Sunday, September 12, 2010

Chapter 51: In Which Conveniently, No One Gets Hurt

Previously in Varney the Vampire: The mob try to attack Varney by knocking on the door.

I know I've been picking on chapter titles too often lately. But really, I was surprised by the title of Chapter 51 (THE ATTACK UPON THE VAMPYRE'S HOUSE. -- THE FURY OF THE ATTACK. -- THE FORCING OF THE DOORS, AND THE STRUGGLE.). With all the trouble trying to knock on the door in the previous chapter, I'd have thought it would take them until at least Chapter 52 to figure out that they should try to force it.

The mob, despite being my favorite character for a while, has quickly fallen from my favor. Oh, how fickle the minds of readers (and the characterization of JMR!). At any rate, I rather like the person who's opening the door and mocking them after their ineffectual attempts to open it: "You had better cease that kind of annoyance."

So he tries to scare the mob off with a gun, but conveniently can't aim well enough to kill anyone. Then there's a needless repeat of the mob's conversation from earlier in the chapter ("Let's kill the vampire so he doesn't suck our blood while we sleep!" "Hurrah!").

Then the mob actually makes a successful attack, and I'm not sure where their sudden competence comes from. Although conveniently none of the servants get killed, just knocked out -- and you know what, I'm finding JMR's tone a little weird in these "conveniently no one got hurt!" lines. I mean, with all his previous tut-tutting about how awful and immoral the mob was, you'd think killing innocent humans on the way to a vampire would be a good way to show how evil they were. But for some reason JMR abruptly switched to an (occasionally funny, I admit) comedy in the previous chapter, and once again I'm stuck not quite knowing what his point is and where he's going.

But in the next chapter Varney actually converses with the mob, so that should be something, at least.

Chapter 52: In Which Varney Makes a Cameo

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