Review – In A Glass Darkly

Cover of In A Glass Darkly by Sheridan Le FanuIn A Glass Darkly, Sheridan Le Fanu

I’ve been meaning to read this for ages, so hurrah that I finally got round to it. It’s a classic of gothic/horror stories, though to the jaded modern eye, it might not be that creepy at all. Of the stories, I liked ‘Carmilla’ and ‘The Room in the Dragon Volant’ the most — the mystery in the latter spun out satisfyingly, even if I did sort of guess how it would end. ‘Carmilla’ is mostly famous, I think, because it’s an early vampire story and because there’s a lot of homoerotic content. It’s not the most gripping reading, and the ending is pretty anti-climatic: there’s no real confrontation, but quite a tame denouement with a fairly toothless (ha) vampire.

Le Fanu was good at that sense of unease/uncanniness stuff, even if it seems like weak (or green? the jokes never stop in this review) tea now. The frame story about the Doctor seemed a little pointless to me, but I think it was probably written as a way to make it a little more creepy — as if these stories were real and collected by a real person because of their topics. I’ve always thought it a pretty good device, ever since Animorphs used to give me that moment of doubt as a kid.

Rating: 3/5

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4 thoughts on “Review – In A Glass Darkly

  1. You pretty much nailed exactly how I felt. I liked the amusingly naive/daft hero of the Dragon Volant.
    You may find this an amusing watch:

    I did, at least.

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