A glimpse behind the curtain

Now, of course, we are supposed to feel as if we are somehow set apart from our fellow Man. That is a given in most Barnum statements. What other people get up to and how they think is a mystery. Now and then though you get a glimpse behind the curtain.

I had one yesterday in Waterstone’s. There were two sections that took up a hefty chunk of the store’s shelf space, one labelled Dark Fantasy the other Dark Romance. Vampires of course. But not creepy Count Orlock vampires. Modern, sexy, gothic, misunderstood succubi and incubi; all brooding looks, fangs, cleavage and six packs. Anne Rice and Stephanie Meyer vampires.

It all means something of course. Blood, death, sex, eternal life, outsiderdom, and whatever. And it’s interesting that it is primarily aimed at young women (although watching the news the other day, I was surprised to see so many older women lined up outside the premiere of the new Twilight film moaning that Robert Pattinson hadn’t turned up. Some of them were of an age that makes you wonder if they might need to have a bit of a rethink.)    

Somebody in Waterstones is clearly a bit fed up about it all. There is a table in front of the Dark displays with a pile of books under a sign proclaiming ‘There’s More to Books than Vampires.’

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