Kenneth Grant, Gamaliel, Diary of a Vampire and Dance, Doll, Dance!
London Starfire, 2003

Dave Evans

Further to the earlier piece ('Taken For Granted' elsewhere on this site) here is Mr Grant's latest offering in fictional form; one book, two tales.

Gamaliel is someone either having the most monstrous dreams, or is really a vampire, and she herself is not sure: "either I dreamed, or I am a monstrous phantom prolonging its life by feeding on blood". The story is written in the first person, and in a female voice, and further exemplifies Mr Grant's wonderful command of language - one character having "a sluggish face like a sour pastry" with "dank foliage for hair".

As you would expect from such a premier occultist it is not 'pulp horror fiction' and provides really useful occult-psychological perspectives on vampirism and musings on the nature of mind and God. Gamaliel details some sex magickal witchery, and a challenging pathworking, in enough cryptic detail for those with the ingenuity, will and daring to reconstruct a ritual from the text. Although how wise that might be is left up to the individual to decide.

Dance, Doll Dance! opens with a killer first line: "The silence clamoured, vibrant with echoes of obscene epithets, and the process of awakening was gradual".

This is an involved and convoluted story of Succubi and strange, exotic Goddesses with a great deal of travels to astral Tantric sabbats, and in-depth analysis of love, sex, death and romance.

Great. Read it.

Regarding his other novels, where Mr Grant later remarks that they are in places 'quasi autobiographical' and similar equivocal terms, one wonders how much of THIS is actually autobiographical? Wait to hear, I guess, but in any case, what an interesting life he has had.

DE