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Anno Dracula Paperback – May 24, 2011

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Editorial Reviews Review

As Nina Auerbach writes in the New York Times, " Stephen King assumes we hate vampires; Anne Rice makes it safe to love them, because they hate themselves. Kim Newman suspects that most of us live with them . . . . Anno Dracula is the definitive account of that post-modern species, the self-obsessed undead." In this first of what looks to be an excellent series, Victorian England has vampires at every level of society, especially the higher ones, and they engage in incessant intrigue, power games, and casual oppression of the weak--activities, as we know, that are all too human. Numerous characters from literature and from history appear in both major and cameo roles. Spectacular fight scenes, stormy politics, and a serial vampire killer keep the action lively. A scholarly bibliography is included. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

What if Count Dracula married Queen Victoria? On this intriguing, but inescapably silly, conceit, Newman ( Jago ) bases his exercise in historical horror fiction, previously published in the U.K. In England, circa 1888, "turning" vampire is all the rage: such luminaries as Oscar Wilde, Inspector Lestrade, Sherlock Holmes's collaborator, and the Queen herself have embraced vampirism. Those who haven't find themselves shunned by society and facing banishment to internment camps if their opposition to the new regime becomes threatening. Enter Jack the Ripper. In this version of history, he is none other than Jack Seward, the lovelorn doctor of Bram Stoker's Dracula , who here murders vampire women to avenge the death of his beloved Lucy. While Londoners, vampire and "warm" alike, vie to catch the Ripper for their own agendas, Charles Beauregard, agent of Conan Doyle's mysterious Diogenes Club, must track him down for the most vital reason of all: the future of England. Newman's meticulous attention to historical detail occasionally seems superfluous in a work of such unabashed fantasy, but his prose is sure-handed and vivid, especially in Seward's diary entries, which, free of the welter of Victorian trivia, are truly engrossing.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 560 pages
  • Publisher: Titan Books; Reprint edition (May 24, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0857680838
  • ISBN-13: 978-0857680839
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1.4 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (92 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #336,981 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Kim Newman is a London-based author and movie critic. With over 25 years of experience, he writes regularly for Empire Magazine and contributes to The Guardian, The Times, Sight & Sound and others. He makes frequent appearances on radio and TV and has popular lines in horror. He has won the Bram Stoker, International Horror Guild, British Fantasy and British Science Fiction Awards and been nominated for the Hugo and World Fantasy Award.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

48 of 49 people found the following review helpful By Brendan Moody VINE VOICE on May 31, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There are books one simply shouldn't attempt to describe to the casual reader; regardless of merit, they sound not just uninteresting, but deeply silly. In eighth grade I was reading Harry Turtledove's Worldwar tetralogy, and a well-meaning classmate mentioned to our history teacher that I was reading a book about World War II. I was left to explain, "Yes, it's an alternate history where World War II is underway... and then aliens invade." Mercifully, I've forgotten what Mr. Dennett's reaction was.

The other day I was in the car, reading the new edition of Kim Newman's landmark vampire alternate history Anno Dracula, and I happened to read a passage out to my mother. (For readers familiar with the book, it was the exchange of insults in the pub.) She asked what the book's premise was, and I dutifully replied: "Well, it's like Dracula, except Dracula wins and he marries Queen Victoria." Mother was not amused.

I suppose it does sound ridiculous, but it isn't really. Dracula was a prince, and his ambitions were not small; had he not been defeated by Van Helsing's merry band, he might well have ingratiated himself with the British royal family, and the consequence would have been the world Newman portrays: a country where vampires have emerged into everyday life, where the best way to advance in high society is to "turn" and vampire-resisters are dragged off to concentration camps, where the prostitutes of the East End are as likely to offer blood as sex. Unless they're vampires themselves.

The story around which Newman's evocation of this alternate England is woven is the author's second quirky stroke of genius: Jack the Ripper is active in this world as well, but all his victims are vampires.
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38 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Claude Avary on February 20, 2004
Format: Paperback
At the moment I write this, Kim Newman's "Anno Dracula" is out of print. (Hopefully, by the time you read this, it will be available again.) It baffles me that such a wonderful recent novel (1992) could easily slip out of publication, especially when it is still very popular: apparently used bookstores can't keep this one their shelves for more then a day. With the huge success of Alan Moore's graphic novel "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen" you would think this similar blending of Victorian personages, both historical and fictional, would widely available. This is really the dark fantasy version of Moore's heroic graphic novel, and anyone who enjoys either 1) alternative history, 2) vampire novels, or 3) dark fantasy will adore this book and never let their copy out of their greedy reading hands.
Mr. Newman imagines Victorian England if the bloodsucking count had been the victor in Dracula. The Count marries Queen Victoria and becomes ruler of an England rapidly becoming the territory of `new-born' vampires, who seek to be `turned' so they can rise in rank. Dracula opens up a reign of terror reminiscent of a medieval monarchy, yet still filled with traditional British Vicotrian attitudes. It's a delightful mixed brew of history and gothic darkness.
Into this thrilling setting slinks Jack the Ripper (also known as `Silver Knife'), slashing vampire girls in Whitechapel. Charles Beauregard, a human (or a 'warm' in vampire terms) who works for a secret society, and Genevieve, a vampire of an ancient boodline who has great distate for Dracula's reign both search for the murderer. Coming from two different angles, they join forces to try to fathom the mystery of the killings. Their invesitgation will lead to repercussions for all of this topsy-turvy, nightmare version of England.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Scott Schiefelbein VINE VOICE on August 3, 2004
Format: Paperback
Kim Newman's "Anno Dracula" has one of the most audacious plots imaginable -- let's assume that Bram Stoker's "Dracula" was non-fiction, and that Dracula defeated his nemesis, Van Helsing. Then, let's assume that Dracula "seduced" Queen Victoria and is now the Prince Consort, effectively ruling Great Britain. Throw in Mycroft and Sherlock Holmes, Dr. Jekyll, John Merrick (the Elephant Man), Jack the Ripper, and even a brief reference to the Lone Ranger(!), and you've got one heck of an amazing world to spin a yarn.

Newman's Victorian England is populated by vampires and "warm" humans, and there is little shame in being a vampire. But not every vampire becomes a "lord of darkness" -- Newman shows many vampires scraping by, selling themselves just like the "warm" cheap harlots of London's lower neighborhoods.

In that murky world, Jack the Ripper is butchering vampire prostitutes, using vicious silver blades. Two kindred spirits, the "warm" adventurer Charles Beauregard and the ancient vampiress Genevieve, pursue Jack and seek to put a stop to his diabolical ends. Beauregard works at the behest of the mysterious cabal known as the Diogenes Club, a group dedicated to the removal of Dracula's power, while Genevieve chases Jack out of mercy, trying to save the vampire-girls Jack seems hell-bent on savaging.

Newman packs "Anno Dracula" with action, unlike other "alternate vampire histories" (granted, a limited genre) like Brian Stableford's "Empire of Fear." Beauregard's prowess with a sword is easy to grasp, but Genevieve, an "elder" vampire even more ancient and powerful than Dracula, has powers far beyond the grasp of even other vampires.
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