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BLOODY RED BARON PB Paperback – January 21, 1997


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; Reprint edition (January 21, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0380727145
  • ISBN-13: 978-0380727148
  • Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 4.2 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,939,479 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

You don't need to have read Anno Dracula to enjoy this feisty sequel set amidst the airborne heroics and trench-warfare drudgery of World War I. As in the previous book, part of the fun is spotting all the names from history and literature who pop up in major and minor roles: a vampire named Edgar Poe is writing the Baron von Richthofen's biography; Mata Hari contributes her vampire bloodline to German breeding experiments; and characters from such sources as P. G. Wodehouse, J. K. Huysmans, D. H. Lawrence, Sinclair Lewis, Ernest Hemingway--as well from movies such as Nosferatu (1922), The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, Jules et Jim--each impart their dollop of richness to this alternate universe. But the dogfights between Sopwith Camels and huge winged vampires are the real heart of the book: Kim Newman has done his research, so the air battles are vivid and thrilling. A scholarly bibliography is included.

From Publishers Weekly

In this stunning follow-up to his inventive alternate-world fantasy, Anno Dracula (1992), Newman ponders the course that history might have taken had Count Dracula fought for the Kaiser in WWI. It's some 30 years since the vampire eluded the fate ordained for him in Bram Stoker's novel and initiated the Terror, a vampirization of humanity that has left half the world undead and living in uneasy coexistence with "warm" mortals. Although Dracula remains off-page for most of the novel, he is represented by flying ace Manfred von Richthofen, alias the Red Baron, and other blood descendants capable of shapeshifting into airplane-sized bats that engage in aerial combat with their Anglo-vampire counterparts. Though Newman focuses events through the experience of Lt. Edwin Winthrop, a mortal who eventually embraces vampirism and leads the English squadron's final assault on the Red Baron's well-armed fortress, he regularly imagines meetings between vampirized figures of fact and fiction: for example, a subplot brings together Edgar Allan Poe and German apologist Hans Heinz Ewers as vampire collaborators on a popular biography of the Red Baron, assigned to them by German propaganda minister Dr. Mabuse. Such postmodern hijinks are made possible by the author's scrupulous historical and literary research. In the image of the immortal vampire, Newman has found the perfect metaphor for history's larger-than-life personalities and the impact their appetites have upon civilization. Although chock-full of pulpy entertainment, the novel's vivid scenes of war and its senseless brutality bear out the third-person narrator's contention that it is "Dracula, proud of blood kinship with Attila, who most epitomised 20th century barbarism."
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Scott Schiefelbein VINE VOICE on August 30, 2004
Format: Paperback
"The Bloody Red Baron" is an excellent follow-up effort to Kim Newman's "Anno Dracula." In "Baron," Newman updates his alternate universe of vampires rubbing shoulders (and more!) with warm humans by having Dracula lead the Axis powers in WWI.

Once again, Newman takes the audacious step of having the famous and powerful become vampires (Winston Churchill is a prime example, although there seems to be less of this trick than in "Anno Dracula"). But the most notorious vampire is easily Manfred von Richtoffen, the Red Baron. The ultimate hunter is cross-fed by several vampire "elders" to create the ultimate winged combatant . . . a winged vampire armed with powerful hand-machine guns. Now, not only must the Allied pilots be wary of a violent death in a fireball or a screaming nose-dive to earth, they must be wary of being plucked from their pilot-seats and eaten alive! The vision of the vampire-squadron taking off from a high tower, with strains of Wagner echoing from Dracula's Zeppelin-flagship, makes for a riveting read.

Newman brings a few characters along from "Anno Dracula," including Charles Beauregard, aging agent of the Diogenes Club, and vampiress-journalist Kate Reed, but most of the storylines follow new characters. Edwin, seeming heir apparent to Beauregard as Diogenes agent, becomes entwined with the hunt for the Red Baron after a horrifying air raid on the German fortress of Schloss Adler, and Edgar Allen Poe, turned vampire and propaganda-man for the Axis powers, struggles to come to terms with his new role in the world.

Newman combines an eye for historical detail with the talent to write riveting scenes of carnage . . . setting the scene amongst the carnage and devastation of WWI is perfect for Newman's style.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 30, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Vampire books are a dime a dozen, but Newman's work stands out in the field. He has a flair for writing, and a unique style that makes his books refreshing and different.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 16, 2000
Format: Hardcover
As vampire stories go Blood Red Baron is very refreshing and original in its portrayal of vampires in an almost mundane sense. As a war novel or alternate history its a little unfocused. Newman introduces dozens of characters, many of who are plucked from popular fiction of the time (Drs' Caligari, Mabuse, Herbert West, and Moreau). He freely uses allusions to famous silent films and literary works of the Great War and vampire fiction (Graf Orlok, Karnstein). In many ways its a lazy way to create characters without needing the effort to flesh them out. But I happen to enjoy trying to spot the allusions which are rather widespread.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By medusa@inter.net.il on January 14, 1999
Format: Paperback
kim newman has created the finest vampire books since dracula.his respect to the traditions of vampire-building is examplary.his premise is fantastic,and in all,he creates a wonderfull tribute to the horror-adventure-science fiction writers of classic reputation.but sadly,modern readers don`t understand the inner neuances that make this novel great.BRAVO KIM NEWMAN!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 3, 1997
Format: Paperback
As in the previous ANNO DRACULA, Kim Newman takes a playful
(if dark) approach to vampire lore. Vampires live openly in
every city in the world--and fight side-by-side with the living
(or "warm" as they're called in the book)in the trenches of
World War I. Dracula, the dark puppet-master behind the Kaiser,
is preparing a horrific squadron of airmen for his final assault
on France and it falls to a warm man to stop him.

Aside from the fast pace, fascinating action, and witty style,
the real delight in reading Kim Newman's books lies in seeing
famous historical figures standing side-by-side with famous
fictional characters. Lord Ruthven (Polidori's vampire creation)
has taken the position of Prime Minister of England in perpetuity.
His cabinet includes a besotted, undead Churchill who brings
small animals to meetings so he can enjoy a tipple. Edgar Poe
(who has dropped Allen on the grounds that it was his step-
father's name) plays a role as a would-be propagandist for the
Dark Prince.

Anyone who enjoyed ANNO DRACULA will find much to like in BLOODY
RED BARON. Anyone who has yet to discover Kim Newman's talent
is in for a pleasant surprise.

KC
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Michael Valdivielso on October 28, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Not bloody likely. Not when Dracula is helping the Kaiser and the German war machine during the Great War. We meet some old characters, like Kate Reed, Charles Beauregard, Dr. Moreau and, of course, Dracula. We also meet a few new characters, from reality and fiction, like the Red Baron himself, Edwin Winthrop (a new intelligence officer), Goring - who seems to pop up in a lot of 20th century fiction - go figure, Herbert West of Miskatonic, Mata Hari, Edgar Poe (who dropped his middle name), a Hungarian actor we all know and love, the elder Orlok and even the name of Langstrom of Gotham University is dropped at one point. He is from DC Comics.
Plus hundreds of real or fictional soldiers, spies and fliers. As gripping and detailed as the first book, but it felt better made - I plowed through it with great speed. The story was tight, never slowed down, always on track.
PERFECT. I look forward to buying the next book.
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