Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Wicked Written Word Wed.

Due to my lack of reading this past week, and a lack of short stories I feel comfortable posting without intense editing, I figured I’d go ahead and apply my Halloween theme to Written Word Wednesdays as well. Not surprisingly, I'll stick to the established structure and parallel Monday's themes of Vampires and Werewolves. However I'm much less likely to read a horror novel than I am to watch a horror movie, so I wouldn't expect this to be quite as expansive as my movie posts.


1) Anno-Dracula by Kim Newman: My all-time favorite vampire novel. Set in a world where Van Helsing's crew was unable to stop Dracula; he is now the Queen's consort, and vampirism is en vogue. I'm a sucker for alternate histories (I'll talk more about that in an upcoming 4-Color Fri. post), as well as for works which are filled with famous figures from film and literature. This book has both in spades. I wasn't as enamored of its sequels, but that doesn't lessen the love I have for this one.

2) Fevre Dream by George R. R. Martin: Many years before he became the best-selling author of the Song of Fire and Ice novels, Martin wrote this entertaining novel about vampires trolling the Mississippi on a riverboat.

3) Agyar by Steven Brust: Very interesting vampire novel in which the word "vampire" is never actually used. Told from the P.O.V. of a very unreliable narrator, the book leaves a lot of gaps for the reader to fill in, which I really enjoyed. It’s always nice when an author respects his audience's intelligence.

I must also mention Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles I suppose. I've read the first four books, and liked the first three quite a bit, especially Queen of the Damned. However, Tale of the Body Thief was such a disappointment that I've never been able to get myself worked up to read any more in the series.


To be honest, I can't recall any full-length werewolf novels I've read. There have been some novellas and short stories, like King's Cycle of the Werewolf which was the basis for Silver Bullet and Martin's The Skin Trade, but that's about it. Well, there is Peter David's hilarious Howling Mad, but that's about a wolf that gets bitten and turns into a man, so does it really count?

Okay, that's about all I've got in me for right now. If that's not enough to satisfy your blog-lust, then go and read Fellow Book Monkey and Blogger Bubblegum Tate's latest post. As someone who gets blank looks far too often for using moderately obscure words, I can relate.


Bubblegum Tate said...

Heavens to Mergatroid, good call on the Vampire Chronicles. The first three are absolute gold, but Tales of the Body Thief is so obviously the Return of the Jedi of that series. Its not terrible, but its not as good as the previous ones and it did NOT bode well for the further adventures.

That seems to be a Rice trait. The first Mayfair Witches book was really good, even if it took a bit to get going. But the sequels sort of had these urbane witches developing a Conan (books, not movies) mentality towards the supernatural: If it takes flesh, it can be killed!

CAP'N Disaster said...

I loved the Vampire Chronicle novels that I read. The first three were great...although personally I had a hard time getting into The Vampire Lestate at first, but once I pushed through the beginning I got into it more. I loved Queen of the Damned and was horribly disappointed with the movie...why why why did they try to combine two novels into that lacked so much! Tale of the Body Theif was okay. I only made it halfway through Memnoch the Devil and got totally bored. But that may not be the fault of the novel. I tend to get on author kicks and read several of their books in a row and then get bored and move onto someone else for a while and eventually return to the book I got bored with and reread it. While talking about Ann Rice though, I really enjoyed The Witching Hour and I think that perhaps since it's been a while since I read it, I may go get it again and reread it and then read the next book Lasher. I would also like to read her latest novel, Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt.
Now, I love horror/suspense novels and am always looking for a new one to read (not that I get a lot of time for reading much anymore). I will always be a fan of Stephen King, John Saul, and Dean Koontz. Thomas Harris is good too.

Bubblegum Tate said...

A few thoughts.

1. Queen of the Damned: Most clever thing I heard that perfectly encapsulated the film was my buddy Zac calling it "Queen of the Damned If I Know What's Going On."

2. Anne Rice on the childhood of Jesus holds a lot of...trepidation for me. Not only is she obviously relying on the Apocrypha (here are words meaning things again), but I personally don't much wonder what Christ was like as a boy. Since the best and most accurate account of His life has already been written and much of His childhood was left out, I'm probably okay with that.

3. For horror purposes, nobody can really touch H.P. Lovecraft for me. Every short story is a glance behind the curtain of a manic depressive who's feelings of inadequacy in the face of the universe were so overpowering that he rewrote all of history to make human beings not only the least important of all things, but likely to be driven mad by the knowledge of how inconsequential they really are.

Cap'n Neurotic said...

Ah, Lovecraft. I have not read nearly enough of his stuff, and what I did read was way back in Jr. High, but his short story Pickman's Model is one of the few things I've read that has managed to literally give me chills. One of these days I'm going to get around to reading all of the Cthulu Mythos; it might not be till I'm 80, but it will happen.