Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Varney the Vampire

The Official Blurb

Originally published as a penny dreadful from 1845 until 1847, when it first appeared in book form, Varney the Vampyre is a forerunner to vampire stories such as Dracula, which it heavily influenced.

Flora Bannersworth is attacked in her own room in the middle of the night, and although her attacker is seemingly shot dead, the body is nowhere to be found. The discovery of two small bite marks on Flora’s neck leads Mr Marchdale, an old friend of the family, to the conclusion that she was bitten by a vampire. While Flora recovers, her brother Henry and Mr Marchdale begin their hunt for the vampire. Their suspicions soon fall on the mysterious Sir Francis Varney, who has just bought an old abbey near Bannersworth Hall, and who bears an uncanny resemblance to Marmaduke Bannersworth, a long-dead ancestor of the family.

My Review

Hmmm... This was a long long story. I've been listening to it for a long time. the reason it took so long was that it didn't really engage me. I shot through the first 10 chapters or so but then my listening slowed up.

The problem was that I couldn't identify with the characters. This is partially because of the writting style. Which I can happily put down to the serialized nature of the stories source. Yet the characters weren't really ... memorable. That's not to say I couldn't keep track, but rather they didn't appeal. One or two of them came across as rather pathetic and others as plain stupid.

So is this a negative review. Well not really, I did get to the end which is a plus, one of the characters, a ships captain, kept me laughing and as the story progressed I actually found what sympathies I had, were for the "evil" vampire rather than victims"

It's a fair listen and worth trying to see if it appeals to you.

Reading 2/3
Production 2/3
Story 1/3

Total Score 5/9

Download it from Librivox

Listen to the first chapter