Vlad

Vlad

4.0 2
by Carlos Fuentes
     
 

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Where, Carlos Fuentes asks, is a modern-day vampire to roost? Why not Mexico City, populated by ten million blood sausages (that is, people), and a police force who won’t mind a few disappearances?See more details below

Overview

Where, Carlos Fuentes asks, is a modern-day vampire to roost? Why not Mexico City, populated by ten million blood sausages (that is, people), and a police force who won’t mind a few disappearances?

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this short novel, Fuentes (1928–2012) follows the pattern of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, but infuses the story with a modern sensibility and vivid imagery: a bedroom filled with eerily identical dolls all dressed in pink; a flock of bats that resemble monstrous winged rats, with “filthy, long, hairy ears.” In place of Stoker’s Jonathan Harker, Fuentes has lawyer Yves Navarro, devoted to his beautiful wife, Asunción, and young daughter, Magdalena. Navarro makes a house call to the title character, a mysterious and wealthy new resident in overcrowded and somewhat lawless Mexico City. When Yves sets out for his appointment one dark and stormy night, the door to Vlad’s elegant new home (procured by Asunción, a real estate agent) is answered by a hunchback servant, and the vampire even uses the classic Dracula line, “I never drink... wine.” Navarro, however, does lose consciousness, and wakes knowing neither where he is nor how he got there. By the time Navarro realizes the danger around him, he’s already in too deep. A deliciously barbed bagatelle from a fiction master, with perhaps a strain of allegory for a world devoured by rapaciousness. (July)
Library Journal
Attorney Yves Navarro is ordered by his boss to find a home for his longtime Eastern European friend Vladimir Radu who is moving to Mexico City. The task is simplified somewhat because Yves's wife is a realtor who doesn't question the odd requirements for the house: blacked-out windows, drains in all the floors, and a tunnel connected to a ravine. One evening after having dined at the mansion, Yves is drugged and trapped inside but manages to escape through the tunnel which, to his surprise, is lined with coffins, in one of which reposes Vladimir. Realizing that Vlad is a vampire, Yves tries to extricate himself and his family who have also become implicated in Vlad's nefarious scheme. From there the novella rushes to a sudden but ambiguous denouement. VERDICT Fuentes dabbled in the occult in one of his earlier publications, Aura, but it seems odd that this bagatelle would appear at the end of his brilliant career as a first-class writer. Diehard Fuentes fans and those who like the gothic should go for it, but others might more appropriately pay fitting tribute to the recently deceased author by rereading some of his classics (The Death of Artemio Cruz or Old Gringo). [Fuentes's interest in the Dracula tale may have been prompted by his son's death from complications associated with hemophilia.—Ed.]—Lawrence Olszewski, OCLC Lib., Dublin, OH
The New York Times Book Review
The short novel Vlad…provides ample evidence of Fuentes's powerful abilities…somehow Fuentes refreshes tired tropes. The novel is genuinely scary…Will readers appreciate a novel that pivots between hilarity and fear, insightful characterization and flamboyant fountains of blood? Let's hope so, because Vlad displays the strengths of a great writer's late oeuvre to excellent effect.
—Jeff VanderMeer
From the Publisher
"A deliciously barbed bagatelle from a fiction master, with perhaps a strain of allegory for a world devoured by rapaciousness." - Publishers Weekly

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781564787798
Publisher:
Dalkey Archive Press
Publication date:
07/18/2012
Edition description:
Translatio
Pages:
122
Sales rank:
741,899
Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 7.30(h) x 0.70(d)

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