My Hero

My Hero
Review by Anne Fraser, submitted on 16-Feb-1997

My Hero by Tom Holt. London, Orbit, 1996.

I know. You're thinking "that doesn't sound like a vampire novel" and it isn't. It's comic fantasy, along the lines of Terry Pratchett (who has also included vampires, etc. in his Discworld novels.) However, I decided to review it for this list because none other than Dracula himself plays a large and important role in the book. Now, by Dracula, I mean the fictional one who's a vampire; there's a passing reference to Vlad Tepes but not enough of a one to warrant a Bloofer investigation. *grin*

The plot, which is enormously complicated, can serve as a warning to all fiction writers everywhere: Do Not Become Too Involved With Your Characters. Basically, a writer of westerns gets trapped into one of his own books, and calls upon Jane, a writer of bad but bestselling fantasies, to write him out of it. Through the machinations of her own characters and of Central Casting (told you it was complicated); she too gets sucked into the fictional world. Some of the characters end up in Real Life, and then things get really confusing as half the time you're not sure what's real and what's fictional. There are some very funny scenes in the basement of the Library of Congress, where fiction leaks into the Real World. Where does Dracula come in? Jane sends him a note, as being the only person they can trust at this point after a chase through several fictional worlds, to help them out by writing them out of the situation they're in. Ah, I see it's dawning on you (sorry). Right, it's the first-ever vampire novel actually written by a vampire, and all the people involved suddenly become vampires. Write what you know, and all that. Hamlet's in it, too, as the Frankenstein monster. Well, sort of, actually he was built to be a Yorkshire cricket player... *confused look*.

We also get drawn into Midsummer's Night Dream, Pride and Prejudice, Winnie the Pooh (the thought of Eeyore in a headband, toting an assault rifle and staging a seige on Piglet's Hows is alone worth the price of the book, but I digress...), Sherlock Holmes, Agatha Christie, and several other, mostly British, fictional worlds. Scarcely an author gets left unassaulted by the end of the book. Dracula more or less saves the day, making his participation vital for the plot.

And trust me, I haven't spoiled the fun for anyone, because this is a book that must be read to be disbelieved.

Fanged Films

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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