Books · Read in 2023 · Reviews

(audio) Book Thoughts: Carmilla (J Sheridan Le Fanu)

An eerie and easy classic to read

★★★★☆ – CALSPIE 7.93

Title: Carmilla
Author: J Sheridan Le Fanu
Rose Leslie, Phoebe Fox, David Tennant, etc (dramatised)
 Classic / Horror
First published: 1872
Edition: Audio & Paperback, published by The House of Promegranate Press

In an isolated castle deep in the Austrian forest, Laura leads a solitary life with only her ailing father for company. Until one moonlit night, a horse-drawn carriage crashes into view, carrying an unexpected guest – the beautiful Carmilla. So begins a feverish friendship between Laura and her mysterious, entrancing companion. But as Carmilla becomes increasingly strange and volatile, prone to eerie nocturnal wanderings, Laura finds herself tormented by nightmares and growing weaker by the day…


I was hesitant to pick this audio book, as it was a dramatization and I was worried it would stray too far from the source material, but I liked the voice actors a lot and it was free with my Audible subscription, so I took the gamble.

On comparison to the paperback I own, which I read large bits of to compare, for the most part it was the same, but there was more dialogue in the audio plus the ending was a little more dramatic (just a bit more after the final sentence of the book, which is there pretty much word for word). So I will judge the ending in the paperback rather than the audio, though the little that the audio added kind of made it more compelling!

For a classic it was very easy to follow. It is not dense at all and quite eerie as it should be! You pretty much know from the beginning what is going on and you’re just waiting for the characters to catch on. In that respect it is not a edge-of-your-seat kind of story and there is mystery to it.

Dracula is the most well-known vampire story from this time, but this one pre-dates it and is much easier to read I think. It’s a good short horror story that would make a great Halloween read.

I enjoyed the audio, though it was a bit overacted at times and the sound effects were a bit grating at times, but the story itself I enjoyed quite a bit.

4 out of 5 stars



  • Characters: 8
  • Ambience: 8.5
  • Language: 8
  • Story: 8
  • Pacing: 7.5
  • Interest: 7.5
  • Enjoyment: 8

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s