Charnel House Blues: The Vampyre's Tale
A view of the vampire through folklore, history, literature and film.
A view of vampire culture through the eyes of Lord Ruthven - the first vampire in the literary world from John Polidori's 'The Vampyre'. Written as faction, Lord Ruthven rarely appears in vampiric anthologies and has never been filmed - neither has he ever been vanquished!
Click on the circles below to see more reviews
Carys Llewellyn : Freelance writer and book reviewer Just when you think that everything’s been written about vampires, along comes Suzanne Ruthven’s ‘Charnel House Blues: The Vampyre’s Tale’ giving us the most autocratic, attractive, enticing, seductive, witty, literary and discerning revenant of them all. Lord Ruthven isn’t, of course, an original creation. He’s the result of that famous ghost story challenge from the Villa Diadoti but this author puts an up-to-date ‘faction’ spin on the story and introduces us to this undead (as opposed to ‘undying’) culture through the eyes the first vampire in the literary world. We know from John Polidori’s description that his Lordship is handsome but on other matters we must allow him to speak for himself: “It’s a sorry fact, but vampires aren’t what they used to be. I should know because I’m the last remaining member of my species from the ancient world; although if I’m brutally honest, this longevity is as much the product of becoming the alter idem of that club-footed Casanova, George Gordon, the sixth Lord Byron than any fortitude on my part.” He’s discerning to the point of snobbery often referring to the Eastern European vampire as ‘the Balkan bloodsuckers’: “For the true vampire’s taste, blood should be savoured like fine wine, which means of course, that we do not go on a nightly rampage killing indiscriminately. The prey should be carefully selected and stalked with a hunter’s eye – for who knows what trash that lithesome lovely may be using to pollute her body behind closed doors. An unspoiled Group A RH Positive should only be consumed once a month and savoured, whilst a weekly intake of an inferior drug or drink laced concoction would be the equivalent of binge-drinking courtesy of Oddbins!” Not to mention highly seductive: “I was considered to be fascinating and exotic, and since the touch of the vampire allowed for seduction without dishonour, I was able to pleasure those young ladies of noble birth in secret. The vampire’s kiss is not always deadly, and the smallest sip can be likened to savouring a glass of fine wine, without the urge to consume the whole bottle.” With bored, literary distain we are taken on a cloak-swirling tour of vampire fact, film and fiction and given some strange insights into the way an Old World revenant views itself and the modern vampire cult that keeps it alive and flourishing. I’d invite his Lordship to dinner any time! ~ Carys Llewellyn, Amazon and Goodreads
5.0 out of 5 stars Lord Ruthven is a vampire who is intelligent, worldly and terribly adult, October 11, 2014 By Jan Malique This review is from: Charnel House Blues: The Vampyre's Tale (Paperback) The vampire, or vampyre, has haunted the corridors of our collective unconscious for as long as humanity has existed. Or it seems that way. A "bad and dangerous" creature who has been dark muse to generations of writers and spinners of fantasy within the cinematic world in modern times. One might question the fervour of our desire where this entity is concerned. The emotions are complex and often conflicting, blood and sex inextricably wrapping us in an unending embrace. What of the voice of the objects of our attention? Many have spoken but in this offering Suzanne has allowed an exemplar of an ancient lineage to further enlighten us about the true origins of his kind, correcting fallacies in laconic tones whilst doing so. Lord Ruthven is a vampire who is intelligent, worldly and terribly adult. He is not without humour, commenting dryly that he has "now become a 'genre' which often causes me to smile." Who else but a vampire to reveal the truth of the haunted creature hiding in the shadows. He invites us into a darkened library to sit and listen well, his erudite musings (and as such Suzanne's) covering a huge breadth of analysis, commentary and personal insights into the the vampire as fact and fiction. This book is a veritable storehouse of information for the discerning reader, restoring the "Gothic" to its rightful place.The icon is stripped bare of the accretions of popular culture and clothed with finery and darkness. There is much that I had forgotten and this book was a timely reminder of why I enjoyed the gothic charms of the vampire. Enjoy dear readers! ~ Jan Malique, amazon.com and amazon.co.uk
Customer reviews from Amazon.com (9) and amazon co.uk (10) plus 645 entries for the Goodreads' Giveaway in March. ~ Suzanne Ruthven, Amazon
A really different and interesting book on vampires. I very much enjoyed reading this as, although it is presenting information on vampire legend and mythology, the way that Suzanne Ruthven has written it, through the eyes of a vampire, gives it that compelling intensity which is the signature trade mark of all good vampiric fiction. It also permits analysis of certain points and how they have been handled in literature and film in a personal way, through the character's eyes, which makes it fresh and interesting and avoids the pitfalls of 'dry' academic analysis. Along with that, the author also provides lots of information on castles and geographical locations which any 'groupie' could visit as well as some obscure historical facts. A first-class book. ~ Krystina Kellingley, Cosmic Egg Books