Carmilla by J. Sheridan Le Fanu, dramatised by Robin Brooks

I have an obsessive need to multi-task, to the point that I don’t feel comfortable wasting time on mobile games if I don’t also have an audiobook on the go at the same time. Something about the illusion of productivity makes me feel better about whiling away the hours messing about on The Sims. Hence Carmilla, listened to one cold Saturday afternoon when I just couldn’t stir from my duvet and silly games. I’ve had it kicking around on my Audible app for a while, and at just over two hours long, it was the shortest thing on there.

I knew the story before going in (well, the salient points anyway… or the lesbian vampire part at least.) That didn’t detract from the listening experience. This version of Carmilla is a dramatization starring the likes of Rose Leslie and David Tennant, who deliver their scant dialogue admirably. I didn’t quite realise that ahead of time, and if I had I would probably have chosen to read the original first. Not that the dramatization wasn’t enjoyable, but when it’s such a short story, I’d rather have spent the time taking in the tale as was.

It was certainly atmospheric and entirely relevant to my interests, but there wasn’t quite enough to… sink my teeth into. I know there’s a much lauded web-series based on the book, but I can’t help thinking that Carmilla is ripe for a modern re-write.

[Read on 19 November 2016]

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