victorian era. M.R. James described Le Fanu as "absolutely in the first rank as a writer of ghost stories". Three of his best-known works are Uncle Silas, Carm ...more
More about J. Sheridan Le Fanu...

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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.” 161 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.” 154 likes
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