Fangland

( 4 )

Overview

An acclaimed novelist and former 60 Minutes producer grandly reinvents the Dracula epic in the halls of a certain television newsmagazine In the annals of business trips gone horribly wrong, Evangeline Harker's journey to Romania on behalf of her employer, the popular television newsmagazine The Hour, deserves pride of place. Sent to Transylvania to scout out a possible story on a notorious Eastern European crime boss named Ion Torgu, she has found the true nature of Torgu's activities to be far more monstrous ...

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Fangland

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Overview

An acclaimed novelist and former 60 Minutes producer grandly reinvents the Dracula epic in the halls of a certain television newsmagazine In the annals of business trips gone horribly wrong, Evangeline Harker's journey to Romania on behalf of her employer, the popular television newsmagazine The Hour, deserves pride of place. Sent to Transylvania to scout out a possible story on a notorious Eastern European crime boss named Ion Torgu, she has found the true nature of Torgu's activities to be far more monstrous than anything her young journalist's mind could have imagined. The fact that her employer clearly won't get the segment it was hoping for is soon the very least of her concerns. Back in New York, Evangeline's disappearance causes an uproar at the office and a wave of guilt and recrimination. Then suddenly, several months later, she's heard from: miraculously, she's convalescing in a Transylvania monastery, her memory seemingly scrubbed. But then who was sending e-mails through her account to The Hour employees? And what are those great coffin-like boxes of objects delivered to the office in her name from the Old Country? And why does the show's sound system appear to be infected with some strange virus, an aural bug that coats all recordings in a faint background hiss that sounds like the chanting of...place-names? And what about the rumors that a correspondent has scored an interview with Torgu, here in New York, after all? As a very dark Old World atmosphere deepens in the halls of one of America's most trusted television programs, its employees are forced to confront a threat beyond their wildest imaginings, a threat that makes gossip about an impending corporate shakeup seem very quaint indeed. Written in the form of diary entries, e-mails, therapy journals, and other artifacts of early-twenty-first-century American professional-class life, compiled as an informal inquest by a very interested party, Fangland manages both to be a genuinely-in fact triumphantly-frightening vampire novel in the grand tradition and a, yes, biting commentary on the way we live and work now.

* Mp3 CD Format *. Written in the form of diary entries, e-mails, therapy journals, and other artifacts of early-twenty-first-century American professional-class life, compiled as an informal inquest by a very interested party, "Fangland" manages both to be a genuinely-in fact triumphantly-frightening vampire novel in the grand tradition and a, yes, biting commentary on the way we live and work now.

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Editorial Reviews

The Buffalo News
John Marks has written the best vampire novel since . . . Interview with the Vampire.
Publishers Weekly
Former 60 Minutes producer Marks (The Wall) puts his experience on the legendary TV news magazine to good use in this highly inventive reimagining of Bram Stoker's Dracula. His na ve protagonist, Evangeline Harker, a young producer for the TV news show The Hour, reluctantly accepts an assignment into the wilds of Romania to explore doing a segment on a legendary criminal figure, Ion Torgu. Evangeline soon finds herself at the very outskirts of civilization, and after hearing a missionary's account of a supernatural plague that affected a whole community in Africa, she's accosted by Torgu himself, doing an excellent impersonation of the vampire count. Her subsequent imprisonment in a deserted hotel also parallels Stoker's tale, but Marks manages to make the familiar fresh, so that even devotees of the original will find themselves rapidly turning pages and being drawn into Evangeline's fate and the stories of her friends and colleagues at The Hour. (Jan.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Publishers Weekly

The unusually large cast that reads Marks's multiperspective, modern vampire story helps make up for the lack of special effects one might expect. There is no creepy music, no doors creaking or wind shrieking through the trees to augment the tale of what happens after Evangeline Harker, a lovely assistant producer of a venerable TV news show, travels to Romania to meet a fabled gangster. Her trip goes horribly wrong and soon her colleagues in New York are afflicted as well. Marks, a former 60 Minutesproducer, is at his best when writing about the life of the newsroom, which we witness through the conversation and thoughts of people who are all concerned about Harker's disappearance and the horrors that have followed, but who observe each other and the rest of the show's staff with keen distrust and disdain. This reading adds little to the chilling story aside from the varied voices, yet as a novel take on the worn-out vampire story, with a steady drumbeat of macabre events alternating with dryly funny commentary, it is sure to hold listeners until the end. Simultaneous release with the Penguin Press hardcover (Reviews, Nov. 6). (Apr.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Library Journal
New York TV producer Evangeline Harker travels to Transylvania to interview reputed Eastern European crime boss Ion Torgu for a segment on The Hour. They meet one evening in the town of Brasov, where Torgu strongly suggests that they will be more comfortable at his own hotel in a desolate area only a short distance away. Although wary of this sinister man, Evangeline reluctantly agrees but that night finds herself locked in her room. Her attempt to escape takes her down an unlit, fetid stairwell, where she encounters Torgu at his most monstrous, chanting words of death and feasting on blood. Meanwhile, back in New York, Evangeline's family and coworkers realize that she has disappeared, no one can locate her, and mysterious coffinlike boxes are being delivered to the television studio. Marks (The Wall) has written an electrifying modern tale of horror that pays homage to Bram Stoker's Dracula. He goes much further, however, creating a hideous vampire more horrifying than anything that ever came from Stoker's imagination. Highly recommended for all fiction and horror collections.[See Prepub Alert, LJ 9/15/06.]-Patricia Altner, BiblioInfo.com, Columbia, MD Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Dracula meets 60 Minutes in this portentous horror novel from a former 60 Minutes producer (War Torn, 2003, etc.). The story begins with the recently engaged Evangeline Harker, an associate producer with the TV news show The Hour, arriving in Romania to check out Ion Torgu, reputed organized-crime boss of Eastern Europe, for a possible interview. In Bucharest, Evangeline meets another young American, Clemmie Spence, a purported missionary who actually works for an organization fighting Satanism. The women travel to Transylvania, where Evangeline meets Torgu; he drives her to a spooky hotel in the woods. More vampire than crime boss, he has round, hideously discolored teeth (not fangs), a serrated knife and two accomplices who have murdered a Norwegian cameraman; Evangeline will come upon Torgu drinking blood. She escapes and reunites with Clemmie, but by now, Evangeline has grown "a dark, new self," which she appeases by slitting Clemmie's throat and drinking her blood. So much for the Romanian segments; the story's other half, overcrowded with characters, takes place in the offices of The Hour in New York, and is told through emails and journal entries of its employees. Torgu manages to infect the office. Editors sicken from a wasting disease; some staff members die; others display odd behavior. Allegiances shift in puzzling ways; a former friend of Evangeline becomes Torgu's slave, while the lady herself (now back in New York) seems unsure whether to kill her fiance or make love to him. Torgu makes his own appearance at the office as the scene dissolves into chaos. A disappointment for horror fans; though Romania provides good, scary fun, the New York scenes are a mess.
From the Publisher
"Archer creepily depicts Evangeline's mesmerizingpsychological and physical journey…. Archer's tour de force interpretation…grips listeners." —-Booklist
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780143112532
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 1/29/2008
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 1,186,765
  • Product dimensions: 5.61 (w) x 8.43 (h) x 0.93 (d)

Meet the Author

John Marks is a critically acclaimed novelist and former 60 Minutes producer. His fiction includes The Wall, named a Notable Book of 1998 by the New York Times, and War Torn, named one of the best novels of 2003 by Publishers Weekly. Ellen Archer is an acclaimed audiobook narrator and winner of a coveted Audie Award for For the Love of a Dog (available from Tantor). Her recent audiobooks include the New York Times bestseller Smashed by Koren Zailckas, Unhooked by Laura Sessions Stepp, and Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman by Haruki Murakami. Producers and publishers describe Ellen as versatile, warm, intimate, fresh, fun, intelligent and sultry. She easily covers the spectrum between familiar and conversational and more authoritative and aggressive deliveries. Simon Vance, a former BBC Radio presenter and newsreader, is a full-time actor who has appeared on both stage and television. He has recorded over four hundred audiobooks and has earned over twenty Earphones Awards from AudioFile magazine, including one for his narration of Scaramouche by Rafael Sabatini. A twelve-time Audie finalist, Simon has won Audie Awards for The King's Speech by Mark Logue and Peter Conradi, The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens, Great Expectations by Charles Dickens, Market Forces by Richard K. Morgan, and The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff. Winner of the 2008 Booklist Voice of Choice Award, Simon has also been named an AudioFile Golden Voice as well as an AudioFile Best Voice of 2009. Todd McLaren was involved in radio for more than twenty years in cities on both coasts, including Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. He left broadcasting for a full-time career in voice-overs, where he has been heard on more than 5,000 TV and radio commercials, as well as TV promos; narrations for documentaries on such networks as A&E, Discovery, and the History Channel; and films, including Who Framed Roger Rabbit? Michael Prichard has played several thousand characters during his career. While he has been seen performing over one hundred of them in theater and film, Michael is primarily heard, having recorded well over five hundred full-length books. During his career as a one-man repertory company, he has recorded many series with running characters-including the complete Travis McGee adventures by John D. MacDonald and the complete Nero Wolfe mysteries by Rex Stout-as well as series by such masters as Mark Twain, John Cheever, and John Updike. His numerous awards and accolades include an Audie Award for Tears in the Darkness by Michael Norman and Elizabeth M. Norman and several AudioFile Earphones Awards, including for At All Costs by Sam Moses and In Nixon's Web by L. Patrick Gray III. Named a Top Ten Golden Voice by SmartMoney magazine, he holds an M.F.A. in theater from the University of Southern California. Michael appears regularly on the professional stage, including as a member of Ray Bradbury's Pandemonium Theatre Company, performing such great roles as Captain Beatty in Fahrenheit 451, which became the second-longest-running production in the Los Angeles area. Bradbury himself dubbed Michael "the finest Beatty in history."

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 4 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 3, 2009

    Emotionally Draining... but every drop was worth it.

    I feel the the book is a very mature style book. I read Fangland and must say that the writing style and characters stuck me as pure brillance. While reading, I felt as though I had been violated. Marks uses such a raw and power tone and style that literally left me drained. I was angry while I read the book, not from the content but from the tone and setting alone. I felt all the anger, deception, loss, and pure hate of every character. I am became in grossed and advised this book to people who have connections to the material they read. This book is amazing and deserves the best of reviews!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2007

    Great Vampire Novel

    Fangland is a great literary vampire novel. John Marks has a very easy, flowing style of writing that was genuinely scary in some parts. His involved knowledge of the cable news industry added an interesting element to a great plot about an ancient legend. Keep the lights on and be prepared to read all night- I could not put this book down!

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    fast-paced horror thriller

    TV news show The Hour associate producer Evangeline Harker leaves New York for Romania to look into a possible segment on reputed Eastern European crime boss Ion Torgu with the coup de grace being an interview. In Bucharest, fellow Yank Clemmie Spence warns Evangeline to be careful because the forces of Satan are spreading their pestilence at an alarming rate as she explains what horrors she saw in Africa. --- The two Americans travel to Transylvania where Evangeline meets Torgu, whose teeth look rotted but not fanged. He takes her to a remote locale in the woods while two of his associates kill a cameraman. Stunned, Evangeline becomes further shocked when she inadvertently observes Torgu drinking blood. Fleeing she finds Clemmie, but instead of the relief of feeling safe, the TV producer thirsts she slices her companion¿s throat and drinks the blood. While back in New York, the staffers of the Hour begin to die a horrid slow cancerous like death while a select few thrive. Evangeline is in-between, undecided whether to flourish on the blood of others or waste away while Torgu arrives to take a bite out of the Big Apple. --- The Romanian segment is a stupendous updating of Stoker¿s Dracula while the New York portion seems paler than the original London venue. Torgu is a terrific modern day ¿Count¿ whose minions are criminals while Evangeline Harker (great name for a character) is a fabulous individual who struggles with the metamorphosis. Overall FANGLAND is a fast-paced horror thriller that fans of vampires will devour in a series of delightful 60 minute bites. --- Harriet Klausner

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 27, 2009

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    Posted August 29, 2010

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