23 Following

Reading Slothfully

I was told in elementary school that I only could read at half the speed for success in college. Oh well, one benefit of slow reading is you get to live with the characters a longer period of time. I read in a vain attempt to better understand people. At my other homes, I'm known as a spouse, pop, guy in the choir, physical chemist, computer/web dilettante and child-care provider. In theory, I'm a published author, if you consider stuff like Quenching Cross Sections for Electronic Energy Transfer Reactions Between Metastable Argon Atoms and Noble Gases and Small Molecules to count as publications. I've strewn dozens of such fascinating things to the winds.

Currently reading

Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Seas
Jules Verne
The Spirit of the Border
Zane Grey
Ramona the Brave (Ramona, #3)
Beverly Cleary
The Underground Man (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard)
Ross Macdonald
Delilah of the Snows
Harold Bindloss
Mrs. Miniver
Jan Struther
Betsy-Tacy Treasury (P.S.)
Maud Hart Lovelace
A Christmas Carol
Charles Dickens
The Way Some People Die
Ross Macdonald
Envy of Angels
Matt Wallace


Carmilla - Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu
So, when I read Gerald Durrell's My Family and Other Animals, he made friends with a guy named Theo who was a naturalist, among other things. Gerry would visit Theo and talk about critters. Also, it seems, Theo had a wonderful library, one that included oodles of books about wild life, but also mysterious books by authors such as Conan Doyle and Le Fanu. Huh? I thought. Who is Le Fanu? So, of course, I had to look him up. It seems Le Fanu was a Victorian writer who wrote oodles of stories about ghosts and other super natural kinds of things.

It seems that some quarter of a century before Bram Stoker, Le Fanu wrote about vampires. These particular vampires appeared to have a rather lesbian sensibility. Whoa, why not read that? And, so I did.

Well, it's an ok story, I guess, but not really all that much my cup of tea. But, it was rather short, more like a novella. It's all about people in some mountainous, wooded place in Eastern Europe, with moldering "schlosses" and such like. Beautiful young women who have weird dreams and begin to "decline". Other beautiful young women who appear and disappear at strange times, and are generally not up and about much before mid day. If your taste goes to vampirey things, this isn't half bad. If you prefer a bit more reality in your reading, you could do better. Actually, as far as I remember, I rather liked Bram Stoker's Dracula. This, was ok, but perhaps my tastes have developed in the seven and a half years since I read Dracula. Or, perhaps Stoker's portrayal is more realistic.

Were I able to give half stars, I'd downgrade my rating to a ***-, or else a **+.