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The House of the Vampire by George Sylvester…
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The House of the Vampire is a truly strange book -- purportedly one of the first "psychic vampire" novels, where the vampire does not feed on blood but rather the creative "energy" of its victims. Reginald Clarke, adored and respected within his community, is a predator that encourages the young men under his tutelage to create beautiful masterpieces which he then steals -- before they can be produced. The images and words are taken from their minds, and Reginald grows stronger and more confident with each feeding. When he steals the idea for a successful play from a young man, his secret begins to be discovered, and there is an extremely interesting homoerotic subtext to this that is difficult to overlook. The power dynamic between Reginald and his subjects is horrifying, and the helplessness he creates is even moreso.

This isn't your typical vampire story, but it evokes a lot of the same themes that the vampire reader has become familiar with -- and branches off in some different directions that you might not expect. Having grown used to the standard bloodthirsty-monster version of the vampire, I didn't think I would enjoy The House of the Vampire very much, but I actually found it really refreshing and fun to dissect. It's a short book and the writing isn't very dense, so if you consider yourself a vampire fan but haven't gotten around to this one yet, you should do yourself a favor. ( )
1 vote vombatiformes | Apr 16, 2014 |
I’ve been over the vampire thing for a bit but every once in awhile an old school one finds me and I can’t help but read it. While looking on the Gutenberg Project for some horror recently, I found this one. Let me tell you, there’s nothing like a Victorian, Gothic, psychic vampire.

Reginald Clarke is a man everyone loves. He’s talented in every way and people crave his company. Artists flock to him and he takes in writers, musicians, and painters to his home. But something happens to all these talented people --- they soon leave him with nothing, not a trace of the talent they arrived with. A young writer staying with Reginald, and for all purposes,
under his spell, figures it out and tries to get out from under Reginald’s enchantment.

The House of the Vampire is good and creepy and the type of vampire story I want more of. There’s no blood and certainly no sparkling going on here. Let’s all take a moment to be thankful for that. It’s an interesting concept, a psychic vampire, and frankly one that’s more terrifying, in some ways, than an actual blood sucking vampire. This is someone stealing who and what you are. Taking it for himself and using it to his advantage until there’s nothing left of you. You are a shell of a human being with nothing to give or take from anyone. Think about that.

If Wikipedia is correct, this short story was written in 1907 but it feels younger than its 100 + years. ( )
  justabookreader | May 21, 2013 |
One of the first psychic vampire novels of its time - where the vampire feeds off of more than just blood - The House of the Vampire is an early classic in its genre. Republished in this new edition, this Victorian novel operates in the continuum of life and death. What has been can be again, though often terribly transformed. Energetically inventive and infused with a relish for the supernatural, especially the trappings of the dark, The House of the Vampire delivers a horror which we know does not - but none the less conceivably might - exist and threaten ourselves. Blurring the lines between fact and fiction, The House of the Vampire is considered a classic among Victorian Gothic stories. He felt the presence of the hand of Reginald Clarke - unmistakably - groping in his brain as if searching for something that had still escaped him. He tried to move, to cry out, but his limbs were paralysed. When, by a superhuman effort, he at last succeeded in shaking off the numbness that held him enchained, he awoke just in time to see a figure, that of a man, disappearing in the wall that separated Reginald's apartments from his room....

http://www.bauuinstitute.com/Publishing/HouseOfTheVampire.html ( )
1 vote flashgordon | Nov 2, 2008 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
George Sylvester Viereckprimary authorall editionscalculated
Viereck, George Sylvestermain authorall editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0982046707, Paperback)

One of the first psychic vampire novels of its time - where the vampire feeds off of more than just blood - The House of the Vampire is an early classic in its genre. Republished in this new edition, this Victorian novel operates in the continuum of life and death. What has been can be again, though often terribly transformed. Energetically inventive and infused with a relish for the supernatural, especially the trappings of the dark, The House of the Vampire delivers a horror which we know does not - but none the less conceivably might - exist and threaten ourselves. Blurring the lines between fact and fiction, The House of the Vampire is considered a classic among Victorian Gothic stories. He felt the presence of the hand of Reginald Clarke - unmistakably - groping in his brain as if searching for something that had still escaped him. He tried to move, to cry out, but his limbs were paralysed. When, by a superhuman effort, he at last succeeded in shaking off the numbness that held him enchained, he awoke just in time to see a figure, that of a man, disappearing in the wall that separated Reginald's apartments from his room.... George Sylvester Viereck (1884 - 1962), remembered today chiefly for his contributions to fantasy literature, was born in Germany and emigrated to the United States with his family at age 11. He was editor of the magazine The Fatherland, and author of Confessions of a Barbarian and Glimpses of the Great.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:00 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

German-born author George Sylvester Viereck was a fascinating character who palled around with some of the most influential figures of his age, only to alienate many of these friends later as he devolved into strident German nationalism during World War I and World War II. His groundbreaking work The House of the Vampire is one of the first horror novels to delve into the psychic and emotional aspects of vampirism, lending a measure of psychological suspense to the story.… (more)

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