October 30, 2012 Flipping Pages: Vlad


Every year it seems to sneak up on me more quickly.  It’s Halloween time y’all!   I’m not a huge Halloween fan… I don’t really go to the parties and I haven’t dressed up in years.  Actually, it seems this year that I’ll be heading to the other side and going trick-or-treating with the little ones.  As an adult type figure.  What!?

So, as I head away from the parties and the slutty costumes and into the suburban neighborhood festivities, looks like I’ll have to start getting my kicks from the literary circle.  So glad I have friends like Jess to recommend books of absolutely any variety!   Thanks darling!

51clDv dGCL. SL500 AA300  Flipping Pages: Vlad



Vlad by Carlos Fuentes

You guys…it’s Halloween! And I have a terrifying little book to recommend in the spirit of this spookiest of holidays. The whole vampire thing is pretty tired at this point, so I was surprised to read a book about a vampire that feels fresh. The vampire in question here, Vlad the Impaler, isn’t a sparkly, smoldering hunk of burning love. In short, this vampire book is actually scary.

The book is barely 100 pages, so it makes for a quick, completely engrossing read. Yves Navarro, the narrator, is a lawyer in modern day Mexico City. His boss persuades him, in tandem with Yves’ real estate agent wife, to help a foreign friend of his relocate from Eastern Europe to Mexico City. The foreigner’s qualifications for his new home are beyond odd. It needs to have access to a ravine, a tunnel must be dug through the backyard, leading to the ravine, each room needs to be outfitted with several drains in the floors, and all the windows in the house must be completely sealed. Yves finds this strange, but proceeds with the plan because he wants to impress his boss. Even after he meets this eccentric new client, who introduces himself as Vladimir Radu and says increasingly creepy stuff, like, “Tell your wife that I am breathing her scent,” he remains clueless. We know, of course, what’s going on and we marvel at Yves’ blithe attitude.

Yves’ feelings toward his wife are beyond sweet. His love and physical attraction to her seem fresh, even after years of marriage and the loss of their son, who drowned in the sea only a short time ago. Their relationship seems stronger than ever, as they enjoy their daily routine of dropping their daughter off at school and breakfasting alone together. The memory of their passionate love-making lingers with him throughout his workday.

Before long, Vlad begins to torment our poor, daft Yves. I won’t say more than that, but I will say that what happens is sublimely terrifying. The book manages to get beyond traditional “horror” and takes us to a place we never knew we needed to be afraid of.


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