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View Poll Results: Which book is going to make me afraid of the dark in October 2012?
Carmilla by J. Sheridan LeFanu 20 60.61%
Grave Robbers Wanted (No Experience Necessary) by Jeff Strand 13 39.39%
Voters: 33. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 10-03-2012, 04:15 PM   #1
WT Sharpe
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October 2012 Run-Off Vote

October 2012 Mobile Read Book Club Run-Off Vote

Help us choose a book as the October 2012 eBook for the Mobile Read Book Club by voting in this run-off poll. It will be open for 3 days, and all MobileRead members are invited to participate. The vote this month will be hidden.

We will start the discussion thread for this book on October 20th. Select from the following Two Choices:

Carmilla by J. Sheridan LeFanu
The Patricia Clark Memorial Library: ePub / Mobi / New JSWolf's newly re-formatted ePubs / New JSWolf's newly re-formatted mobiAudiobook: LibriVox
Spoiler:
Here's a description by an Amazon user:

"I live in your warm life and you shall die -die, sweetly die- into mine."

Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu's "Carmilla" is among the greatest and most influential horror stories ever told. It's a wonder that it hasn't received the mainstream acclaim and notoriety of Bram Stoker's masterpiece Dracula. The tale of a female vampire insinuating herself into a family's midst as a welcomed guest while preying upon their daughter is as timeless as any. I know what you're thinking: she's just a female version of Dracula, right? Well here's the thing about that: Carmilla was published in 1872 and predated her much more famous brother in undeath by a good 25 years. Stoker himself acknowledged the story as a primary influence on his work. So it is Dracula who owes his very existence to the queen vamp. And to this day, the novella remains a compelling read with it's deliberate pacing, first-person narration (also not unlike "Dracula"), and creative subtle horror.

One of my favorite aspects of vampire mythology is the predator who walks among us and feeds upon us in our sleep. Carmilla is the best example of this. The character devises a strategy which allows her to enter the homes of well-to-do families as an invited and welcomed guest due to circumstances which appear to be beyond her control. Using her wit beauty and charm, she becomes as a member of the family and is able to cover her tracks by playing the weak and helpless frightened little girl with odd habits which are easy to overlook. Then she slowly drains her victim night after night, savoring each feeding as one would a sexual affair while supplementing her appetite with the blood of village girls before resting in her grave and returning to her locked room before anyone is aware she has gone. Carmilla's apparent passion for her preferred victims is More then a little lesbian in it's insinuations. She intentionally seeks out beautiful young girls like her and throws herself into a deep and intimate friendship with an intensity that often alarms the object of her affection. While there is no blatant sexual inference made by the author, the innuendo is unmistakable. After all, these sorts of vampire stories are often meant to be somewhat sensual in nature and for their time were about as close as one could get to sexualized material. It's hard to picture somebody wrapping their mouth around your neck without feeling a little twinge of something at the thought. And with two women (or men) involved it's downright scandalous.

While female vampires are typically portrayed as oversexed and domineering, Carmilla stands out as a character whose greatest strength is as an active and vivacious conversationalist and a very girlish intelligent but creature capable of thinking on her feet and beating her prey to the punch. In one rather impressive passage Carmilla is greeted by a girl whom she visited and attempted to prey upon as a young child, she very quickly realizes the danger of recognition and turns the subject around by claiming happily that she once had a dream as a young girl where the same situation unfolded. This places the pressure on the victim, makes the predator seem as innocent as the prey, and gives a rather romantic and adventurous token of a shared dream between the girls to make it seem as though they were destined to meet. This is just brilliant writing. A vampire whose key attribute is her intelligence is a rare thing these days. And while I'm on the subject, the only thing more terrifying then being visited in the night as a child by a girl who vanished when the room was breached would be encountering that exact same girl -completely unchanged- as an adult. Creepy. Another fascinating little twist is that vampires in this story are only able to give their true name or else an anagrammatical pseudonym. Thus Carmilla is known by different names to different people, but all are derived from the same letters. Mircalla was her birth (and death) name, and Marcilla another alias. This is another aspect of the story that has influenced vampire lore to this day. You may be surprised at how many vampire names you read and hear are anagrams once you are aware of this.

To my knowledge, Le Fanu's masterpiece has yet to be fully captured in another medium, but the character has become a standard of vampire mythology regardless. My favorite of the many adaptations is Hammer Studio's The Vampire Lovers, where the story was highly sexualized and the character was transformed into a more intimidating and aggressive figure. It's a loose adaptation, but it's also the best. Two inferior sequels followed. An even looser adaption was Spanish grindhouse classic The Blood Spattered Bride which transformed the story into an exploitative battle of the sexes with mixed results. Carmilla has also been featured in comic books video games and anime, referenced on television, and has inspired unofficial literary and film sequels to her story. Not too shabby for a character only classic horror buffs recognize. But as with all great literary works, nothing ever fully captures the mood and grace of the story in it's purest form.

"Carmilla" is a rare tale of a vampire capable of making anybody love her, but a slave to her own obsessions. Such pleasure she takes from befriending her victims and becoming part of their lives
that she doesn't even seem to care that such habits repeated over multiple households in the same vicinity will inevitably lead to her demise. Perhaps she is just bored and starved for attention and human interaction. Her true motives for her unusual habits are never revealed; simply left to the reader to decide for themself. And while it may have been overshadowed by higher-profile contributions to the genre that were themselves inspired by this work, "Carmilla" stands tall as one of the giants among the many works of vampire fiction well over 130 years after it was published. It is available both as a stand-alone novella and as part of many short story collections including The Penguin Book of Vampire Stories, which no vampire fanatic can live without. However you get it, if you claim to be a follower of the undead you must possess this story.


Grave Robbers Wanted (No Experience Necessary) by Jeff Strand
Smashwords / Amazon / eBooks.com secure PDF
Spoiler:
Description: If you're desperate for money, searching for a little adventure, and aren't the most responsible person in the world, you can end up doing some outrageous things. Which is how Andrew Mayhem, an extremely married father of two, ends up accepting $20,000 to find a key...a key buried with a body in a shallow grave. When the body turns out to not only be still alive, but armed and dangerous, he realizes that he should have held out for more money. His simple evening of morally questionable manual labor becomes a bizarre game of wits and courage played with an unseen killer with a twisted sense of humor. It's a game that will bring him to a group of filmmakers known as Ghoulish Delights, who are hiding a secret that will test every last bit of Andrew's nerve to discover. And it's impossible to find a babysitter. (from CyberRead)

Last edited by WT Sharpe; 10-10-2012 at 02:47 PM. Reason: Added eBook.com link to Grave Robbers Wanted.
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Old 10-03-2012, 04:34 PM   #2
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It's a good choice with two very different books but I'll stick with my selection in the first poll.

Last edited by fantasyfan; 10-03-2012 at 04:37 PM.
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Old 10-03-2012, 05:30 PM   #3
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Yes, both choices look good. Carmilla, with its promise of painting a creepy and eerie atmosphere, looks right up my alley. Grave Robbers Wanted looks like a semi-dark comedy that could provide significant laughs.
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Old 10-03-2012, 08:06 PM   #4
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Please note: Graverobbers is $2.99 at Amazon for Kindle (US); no longer available at Fictionwise at all, much less multiformat.
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Old 10-03-2012, 10:13 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Tarana View Post
Please note: Graverobbers is $2.99 at Amazon for Kindle (US); no longer available at Fictionwise at all, much less multiformat.
Thanks for that. I've added the Amazon link to the first post. We've discussed in the past how the Inkmesh links aren't always the most up-to-date, but so far no one has suggested a substitute.
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Old 10-04-2012, 01:58 AM   #6
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Grave Robbers is available at Smashwords in MANY formats for $2.99. and it is actually quite dark in spite of the comic element. https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/103892
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Old 10-04-2012, 04:05 AM   #7
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Carmilla by J. Sheridan LeFanu is also available on librivox.
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Old 10-04-2012, 08:46 AM   #8
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Thanks, dreams. I've added the LibriVox link to the first post.
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Old 10-04-2012, 09:46 AM   #9
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I just checked all the links in the Inkmesh search for Graverobbers Wanted (No Experience Necessary) and not a single one actually worked properly. Please don't use Inkmesh as it doesn't work well and is so seriously obsolete. The prices are wrong and a lot of the links are wrong. If anyone is going to post links to eBooks, please make sure they actually work even if this means going to all the eBook stores manually. Also, if prices are posted, make sure they too are correct.
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Old 10-04-2012, 09:50 AM   #10
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Thanks for that. I've added the Amazon link to the first post. We've discussed in the past how the Inkmesh links aren't always the most up-to-date, but so far no one has suggested a substitute.
I have a suggestion. Do it manually. I know this is more work, but it is either that or we have a list of broken links and incorrect prices.
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Old 10-04-2012, 10:06 AM   #11
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I have a suggestion. Do it manually. I know this is more work, but it is either that or we have a list of broken links and incorrect prices.
That's way too much work for Tom. Since we're all big girls and boys, I suggest we all do it for ourselves. I agree that Inkmesh is broken and misleading and not worth the nuisance.
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Old 10-04-2012, 01:03 PM   #12
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If the Smashwords link that I posted for Grave Robbers Wanted is, for some odd reason, unacceptable then you can also head to the author's website. Smashwords does have multiple formats to chose from.

Here is Jeff Strand's site. http://jeffstrand.wordpress.com/

Here, once again, is the Smashwords link. https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/103892
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Old 10-04-2012, 01:12 PM   #13
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Since the author's site only lists Amazon and Smashwords, and since Jon said he tested the Inkmesh links and only one was working properly, I'll edit the first post to include only the Smashwords and Amazon links.

I suppose henceforth when people nominate a book, it would be best if they include links where it can be found. It's hard enough some months just keeping up with the nominations. I certainly don't have time to track down everywhere the books can are sold.

Alternately, I could leave off links altogether and let everyone do their own searches for books of interest to them.
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Old 10-04-2012, 01:17 PM   #14
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This is one month I'll be reading both choices, so whichever one wins is fine with me.
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Old 10-04-2012, 01:22 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by WT Sharpe View Post
I suppose henceforth when people nominate a book, it would be best if they include links where it can be found. It's hard enough some months just keeping up with the nominations. I certainly don't have time to track down everywhere the books can are sold.

Alternately, I could leave off links altogether and let everyone do their own searches for books of interest to them.
A link for a backcover description or some text on why we should think about reading it suffices for me.

I do my own searches since living in Canada has it's own issues. Available on Amazon is only part of the time anyway. I generally check my library first for selections. If people are interested in the posted synopsis or reason to read they will look things up and if the book is really interesting they will read it in whatever format to boot.
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