A Gothic horror masterpiece. A family curse reaches through time to damn a young man in Victorian England. John LePerrowne is possessed with supernatural life and power, yet haunted by the restless ghost of his human soul. Amidst chilling evils he must
Jaded horror fans who might dismiss British author Farrington's 1983 cult book as just another vampire novel would do well to take a second look now that it's making its American debut. As Kim Newman notes in his introduction, the tale draws its inspiration from pre-Dracula vampire fiction and as such its Byronic hero, John LePerrowne, a member of the Cornish nobility, experiences what it's like to become a "revenant" in ways that readers will find refreshingly novel. Horrified by the excesses of his fellow revenants, to whom the rest of humanity are naught but cattle and playthings, LePerrowne seeks solace in the view that he is, like all predators, merely a part of Nature, but his exemption from death, to which all things in Nature are subject, ultimately denies him even that balm. Instead, he comes to realize that he and his kind are forever alienated from other life, even from each other. This is no escapist power-fantasy but rather a Gothic bildungsroman that draws its strength from the hero's tragic struggle to retain his humanity. It should appeal greatly not only to devotees of the genre but to anyone interested in what makes us human. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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February 01, 2003
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