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Fangland by John Marks

I was looking forward to this book and anxiously awaited my turn for it at the library. I had so enjoyed The Historian by Kostova, and I guess I was looking for a similar experience. Fangland is the story of a news producer, Evangaline, who is looking for a titilating story in northern Europe. Apparently a big time criminal, a shadowy figure named Ion Torgu, is willing to give an interview. When Evangaline, an ambitious woman who is nevertheless, a bit ambivalent about this story arrives in …you guessed it… Transylvannia, Torgu is willing to give the interview only on his terms. Soon the producer finds herself a prisoner in a remote hotel. She discovers that she’s not the only news agency on the trail of this story, and other reporters have not survived their encounter with Torgu.

This is a modern re-imagining of Dracula. I finally put the book down in disgust when Evangeline spots Torgu tucking in to a big bucket of blood. A little over the top for me, but this book did get a starred review in Publisher’s Weekly. The leap into the gruesome combined with the flatness of the main character did me in. I think I’ll go back to Snow, by Orhan Pamuk, who will be here next year as part of the Portland Literary Arts series. Oh, there are gruesome scenes in Pamuk’s work, to be sure, but they aren’t a stretch of the imagination, and the writing is beautiful.

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