Deeper Hunger, A

A Deeper Hunger
Review by The Mad Bibliographer, submitted on 27-Oct-1994

Adapted from "Vampires in Print" in The Vampire's Crypt #10 (Fall 1994).

This review contains material that was omitted from VC #10 due to lack of space.

Review by Cathy Krusberg

Sabine Kells. A Deeper Hunger. Leisure, 1994; $4.50/$5.50

A sparsely furnished apartment, a dull library job: reality is nothing but an interval between dreams or -- too often -- nightmares. Cailie Wellington vows to put it all behind her during two weeks in Maui -- paradise! -- with no questions asked and no holds barred. Gutting her bank account, flying from Seattle, renting an expensive car, buying an elaborate wardrobe and savoring a box of caramel-covered macadamia nut chocolates -- more calories at a sitting than she usually allows herself in a day: so the adventure begins. These are, however, merely the trimmings. With no schedule, no budgetary limitations, no dietary restrictions -- away from all of her past, she is determined to find at least the illusion of the love she has dreamed of so long and so fruitlessly.

Cailie's chance encounter with a flyer for an escort service leads her to give Alexander Creighton her business. That he is available only after dark does not deter her: "There is a lot of nightlife." And Cailie has an agenda: "I want you to show me the island, take me out to dinner, dancing, whatever there is to do. I want you to enchant me, romance me, cherish me as though I were the most precious thing you ever found. Make me believe in love."

Alec accepts -- but afterward questions his sanity. He knows the soul behind his latest client's eyes: all gold and sunshine, fragile and hopeful, looking so much like the first time they had met -- God, nearly a thousand years ago. Memories of how he has lost her come back in a painful rush. The girl of Limerick he spoke to in Norse and Gaelic before the Irish razed her village. The woman who killed herself rather than risk that the Inquisition would wrest the truth about him from her. The woman who saved him from starvation when his legs were trapped beneath a boulder -- and paid with her life's blood. How can he torment himself with her presence again?

How can he not?

So he does. Dining out, showing the sights, telling the history, walking together on the beach at night: They share two weeks of not being employer and employee; of Cailie trying not to think the end of her visit; of Alec also trying not to think of the end of the time he can spend with a woman he truly loves, a woman he must not let his monstrous nature harm again, and sometimes agonizing over the danger he puts her in merely by being near. The iron control of coming to her only in her dreams, not letting his presence be part of her waking knowledge despite the ecstasy of love he tastes in her blood -- how can he bear to lose her yet again?

How can he not?

Until Cailie meets Alec -- and for a while afterward -- A Deeper Hunger reads more like a travelogue for the would-be tourist. Skim if you must -- or relish Maui's beauty as Cailie does. A Deeper Hunger is meant to be lingered over and relished. Hand in hand with the book's slowness is its almost overwhelming *gentleness*: No villain out to put a stake through the hero or steal the heroine's inheritance; no onstage violence. Quiet, fierce things happen where the most important things happen: in the minds and hearts of the protagonists. Alec and Cailie both have hopes and fears and sorrows to struggle with; the strong, unspoken love that pervades their time together gives a richness that stake-and-dagger can't compete with. A Deeper Hunger is a romance that contains *romance*, that celebrates love rather than sex and portrays very human characters -- sometimes strong, often vulnerable -- in an adventure I was glad to have shared.

Fanged Films

Mexico, 1974
Capulina Contra los Monstruos
USA, 1961

From the Library

As the 20th century evolved, rational man turned to science to explain mythology that had pervaded for thousands of years. How could a man be mistaken for a vampire? How could someone appear to have been the victim of a vampire attack? Science, in time, came back with answers that may surprise you.Anemia
A million fancies strike you when you hear the name: Nosferatu!N O S F E R A T Udoes not die!What do you expect of the first showing of this great work?Aren't you afraid? - Men must die. But legend has it that a vampire, Nosferatu, 'der Untote' (the Undead), lives on men's blood! You want to see a symphony of horror? You may expect more. Be careful. Nosferatu is not just fun, not something to be taken lightly. Once more: beware.- Publicity for Nosferatu in the German magazine Buhne und Film, 1922  

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