I mean, not me personally.
It’s just I’m reading Varney the Vampire. And this wish for death seems to be a reasonable reaction to the crazy stuff happening to these dudes. Varney the Vampire is a Victorian “penny dreadful.”
Yes, I bought it because of the title and the realization that it was an old school trash novel.
I love the idea that although it was the crap fiction of its day, AND it’s still around. These two facts makes me think that Varney the Vampire is sure to be the best of the old school trash books. And as such…I find it delightful to visit there. I love escapist fiction. Though, I often read the traditional classics, I LOVE escapist fiction.
Just so much.
And, it turns out I have a bit more reading time (in print) lately that normal. This is because BoyBlue (who is 2) can get out of his crib. So I spend from 7:00pm to ?? reading and sitting outside his room and saying in a growly voice, “Lay Down!” every time he tries his trick of throwing his blanket out, becoming histrionic, or just kung-fuing to freedom. Then I get to read EVEN MORE while I bounce TinyPants who is also as fussy as can be. So…kindle in one hand, aspirin or baby in the other.
Anyhoo, I’ve noticed as BoyBlue 360s in his crib in pure fury that his emotional depth is like unto the tolerance of the Bannerworths from Varney the Vampire. Essentially, they’re toddlers in adult form. Fighting vampires.
Now, in order to give you an idea of my abilities to deal with the crazy that is my house, I *just* realized that Sir Frances Varney in the book is the vampire that keeps attacking the Bannerworths. I’m a sleuth. Sherlock Holmes has nothing on me.
If I’m right, good ole Varney was released serially in the newspaper. It certainly reads like episodes of a soap opera. And then, with my amazing sleuthing abilities, I realized that serialized novels = first form soaps. Especially the pulp ones. Maybe not so much Wives and Daughters, etc.
I don’t even know what I’m saying anymore. Except this book makes me smile. The characters occasionally call each other by their full names. They would rather be dead than have to deal with the vampire, but (so far) won’t leave behind their family home in order to escape him. They fly off the handle, speak formally, faint at the drop of a hat (or scratch of a vampire) and quote Shakespeare without reference to the bard. Not sure why. Because it makes them seem smarter? Did they do that back then, or did most Victorians run around quoting Shakespeare? Who knows?
But, Varney the Vampire feels spooky and fun. Like, I think, The Mystery of Udolpho* was supposed to feel, but never did for me. But Varney does. It pulls on the same part of me as The Haunting of Hill House** did, but without the same brilliance.
On a side note, I’ve read at least a few hours of it. Normally, I’d have finished a book in that time frame, and I’m 6% through. So it’s a beast of a book.
Which is ok with me. Because it makes me smile.
* The Mystery of Udolpho is an early gothic novel mocked in Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen, and that is why I read it.
**The Haunting of Hill House is by Shirley Jackson and is utterly brilliant. If you wan’t to read an amazing gothic style book, read that one.
ps I apologize if this blog is too full of references to obscure books. I’m not trying to sound like a douche. I just read by utter whim. Hence reading the book mocked in Northanger Abbey and a book called Bulldog Drummond. My reading style can only be called kooky.