Hello El Moochadores! Now out through Titan books is the newest addition (in over a decade) to the Anno Dracula series by English author, Kim Newman. Johnny Alucard (get it? C’mon! It’s easy… Alucard? Get it?) continues the question of “What if Dracula had survived his encounters with Bram Stoker’s Dr. John Seward and enslaved Victorian England?” Newman then goes on to create a world influenced by Dracula and changed by the, now very public, Vampires he has created. Here’s the books synopsis:
Fallen from grace and driven from the British Empire in previous installments, Dracula seems long gone. A relic of the past. Yet, when vampire boy Johnny Alucard descends upon America, stalking the streets of New York and Hollywood, haunting the lives of the rich and famous, from Sid and Nancy to Andy Warhol,Orson Welles, and Francis Ford Coppola, sinking his fangs ever deeper into the zeitgeist of 1980s America, it seems the past might not be dead after all.
For me; Johnny Alucard felt more like a collection of short stories involving the characters from previous Anno Dracula books (in truth I’ve only read one other: Dracula Cha Cha Cha). Not that that’s a bad thing, and the books conclusion (I won’t spoil it) tied everything together very well. Some advice though: If this is your first time reading an Anno Dracula novel: Don’t try and get all the references. Newman tells a story about a whole world changed by the emergence of Dracula, and the “coming out” of vampires, and so his books are packed with pop-culture and historical references. Sometimes if feels like he’s writing stories just for the film and history majors of the world. The first time I read a Anno Dracula I thought I had to stop and read up on names dropped, movie callbacks, and subtle character changes, to enjoy the book. Not true. This time around I just jumped in and started reading. If I got the reference, groovy! If not, oh damn well. On the plus side though, I do think this book is slightly less packed with references than the previous Dracula Cha Cha Cha. Maybe. Still it was fun to read about things from my generation. Gordon Gekko, Princess Leia, and even The Dude pop up in small ways through out the story.
This was a fun book, and though I’m really not into vampire novels, I would recommend Johnny Alucard for both it’s historical (yeah it has some) and entertainment value! Johnny Alucard is now in bookstores or you can get your copy online at Titan Books Website!
Dracula Cha Cha Cha
Vampires have infested our pop-culture for decades now. They started out as the classy, yet ghoulish, fiend written by Stoker one hundred and fifteen years-ago, and (since then) have somehow transformed into the glittering pretty people of pre-teen blockbusters. Fortunately it does not end there and we can still get a vampire story that doesn’t involve hundred year-old dead guys knocking up there teenage girl friend, then biting the baby out of her belly.
Dracula Cha Cha Cha is the third book of the Anno Dracula series, a trilogy by author Kim Newman, that brings the mythos of the bloodsucker back around to where it began; with Count Dracula. Not that the Count is in the book all that much, he makes a brief appearance, but I don’t want to spoil anything and we’re not quite there yet anyways. The story takes place in 1959 and is centered on a vampire reporter, Katharine Reed. Reed, an Irishwoman, has been at odds with the Count since she turned Vampire in the late 19th century and has flown to Rome to report on Dracula’s recently announced wedding to the Princess Asa Vajda. Unfortunately for Kate Reed, the upcoming nuptials are not all that is going on in Rome when she arrives. Her former friend and long-time rival is managing Dracula’s wedding; a familiar English spy is chasing down a mad man and his white cat; and on top of all that, there’s a laughing lunatic in red tights killing all the vampire elders arriving in Rome. Oh yeah, and Rome’s oldest goddess maybe kicking around somewhere too.
I don’t know how the vampire enthusiast will feel about Dracula Cha Cha Cha, but it is a walking history lesson for fans of late ’50’s era pop-culture. Sometimes, almost to a fault. I think it was about when the blue spandex wearing Kent and the Addams family made their appearances that I lost interest in the main story and instead treated the book like a literate “where’s Waldo” by trying to spot the next movie star or film reference. However this barrage of movie and historical references does not mean it’s a bad book. I enjoyed Newman’s humor and his take on vampires. There was a quixotic weirdness to the main characters adventures that made reading the book fun, but I feel the books summation was murky (probably not the best word, but the closest to how I felt about the last few chapters of the book) and felt a little rushed. Overall, I say give it a read and enjoy the book for it’s weird quirkiness and movie star surprises.
You can get a copy of Dracula Cha Cha Cha at Titan Books or click the link on the Atomic Moo Sidebar and purchase a copy through Amazon.com.