I'm not a big reader in the horror genre. The only books I can recall remember and attaching significance to were Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles – and...moreI'm not a big reader in the horror genre. The only books I can recall remember and attaching significance to were Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles – and, now, The Historian.
Dracula, in this mode, casts a shadow over the lives the main characters. We so often hear about him, are given very real demonstrations of his power, yet he remains out of our grasp. One of the complaints I would have about the novel is that he is deposed of too quickly – I would have liked more tension in that moment, more time to actually meet this figure.
The characters are well-crafted and feel real, even if we only know them shallowly. I found myself becoming especially attached to the narrator, Rossi, Barley, and Helen. I didn't find the mystery dull in the slightest, but perhaps I'm more attuned to mysteries where knowledge, not danger creates suspense.
Perhaps a sign of a great book is a desire to know more – not something as straightforward as a sequel or prequel, but other books about Dracula and vampires, to learn more about the real historical facts behind the story and to find out more about the characters. The Historian inspires all of those in me.
When I was reading this, I kept thinking that it was good, but nothing that really made me sit up and take notice. Then I got to part 3, and okay, wow...moreWhen I was reading this, I kept thinking that it was good, but nothing that really made me sit up and take notice. Then I got to part 3, and okay, wow.
It's hard to categorise this book. I've shelved it as horror, as the whole basis of the plot is one you'd find in a horror story, but it doesn't fit there. The real horror of Beloved is not a ghost or ghoulie or any other supernatural happenings, but the very-human institution of slavery.
Technically, the book's a bit of a mess. There's no distinction between past/present in the book, so you suddenly flashback and then flash forward within a chapter without any cues. For three chapters, it's suddenly in first person perspective rather than the third. But it's incredible. (less)
An enthralling and terrifying new take on the vampire tale. Personally, I needed a bit more confirmation from the conclusion, but it is just a small c...moreAn enthralling and terrifying new take on the vampire tale. Personally, I needed a bit more confirmation from the conclusion, but it is just a small criticism on my part – I'm happy with what I think happened to Oskar. Lindqvist balanced the supernatural horror of creatures who need to drink blood to survive against the real horrors of paedophiles and sadistic bullies. At the start, I found the real horrors a bit much to take, but am glad I persevered through. Let Me In (alt. Let The Right One In) is a quite a superb work, though it won't be to everyone's tastes. (less)
A well written book, and fascinating in its own disturbing way, but really too creepy for me. I had hoped (wished) for a happier ending, but that was...moreA well written book, and fascinating in its own disturbing way, but really too creepy for me. I had hoped (wished) for a happier ending, but that was not to be. (less)
This is an interesting book, studying and exploring the fascination of the figure of the vampire and its impact on the many different facets of societ...moreThis is an interesting book, studying and exploring the fascination of the figure of the vampire and its impact on the many different facets of society, primarily focusing on issues of gender and identity. Milly Williamson does this by exploring different representations of the vampire and the fandom built up around the figure of the vampire, or "the virtual vampire star".
Williamson takes three seminal texts in the vampire canon – Bram Stoker's Dracula, Anne Rice's The Vampire Chronicles and the TV series Buffy: The Vampire Slayer – and analyses them, showing what they have had added to the vampire mythology or thereabouts or, in the case of Dracula, how it might have been viewed by different levels of the society it was published in. Other texts are examined in lesser detail, such as the 1987 film The Lost Boys, but these often form support for Williamson's analysis of the three main texts
I found this section the most interesting and wanted more exploration of different texts and representations of the vampire in fiction. While Williamson's examination of the vampire throughout these texts suggested a shift from the vampire-as-monster to the vampire-as-hero, the monstrous interpretation of the vampire still exists, seen in the likes of The Historian and The Passage . I also found her assertion that Dracula is no longer central to the vampire figure somewhat strange as Dracula is indelibly entwined with the vampire legend. In addition, I also wouldn't have minded if some time was spent tracing the origins of the vampire in folklore and mythology.
The exploration of the vampire fandom(s) was interesting and insightful, though I never knew how much drama Anne Rice attracted. O.o The text shows its age in the discussions of online fandom (and in the lack of mention of the infamous Twilight, but who cares about that). While I did enjoy getting a glimpse of internet fan sites in the early days and pre-internet fandom, I was also very aware that some discussion and arguments made would need to be revised heavily to be still relevant to today's concepts of fandom.
When all is said and done, The Lure of the Vampire is a revealing book peeling back the curtain to get a glimpse at what makes the image of the vampire so fascinating to Western society. My personal preference would be to see more emphasis on vampire fiction and less on the fandoms produced by this fiction. Despite this, Williamson provides an intriguing exploration of the vampire figure. (less)
So I found this to be a fun, short read. It didn't quite live up to the show or capture the characters perfectly well, but then I expected it would di...moreSo I found this to be a fun, short read. It didn't quite live up to the show or capture the characters perfectly well, but then I expected it would disappoint on that front. I really liked the plot ideas, but how it was executed felt a bit, well, juvenile to me. I wanted it a bit darker and mature. I felt a bit annoyed that there were a few loose ends left, though that may be because it's the second book in a trilogy. I really loved the way Michalowski depicted the relationship between George, Mitchell and Annie though. (less)