Saturday, July 24, 2010

Digression: The Vampyre

Sorry for the missed post on Wednesday. Here instead of a real update is a post about The Vampyre by David Campton, as mentioned in my sleeping pill-induced post about my vampire-related reading list. This isn't a proper review, just a few scattered thoughts on the book.

Let me first say that I don't like the Polidori's "The Vampyre" very much. I feel bad criticizing it too much, especially the plagiarism aspect, because of the circumstances surrounding it: in short, Polidori never meant for the story to be published. But the main thing for me is that it's written in that 19th century short story writing style I detest, where the story doesn't really take place in real time but in narration that glosses over the specifics of the actions -- rather like I'm reading a summary of a longer, better book.

So it feels like "The Vampyre" would be a good candidate for a novelization, and that's probably still true, but David Campton's novella isn't it. The characters are boring, Ruthven isn't terribly scary, and there's a lot of padding in the beginning of the story, before Polidori's original plotline really starts.

As for the ending -- it's not really a happy ending, which puts it a step above the other adaptations I've read (I mean, I love Der Vampyr, but seriously, not everything needs a happy ending). However, it's a stupid ending. Basically, Aubrey is able to save his sister from marrying the Earl of Marsden (i.e., Ruthven), and together they defeat the vampire by... having him accidentally trip backwards onto a fishing spear. And then they leave his body lying in the moonlight, so he recovers and escapes. So the characters can't defend themselves without deus ex machina and then are too stupid to use the deus ex machina to their advantage, hurrah!

Know of any novelizations of "The Vampyre" and are they any good? All I've seen are plays and operas, which range from okay to very good on their own and bad to meh in terms of an adaptation.


  1. As far as I'm concerned, nothing could be more boring than Twilight. I realize this is vampire heresy. But I don't care. Give me the Buffy-verse any day of the week.

    And if you want, check out my snark-filled Top Ten Hottest Male Vamps of All Time column at my site.


  2. There was a French Novel written as a sequel to The Vampyr very soon after it came out, which is now available in English.