Friday 28 September 2012

The Penguin Book of Vampire Stories

Anybody in the mood for classics? As Halloween is coming, I am plugging an anthology of very scary, chilling stories (many of them at least), old classics of the horror genre: The Penguin Book of Vampire Stories. I had read it, not the whole book but some of it, a few years ago. I decided to buy it. This is the kind of anthology you want on your bookshelves and, as Halloween is coming, by your bedside. You will find The Vampyre by Polidori, Carmilla by Le Fanu, excepts from Varney the Vampire (very silly yet entertaining), Dracula's Guest from, well, the master himself (I have my own theory about this short story) and many more.I have not read them all yet, I might not read them all this coming month, but I will (re)read many. My favourite discovery so far is School for the Unspeakable by Manly Wade Wellman. It is now little known now, but a great read, especially on a cold autumn night.

Oh and for the record, I much, much prefer the earlier cover of the book.


Anonymous said...

No Twilight? What a shame;-) It sounds like a great read, a real treasure.

The Gill-Man said...

Oooooh! Gotta check this out!!!

What's your theory on Dracula's Guest??

Guillaume said...

@Anonymous-Yeah, I am not too sorry about that. These a real vampires, in all shapes and forms and colours, but they AREE vampires, not angsty teenagers: they got the bite.
@The Gill-Man-I think Dracula's Guest is basically an early draft treatment of the beginning of the novel, something that was abandoned at a later date because Stoker had a better idea of what he would write and also because it did not fit with the direction the novel was taking. There is some evidence backing this up: the short story is set in Austria, where Stoker first considered placing the residence of the Count, the Englishman character seems to have the same role as Jonathan Harker, but is not like Harker and the story has too many supernatural elements from the beginning to be the "missing first chapter" that people thought was truncated from the novel. It doesn't "stick" with the novel, because it was never meant to be part of it. I am not literary geneticist, but that's what the evidence I have leads me to think.

The Gill-Man said...

I actually completely concur. I think it's fairly obvious that it's an earlier first chapter. There's even a few bits of the finished novel that make allusion to the events in this story, which leads me to believe they are bits he didn't correct when proof-reading it down the line. I quite enjoy the tone of "Dracula's Guest", and view it as a wonderful story that compliments the full novel, even if it's not part of the narrative