Saturday, May 7, 2011

Coven of Vampires book review

Look up Brian Lumley if you never heard of him, the guy is a walking horror library, I remember seeing his Necroscope series on my dad's shelves as I grew up in Europe and his name seared into my mind until I finally started reading him as an adult, good stuff horror fans!

Coven of Vampires by Brian Lumley

4.0 out of 5 stars Nibble nibble, drip drip...

I don’t get to read short stories often as I really love long books but this has a few tales that really stood out in my mind, I read this over two months ago and had proper time to digest and after all that time my favorites are still the ones that stand out the most. Two of the stories should be made into full length books, well in my imaginary haven I guess, one is about a mysterious science loving guy who lives on a fancy little Greek island who knows more about deep fish than anyone, an eccentric millionaire with a secret though, the pouring heat from above adds a realistic layer to the story, the guy sweats non-stop and tells the reporter who was lucky enough to get to his island the story of his life, and perhaps more than he wanted to hear. The guy is a mystery, he dates and marries the most beautiful women and models who seem to die or disappear randomly while guzzling a green algae drink brought by his maid who looks extremely shriveled up, the tale is intense and so good that I was sad to see it end. The other was about a powerful man who could kill anything with his mind and gain it’s life energy and it’s time, but he realized the more he took the more he needed, the story was so intense that I had to read it twice, so original that I had to share it with a friend at work the day after I read it, I enjoyed climbing into bed every night that week and reading two or three vampire stories before I got to drift off and make my own head movies :P…. 

Brian Lumley is a gifted author who is passionate about his work and it shows, the stories are like jewels in a dark cave, you start each one not knowing what is going on and find a way to this dazzling tale that will make you remember it for weeks and months to come. They are strong and interesting, and each one is very different from the last one and there is over a dozen of them here for the taking, a nice book to read before bed or to keep in your bag for a tasty dose of adrenaline, and I like how each is set in a different decade, it goes from ancient to modern without missing a beat and this isn’t about some boring traditional vampires either, you won’t know what is nibbling on your neck when you read this until it’s too late and you’re totally absorbed and indifferent to the world outside of it. This is a great collection of vampire tales that are all different so this will sure please a wide array of readers and perhaps introduce a few to Lumley who has dipped his fingers into the macabre so well in the past few decades, enjoy!

- Kasia S.

Brian Lumley collections reading order

The Caller of the BlackThe Horror at Oakdeene: And OthersGhoul Warning: And Other OmensThe House of Cthulhu: And Other Tales of the Primal LandReturn of the Deep Ones: And Other Mythos TalesThe Compleat Khash: Never a Backward GlanceDagon's Bell: And Other DiscordsHrossak!: Tales of the Primal Land: Volume TwoShad: Tales of the Primal Land: Volume ThreeFruiting Bodies and Other FungiThe Second Wish and Other ExhalationsA Coven of VampiresThe Whisperer and Other VoicesBeneath the Moors and Darker PlacesThe Brian Lumley CompanionBrian Lumley's FreaksScreaming Science FictionHaggopian: And Other StoriesThe Nonesuch and Others


M. said...

That's a tasty treat to have all the story collections here in one spot! Lumely was first published by Arkham House, the publishing house founded to keep Lovecraft's work in print :)

The story about the man guzzling algae shakes sounds like it's got some Lovey-influence. Dagon, anyone? Innsmouth, anyone?

That second story, it sounds like an example of "psychic vampirism". Those kinds of stories are so much more interesting to me than the basic flesh/blood type.

Loved the line that his stories are like jewels in a dark cave - visual and poetic. It sang!

Kasia S. said...

Thanks so much, I see you read them too! Dagon is spot on man, good comparison.