The story rings true, all the expectations of an old fashioned horror tale are met. Unlike the old books, this story held nothing back. The macabre was presented to the adult reader in an honest manner while adhering to the conventions of a real Gothic horror. Great scenes and descriptions of churches and Paris streets, developed characters with love interests and secrets, and let's not forget the heroes and villains who jump off the page. Don't read this book in the dark. I first read the short story Carmilla by J. Le Fanu since the author did get inspiration from that short story and used the character General Spielsdorf, as his protagonist, and the Karnstein brother and sister as antagonists.
The author, William Garrett Evans, breathed new life into these characters and submerged them into a twisting plot that kept a good pace. The horrors were over the top, just the way we like our Gothic fiction.
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I will begin the second book in the series, compelled to see what develops for General Theodore Spielsdorf and his new associates introduced at the end of the first tale. It suggests an even deeper, mystery with much more to come. I'm looking forward to reading book two. Sep 27, Paddy rated it it was amazing Shelves: This story is based around a Victorian vampire story called "Camilla", a story I personally hadn't heard of before. Gothic vampire stories are right up my street and I really enjoyed this book, but what I think is very clever is how the story becomes interwoven with the characters from Bram Stokers Dracula.
This is the first book of two the second being "the devils nosferatu", and I was glad that I didn't have to wait for it to be published to continue the story. If you have similar taste in book This story is based around a Victorian vampire story called "Camilla", a story I personally hadn't heard of before. If you have similar taste in books to me I can't see you not enjoying it, a reinvention of two classic tales that are moulded together but read like they were meant to be that way.
Not for teens, but rather adults for. Not read it alone at night! William rated it it was amazing Jul 07, Kirsi Mannonen rated it it was amazing Aug 14, William rated it it was amazing Apr 22, Martin Marshall rated it it was amazing Jan 11, Open Preview See a Problem? Thanks for telling us about the problem.
Return to Book Page. Preview — In a Glass Darkly by J. In a Glass Darkly by J. This remarkable collection of stories, first published in , includes Green Tea, The Familiar, Mr. The five stories are purported to be cases by Dr. Hesselius, a 'metaphysical' doctor, who is willing to consider the ghosts both as real and as hallucinatory obsessions. The reader's doubtful anxiety mimics th This remarkable collection of stories, first published in , includes Green Tea, The Familiar, Mr. The reader's doubtful anxiety mimics that of the protagonist, and each story thus creates that atmosphere of mystery which is the supernatural experience.
This new annotated edition includes an introduction, notes on the text, and explanatory notes. The Familiar is a revision of The Watcher ; Mr. Paperback , Oxford World's Classics , pages. Published October 7th by Oxford University Press first published To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
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Jun 04, Jeffrey Keeten rated it really liked it Shelves: It seems to me, only, that our illusions change as we go on; but, still, we are madmen all the same. Every time my eyes inadvertently met his gaze I felt like I was being mesmerized. When not reading the book I kept the book facing down. I read this book predominately in the middle of the night. I "What a fool I was! I go through restless sleeping patterns that wake me up sometime between 1: The only way I can get back to sleep is to sit and read in the antique rocking chair, under the glass balled chandelier, in what was once my dining area, but has been converted to a reading nook.
I guess you know where our priorities are. Everyone knows that Victorian Gothic horror is best read after midnight anyway. The book contains five stories all based around the posthumous papers of Dr. It turns out the Doctor has a strong belief in the occult, and in this time period provided an unusually sympathetic ear to those with diabolic tales of terror.
Green Tea An English clergyman named Jennings confides to Hesselius that he is being followed by a demon in the form of an ethereal monkey, invisible to everyone else, which is trying to invade his mind and destroy his life. The creature escalates the level of it's attacks and exponentially increases the level of terror experienced by Jennings. The Familiar A sea captain, living in Dublin, is stalked by a sinister dwarf who reminds him of the nefarious parts of his past he'd best left forgotten.
To escape his stalker he becomes housebound, but the stress of the presence of the dwarf is replaced with voices accusing him of deeds most foul. Mr Justice Harbottle You can condemn them, but they don't stay gone. Judge Harbottle finds out that karma is landing on his sanctimonious ass in the form of vengeful spirits.
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The Room in the Dragon Volant A naive young Englishman, the recent recipient of a large inheritance, finds himself enamored with a lovely and mysterious Countess. She is married to a bastard of a Count and makes it clear to our young hero that she wishes to be saved. With a few swishes of her tail feathers and a few words of endearment the Countess weaves a bit of spellbound madness into our young hero who finds himself in dire straits about to be buried ALIVE. One of my favorites of the five. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that this was not only one of the earliest vampire stories, but was also published 25 years before Bram Stoker's classic.
Stoker, must have read it, and used some of the atmosphere of this tale in his own work. I was also shocked to read a story from involving some fairly explicit allusions to lesbian vampire desires. I would highly recommend reading this story if you don't have time to read the whole collection. Recently during a night of hell, fighting a pinched nerve under the left scapula. I found I could not concentrate enough to read because of the constant rolling waves of pain, so I queued up The Vampire Lovers on Netflix Instant.
I wanted something I did not have to pay much attention to and this fit the bill perfectly. Ingrid Pitt is starkers at several points in the movie. She was almost a Bond Girl. To quote from the book Ingrid Pitt, Queen of Horror: My hopes of seeing some real connections to the Le Fanu plot were dashed. I was at times laughing out loud despite being dazed with pain at the number of times the director Roy Ward Baker managed to slip a loose breast s into the plot. Best watched stoned on pain of course not any of that other stuff you youngsters are into.
His writing style reminded me of one of my favorite writers Robert Louis Stevenson. These tales are lit with a slow burning fuse. Le Fanu has an easy writing style that carries you along, and before you know it your pulse rate is creeping upward. At several points while reading these tales I suddenly had an uncontrollable urge to look over my shoulder. Reading these tales at night, in a quiet house, really helped create the right ambiance to appreciate them.
One night I heard a sharp rapping on glass that sounded like a bony fingernail. I went to the glass doors to the backyard half expecting to see some spectral demon. I then heard the noise again and discovered a thermometer had come loose in the fish tank and became trapped in the filter and the bubbles were knocking it against the glass. Bony fingernail was my first thought? It gives you an idea of how these old Gothic tales still have the juice to get the mind stirring. If you wish to see more of my most recent book and movie reviews, visit http: View all 50 comments.
Mar 22, Shovelmonkey1 rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: This is a great book of short stories Green Tea, The Familiar, Mr Justice Harbottle, The Room in Le Dragon Volant and Carmilla all linked by the fact that they are case studies brought to the attention of Dr Martin Hesselius who investigates medical cases with a hint of the paranormal. All of the stories are quite gripping and in some places a tiny bit scary although none of them sent me screaming into the night.
The best one is Carmilla which is possibly better than Dracula and pips the Count to the publication post by 25 years. This book gets 5 stars for presenting "cheese-free" horror, although I might deduct half a star for The Room in Le Dragon Volant as the only supernatural thing in that story is how scarily gullible some men can be at the presentation of a well turned ankle and a pretty face. This gets into my top 20 from the books list. View all 3 comments.
Reviewing the stories as I go because I have a bad habit of forgetting what individual stories are about by the time I finish the whole. Clergyman followed by a demonic monkey that only he can see as the result of all the green tea he consumes. Said "monkey" tries to convince the clergyman to hurt himself and others. What I got out of this story: I drink a lot of green tea; I am fucked. A sea-captain is followed, not by a demonic monkey, but by a dwarf who reminds him of his pa Reviewing the stories as I go because I have a bad habit of forgetting what individual stories are about by the time I finish the whole.
A sea-captain is followed, not by a demonic monkey, but by a dwarf who reminds him of his past. Eventually he starts having auditory hallucinations. Not too unlike Green Tea , actually, but not as interesting to me. The word countenance was used an awful lot in 19th-century literature. It was used multiple times a page in my previous read, Wagner the Werewolf , and it popped up a couple times in this particular story.
It makes me twitch now. A mean ol' judge is harassed by vindictive ghosts and he has a dream that one he passed judgment on in the past condemns him to death. Some nice chilling moments. They have a habit of coming back. The Room in Le Dragon Volant: A young Englishman in way over his head in France tries to save a beautiful Countess from her unfortunate situation and hilarity bad things ensue! This is a mystery story, unlike the first three stories in this collection, making me think of both Edgar Allan Poe and The Mystery of the Yellow Room.
A long build up that is ultimately worth it but I found myself wanting it to end quite a few times. Secondary message I got out of this story: Just mind your own business because bad things happen when you worry about other people. My favorites in this collection were the first and final stories, because demonic monkeys and lesbian vampires are much cooler than some stuffy judge, a dwarf, or being buried alive. I have the same lackluster feeling now at the end of this as I did after reading Uncle Silas - like, good stuff, but it could have been better.
While totally unnecessary, I liked the way the stories were loosely held together by this whole Dr. But, again, I wish more had been done with the good doctor as well.
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I will say that Le Fanu could turn a phrase or two. This was a great addition to lateth century supernatural literature. Carmilla predates Dracula by almost 20 years but Dracula is, as far as I'm concerned a more solid story. I know, I know, but it's so boring. Whatever, I disagree with you, but I get your point. If you want a gothic vampire story without wanting to plod through Dracula , you might as well read Carmilla.
Sometimes oldies are, in fact, goodies. Le Fannu is one of the fathers parents, I should say, before Mary Shelley whacks me over the head with a lightning rod of the Gothic horror and Gothic fantasy genres. And it's quite clear he deserves his place in the speculative hall of fame. The short stories of ghosts and apparitions in the book are quite ordinary - for the modern reader. But if one takes into account that they were written before ghost stories became a staple and a cliche, they could be Sometimes oldies are, in fact, goodies.
But if one takes into account that they were written before ghost stories became a staple and a cliche, they could be scary, unsettling, novel, and, actually scandalous.
Prayer and faith do no impart grace? Belief and holy symbols do not offer rescue? The last story is even more blatantly risquee, in its portrayal of the beautiful, innocent-seeming, idol of womanhood The only thing truly detracting from this work is the writing, which is, while not at all poor, nevertheless very much a staple of its time, and as such can be occasionally tedious to an extreme. Nevertheless, my judgment is that the boring patches are worth the slog, in order to at least become acquainted with what is certainly one of the foundations of supernatural genres today.
Perhaps if we put a pretty apple on the cover we could convince fans of Twilight to try it out, instead? Who knows, it could pave the way to true world improvement. View all 4 comments. Oct 01, Robert rated it liked it Shelves: Five supernatural or are they? This story is eclipsed in fame by the last, Carmilla, despite it really being not as good; that's what feeding Victorians with such sensations as lesbian vampires wi Five supernatural or are they? This story is eclipsed in fame by the last, Carmilla, despite it really being not as good; that's what feeding Victorians with such sensations as lesbian vampires will do!
The story builds a tremendous mood of Goffick mystery and horror only to blow it with the denouement which has no tension at all.
Within the Glass Darkly by William Gareth Evans
The other stories are less memorable but not bad and I would suggest that any fan of the Goffick or supernatural really needs to read this collection. Arguably the first great ghost story collection in the Western canon. There is one weaker entry, The Room in the Dragon Volant which is really a gothic mystery not a ghost story, albeit a pretty good one. The chump protagonist Beckett is a classic example of being led by the dick, Victorian sensibilities aside. Carmilla is the first great vampire story, not to mention having a strong lesbian theme that somehow sneaked right by Victorian censors.
Green Tea and The Familiar, the latter a story of s Arguably the first great ghost story collection in the Western canon. I'm looking forward to reading book two. Evans takes the reader on a dark journey into the streets of 19th Paris France. His descriptions and character developments are absolutely phenomenal. Being stated, the story itself is incredible in which Evans clearly defines a different origin story for the beasts. This is the first vampire novel I've read Had Bram Stoker read 'Within The Glass Darkly' he would have understood the creature he had such a major part in creating much better.
This is the first vampire novel I've read the improves upon the original. It is an essential read for anyone even remotely interested in vampire lore. Let's face it, Vampire novels are in the pits right now. With the recent abomination of the Twilight series, vampires have gone from, to quote the infamous Dracula, "children of the night," to the sparkling glitter monsters of Enter "Within a Glass Darkly," a novel that decides to take us even before the events of Bram Stoker's "Dracula," where our heroes know very little of the monsters that prey on them at night, and the monsters are actually monsters.
This does not mean the book is heartless, far from it. The characters are developed in such a way that you feel a wonderful sense of connection with each of their trials as well as an aspiration to save them yourself as the dangers loom closer and closer to them. The wonderful dream-like feel of the book also aids to the metaphysical qualities normally given to vampires by ancient texts, which seems far more fitting than the modern day takes on the creatures.
The book is not long, which is probably its only drawback, as by the time we get to the climax you are desperate for more, yet it sets itself up beautifully for more book to follow in the future. And one last plug, for those who are in love with the character of Dracula, a wonderful homage is paid to him throughout the second half of the book, and it is almost as if his shadow looms over the pages whenever he is mentioned.
A brilliant strategy by the author. This novel is a very refreshing look on these legends of yore, and finally bring us back to a more nightmarish time, which, for vampires, seems to feel right at home! Good story, interesting characters. A nice take on the vampire genre. See all 8 reviews. Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more about Amazon Giveaway.
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