Vlad by Carlos Fuentes

Vlad by Carlos Fuentes


Vlad by Carlos Fuentes is a short novel taking place in Mexico City. The story was part of the 2004 collection “Inquieta Compañía” and recently came out as its own book translated by Alejandro Branger and Ethan Shaskan Bumas.

Count Dracula, Vlad, has decided to immigrate to Mexico after the mayhem in Eastern Europe and countless wars have shortened his blood supplies. Vlad has vassals in Mexico who introduce him to Yves Navarro, a lawyer, and his wife Asunción, a real estate agent.

Yves and Asunción have lost a son at sea, and Vlad entices them with the promise of seeing their daughter live forever, remaining a child eternally.

Vlad takes on an interesting premise: what if Dracula still lived, and settled in Mexico City? As one might expect, there is a lot of dark humor in this book, starting with the strange requests the client makes of the real estate agent (“remote,” “easy to defend”) to the client’s look which consists of a silly wig and glued-on mustache.

What I found to be different in this book is that the reader knows a lot more than the narrator. This style of storytelling invigorates the dark comedy and brings a sense of ominous foreboding to banal and meaningless lines said by the famous Count.

In this rendition of the story, Fuentes marries vampire and lawyers – both serve as vessels for unprincipled lust without ethics. As in many vampire stories, the fantasy and myth reflect on our own lives through anecdotes and metaphors.

While I’m not much for horror and fear, I think this novel is a gem which clearly illustrates the essence of great writing, characterization, and flamboyancy, which are difficult to pull off. The balances between horror and comedy, debauchery and personification are perfect and the campy yet surreal atmosphere is almost magical.


-- review by manoflabook.com

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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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