The Bloody Chamber: Angela Carter

Recently I was asked to recommend a few books that could be related to the genre of the Tim Burton. Burton’s style and imagination has always been a great inspiration to me and has motivated and enthused me to complete a number of projects that use him and his eccentric style as the main inspiration for the project. The one book that I recommended was the Bloody Chamber a set of short stories by Angela Carter. The stories are unusual and knotty with stories that links to sexual dependency and death. The stories are dark and mysterious with complex plot-lines and some of them were to murky and shadowy for me, however one really struck with me and this is the story that I will be reviewing.

I will admit that the stories are dark and ominous but they also have such interesting and knotty short stories that make the reader think and reflect. The story I want to talk about is ‘The Lady of the House of Love.’ It follows the life of a female vampire, frail and beautiful that is feeding off the lives of young men to keep her alive. The interesting plot is the beautiful vampire is revolted by her life as a vampire, feeding off the souls of the young men. Her garden is full of rows of stunning roses that feed of the bodies of the young men that she has slain. The story follows a soldier and the Countess, ‘the last bud of the poison tree that sprang from the loins of Vlad the Impaler.’ Everything about the Countess is as it should be except for her horrible reluctance for the role; “She resorts to the magic comfort of the Tarot pack and shuffles the cards, lays them out, reads them, gathers them up with a sigh, shuffles them again, constantly constructing hypotheses about a future which is irreversible,” – the cards always show the same configuration; “, death, dissolution.” Until the young officer appears anddd….. I will not spoil the rest for you!

The description of the young vampire is striking and her frail and delicate disposition is described beautifully. As a reader I felt pain of the expectations of family and the disappointment of being able to fulfil wants and dreams for the future. This short story by Carter was extremely refreshing; recently supernatural creatures predominantly vampires have been adorned and embellished so that they now lack their supernatural edge. However Carter’s story is completely different and it is unusually and curiously different. I would definitely recommend this story; it deals with desperation, hope, love and naivety. It is unusual and extraordinary in its writing and the descriptions are flawlessly constructed, definitely worth a look! Image

4 thoughts on “The Bloody Chamber: Angela Carter

  1. Vishy says:

    Nice review, Lizzy! I read this book recently and liked it. ‘The Lady of the House of Love’ was one of my favourites too. My other favourites were the title story ‘The Bloody Chamber’ and ‘Puss-In-Boots’. I also liked ‘Wolf-Alice’. I liked what you said about Carter offering a unique take on the vampire story in which the vampire doesn’t like being a vampire. Thanks for this nice review.

    • littlebookblog says:

      I think that Carter is brilliant at being slightly different and not mincing her words! She tells it how it is and that makes for brilliant reading! I loved the Bloody Chamber but not Puss in Boots as much! I thought it contrasted too much with her other stories which made it a little confusing for me! But as always the writing it brilliant in all of them! Thank you! It means so much that people enjoy my reviews! (:

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