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Secret Life of Laszlo, Count Dracula

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Overview

In his mesmerizing fictional debut, psychiatrist Roderick Anscombe takes readers into the fevered mind of Count Dracula the man - aristocrat, doctor, and helpless killer of young women. There are no vampires in this stunningly erotic reinvention of the classic myth, only tormented human beings. Tortured by his own perverse desires, the distinguished Dr. Dracula is drawn to posses and destroy young women, first in Paris where he is studying with the renowned pioneer of hypnosis, Charcot, and then in the Hungarian ...
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Overview

In his mesmerizing fictional debut, psychiatrist Roderick Anscombe takes readers into the fevered mind of Count Dracula the man - aristocrat, doctor, and helpless killer of young women. There are no vampires in this stunningly erotic reinvention of the classic myth, only tormented human beings. Tortured by his own perverse desires, the distinguished Dr. Dracula is drawn to posses and destroy young women, first in Paris where he is studying with the renowned pioneer of hypnosis, Charcot, and then in the Hungarian countryside, as the Count takes over the deteriorating family estate. Even as he maintains the facade of the aristocratic life, Dracula is drawn inexorably into a world of violent emotion, blood lust, and self-loathing. Swirling between the scientific fact and superstition of the day - and propelled into the medical epidemics and politics of the Austro-Hungarian empire - Dracula becomes a public saint and a private savage, and all the while a plausible and pitiable human being. Here is a novel not of the supernatural but the all-too-human, not of a monster but a man. The Secret Life of Laszlo, Count Dracula is a bravura performance from a marvelous new writer.

Based upon the premise that there have never been vampires--only terrible, tortured human beings--this stunning reinvention of the Dracula myth is a superb novel of evil, madness, and twisted sexuality. Psychiatrist Anscombe creates the mind and "memoirs" of Count Dracula: aristocrat, doctor, killer. National print adverstising.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Anscombe, a Harvard Medical School psychiatrist, takes the recent trend toward the humanization of vampires the final step, making the Dracula of his subtle, consuming fiction debut a mortal man. A Hungarian medical student in Paris when he starts this diary in 1866, the inexperienced Laszlo becomes infatuated with a sensual patient at the Salpetriere hospital. Passion turns to fury, bringing the affair to a deadly end, but Laszlo escapes when he is rushed back to Hungary on the death of his elder brother. Now Count Dracula, Laszlo marries his brother's saintly widow and manages to cling to an ascetic life for 20 years until a local girl reawakens his lethal passions. Protected by his hereditary status and a new role as savior when a typhoid epidemic threatens the village, Laszlo pursues the shadowy connection of sex and violence until it becomes the inescapable union of petite mort and mort , love and murder. His motivations are not psychological banalities but something more mythic--the need for an absolute possession that unites the bestial and the divine. Nor is Laszlo insane: he recognizes the ``familiar moral landmarks'' and is surprised when he ignores them. Well written with a swift plot and moral and psychological complexity, Anscombe's novel is an engrossing read all the way through to its macabre climax and ambiguous finale. $150,000 ad/promo. Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club featured alternate; author tour. (Sept.)
Library Journal
In this stunning first novel, psychiatrist Anscombe breathes new life and fire into the timeworn legend of Dracula. Laszlo, the 19th-century Hungarian Count Dracula, is not a supernatural creature of the night but rather an entirely human, socially prominent gentleman who has studied in Paris. Unfortunately, this cultured fellow has a mad, dark side, and when he allows himself to explore his fascination with blood, sex, and death he turns into a demoniac murderer. Amazingly, as Laszlo recounts his violent story of lust and self-loathing, he emerges as a perverse but not entirely unsympathetic character. Anscombe has done a masterful job of fusing character development, historical detail, and action in this lush, erotic novel. Sure to be popular with Anne Rice's fans, this is appropriate for any fiction collection. Highly recommended.-Rebecca House Stankowski, Purdue Univ. Calumet Lib., Hammond, Ind.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312357665
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 2/7/2006
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 416
  • Product dimensions: 5.47 (w) x 8.25 (h) x 1.12 (d)

Meet the Author

Roderick Anscombe is a forensic psychiatrist and assistant clinical professor at Harvard Medical School. Throughout his career, he has treated the most violent and psychotic patients in Massachusetts, including serial killers, stalkers, and the criminally insane. In addition to his fiction, Dr. Anscombe has published articles in scholarly journals on psychotherapy and the unconscious. He is the author of The Interview Room and lives in Gloucester, Massachusetts.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 8 )
Rating Distribution

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(6)

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(2)

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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 25, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Count Dracula as man

    A somewhat different take on the infamous Count Dracula. It shows him as a person rather than a bloodsucking vampire. Very good book!

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    terrific version of Count Dracula

    In 1866 Hungarian medical student Laszlo studies under Dr. Charcot in Paris at the Salpetriere hospital. However, his studies are interrupted when he obsesses over a female patient Stacia. Soon the Hungarian student and Stacia have a tryst that ultimately ends in ugliness with Laszlo in a rage killing her. Knowing he could be in trouble with the law if he remains in France, Laszlo flees for Hungary using the excuse of the death of his older brother George which makes him Count Dracula. ---- In Hungary the Count marries his late sibling's widow and though it is not easy lives a somewhat abstemious sedate lifestyle though he finally succumbs to the passion of a beautiful young woman who he ultimately kills as he did in Paris. When typhoid threatens the villagers, Count Dracula serves as medical savior dispensing healing to one and all even as he takes and kills young ladies. ---- This is a terrific version of Count Dracula who instead of being a vampire suffers from a psychotic disorder. Laszlo keeps the exhilarating story line focused as the audience follows his misadventures and ugly deeds as he sees them as euphoric. Fans of Dracula and those who appreciate a dark psychological suspense thriller will want to read the ¿humanizing¿ of the infamous count as Roderick Anscombe provides a powerfully tense one sitting tale. ---- Harriet Klausner

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 20, 2001

    Exquisite and Breathtaking!

    The Secret Life of Laszlo, Count Dracula is, and will always be, one of my top books in my library of all horrors! This book was outstanding and is highly recommended on my list for the breathtaking storyline. It may not keep you up from falling asleep or make you search the shadows for unspeakable terrors, but it will keep you reading, wondering what will happen next! Laszlo is a truly exceptional character and once you start reading this book, you will see why!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2001

    AMAZING WORK!

    I thought this book was excellent--wonderfully written! It couples lyrical, poetic prose with a psychological profile of a deeply troubled man. If you are looking for a stereotypical 'vampire' novel, this is not it--if you are looking for a great book, get this!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 17, 2000

    An Amazing Psychological Horror

    I have to strongly disagree with all who claim that this book is not scary. While the book takes a (welcome) turn from the mythical and supernatural vampire lore, it is anything but tame. The beauty and horror of Laslow is that it could actually have happened. Roderick Anscombe takes you inside the mind of the famous Translyvanian serial killer allowing you to glimpse what drives him to his deeds and also the disgust he feels for his own actions. He fights his dark desires while he can, but his 'hunger' for blood always wins in the end. His pyschological obsession for it overcomes even the physical need portrayed in classical Vampire legend. All in all and excellent read, mind expanding and thought provoking. Silence of the Lambs meets Hamlet.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 21, 2000

    horribly human

    This novel, as instinctvely animal as it may seem, is so human we don't even realize it. Laszlo shows us a hidden self underneath sanity, or regularity, whichever you prefer. I would not recommend this book for someone who thought the cover looked cool on the bargain shelf at barnes and noble, but if you have twisted thoughts (relative to whatever the norm is) and are interested in what is unseen, then read this book. With intriguing layers of science, the mind, and sexuality, this will keep many reading. You can't put it down, unless you want to go to the mirror and check for elongated canine teeth. This book can scare, enhance, and grab your mind, and it will too, no matter how old you are. I was twelve when I read this, and I felt a connection to every word written, which proves that all you need to read this book is the will to explore.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2000

    A Very Good Book

    Very well written. I found myself having a hard time putting it down. I noticed some other readers not liking the story and commenting on it not having anything to do with Dracula. This book is not about Vampires, nevertheless, it is quite captivating. And quoting another reader, 'it has a Jeckyl And Hyde' touch to it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 18, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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