Studies of Death

Read by Ben Tucker

(4.4 stars; 15 reviews)

Count Stanislaus Eric Stenbock was an eccentric character to say the least. Maintaining a veritable zoo on his estate populated with the likes of a reindeer and a bear, he travelled with a dog, a monkey and a life-sized doll he nicknamed "The Little Count" and which he referred to as "his son". Before his untimely death at the age of 36 of cirrhosis of the liver due to his excessive alcoholism and opium addiction, Stenbock managed to publish three slim volumes of poetry, much of which was fixated on suicide, as well as this volume of short stories, Studies of Death. This short collection of tales of death in all its various forms featuring occultism, vampires, jilted lovers and sea sprites among other things is seen as not only an early curiosity of occult and weird literature but also contains early queer themes as well, most notably in the stories "Hylas" and "The True Story of a Vampire". While one would expect much of a collection titled Studies in Death to fixate on the grim side of human nature, we do see a few peeks at death of a more hopeful nature as well, in addition to the bleak and tragic. (Summary by Ben Tucker) (1 hr 56 min)


Hylas 18:33 Read by Ben Tucker
Narcissus 16:25 Read by Ben Tucker
The Death of a Vocation 11:16 Read by Ben Tucker
Viol D'Amor 16:17 Read by Ben Tucker
The Egg of the Albatross 19:08 Read by Ben Tucker
The True Story of a Vampire 20:34 Read by Ben Tucker
The Worm of Luck 14:29 Read by Ben Tucker



(5 stars)

I was going to read it Melanie spoiled the best damn story in her opinion. So I reckon I'll finish my brandy & cigarette & ride the lightening.

(4 stars)

Well those were some slightly odd stories but that was to be expected I guess from an author who sounds so odd himself. They mostly remind one of Oscar Wilde. Some were a bit melodramatic but I enjoyed them. I liked the 'True Story of a vampire' best by far. It was probably the first story I came across where the Vampire and his victim actually seem to mutually love each other. I didn't really get why he could not have found another victim instead of killing the one he loved, but anyway, it was atmospheric and had a mix of melancholy and tenderness that was quite touching. The reader did a good job as well.

interesting tales

(5 stars)

This is a very interesting, well written, and well read. Thank you Ben, you have excellent choices in the tales that you narrate. Bruce G