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The Vampyre of Gotham
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on June 26, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
I've long admired Lev Raphael's work. He's a consummate storyteller, his words as much music and art as they are the fabric of a tale. With "Rosedale the Vampyre," Raphael yet again breaks new ground as he crafts a vampire story unlike any other.

Once he becomes a vampire, the affluent but woefully unhappy Rosedale faces a whole new set of challenges. He finds that, together with powers such as extraordinarily heightened senses, he has also acquired insatiable appetites. He sates his craving for pleasures of the flesh in New York's bordellos, and his thirst for blood in the city's darkest recesses. His journey, at once gorgeous and horrific, is truly riveting. Once again, Raphael delivers!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on June 18, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
With Rosedale, Raphael has in turn created a familiar character and also one completely original. Told in haunting detail and with a literate style that evokes the chill of Poe, the reader is easily drawn into turn of the century New York and to the melancholy life of a vampyre with powers that would make even Dracula jealous. The story is equal parts erotic and disturbing, told with incredible detail and character depth, and will surely grip you like the best of dreams and the very worst of nightmares.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
Lev Raphael's ROSEDALE THE VAMPYRE is an evocative, erotic, beautiful story of a Jewish vampyre set during The Gilded Age (1860-1896) in New York.

This novella, once I started it, pulled me through at a breakneck speed and I didn't stop until I'd finished it in the early hours of the morning. The story is believable, the ending was appropriate, although chilling, and it left me wanting to know more about Rosedale and his possible future relationship to the beautiful prostitute Dominique and the mysterious Walpole.

I found the idea of a Jewish vampyre fascinating. We take so much for granted when thinking about vampyre folklore, but what if the classic weapons have no effect on him because he is Jewish? Intriguing thought!

Highly recommended for fans of Anne Rice and other historical vampire/vampyre stories.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on September 16, 2012
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
I love the period in which this booklet was written, but would love to know what happens next. I feel like the vampyre in the book, wanting to get my next fix. We are all dying (haha) to know how Jewish vampyres evolve and what else makes them so much more special and powerful than the lay vampyre. I can't wait until the next installment on this book. I'm sure Dominique is also waiting!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on September 13, 2012
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
Lev Raphael gives the vampire legend an original twist in this compelling novella. Great sense of time and character make for an enjoyable read. I highly recommend Raphael for all his stories and memoirs-- original, insightful, clear and concise, and he's an all-around good guy too!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on September 3, 2012
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
Lev Raphael is a master storyteller weaving one of his former characters, Jewish banker and outsider, Simon Rosedale, into a dark story within New Yorks Gilded Age. The novella is captivating as well as insightful in giving us a glimpse of a man looking for validation while his sexual and blood obsession rules his life. A great read for Lev Raphael fans.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on August 15, 2012
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
Not having a Kindle shouldn't prevent you from reading this luscious foray into Lev's Gilded Age gothic tale. (Download it onto your Cloud drive as I did.)
What a lovely, dark, sensuous world Rosedale inhabits. Even his melancholy cannot stale the sumptuousness of the world he inhabits for us the readers and we want to follow his meanderings from the streets of New York to his richly appointed home, office, and beyond, drinking in the apparent richness of his life. Superficially, he lives a life most of us can only dream of, but in fact, he only exists from one desperate attempt to achieve oblivion to the next---neither drink, nor sex, nor existential musings can offer him anything but temporary peace. A surprising encounter may turn out to be the answer to what ails him, giving him new venues to consider, re-ordering his former life.
Probably reading ROSEDALE THE VAMPYRE will intrigue you as it did me and make you to want to explore Rosedale's earlier life. ROSEDALE IN LOVE begins with what appears to be an obsession with Edith Wharton's Lily Bart, from THE HOUSE OF MIRTH and where it will lead is up to you, the reader.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
I always hate it when a story I've fallen in love with ends too soon, and it definitely was the case with "Rosedale the Vampyre." I became acquainted with author Lev Raphael's lush writing style when I read his book "My Germany: A Jewish Writer Returns to the World His Parents Escaped." Rosedale features the same superb get-lost-in-good prose, interesting and sympathetic characters and some racy erotic scenes. Add to that an accurate and at times deeply engrossing look at life in the Gilded Age, and you've got one terrific vampire tale that puts a fresh spin on this popular genre. This vampire book is for people who may not believe that they'd like vampire fiction. Pick it up and give yourself a good two hours at most to get through it, and you'll be an instant convert to not only tales of the undead, but to Raphael's masterful writing style.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on July 12, 2012
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
"Rosedale in Love" tops my list of favorite books of fiction written in the last five years. I was hoping for a happy-ever-after life for the unjustly maligned Simon Rosedale through marriage with his cousin, truly a woman of valor. I overcame my hesitation to a sequel in which Rosedale, a widower, becomes a vampire because I admire the writer Lev Raphael's way with words. Where he leads, I will follow. If he wants to write a book about a vampire, then I, who am not a fan of the genre, will read. I was rewarded with a lush tale set in New York's Gilded Age which begins the exploration of a world where a Jew could be a vampire. I commend this tale not only to fans of Lev Raphael's earlier novels but also to those who are unfamiliar with his work but like vampire stories. I eagerly await the further tales of the vampire Rosedale.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format: Kindle Edition
With the exception of a 'shock' ending that was a little too abrupt for my tastes, Rosedale the Vampyre is an entirely satisfying piece of period horror. Lev Raphael has done an admirable job of establishing both setting and atmosphere, providing the reader with a novella that honest feels as if it could be a rediscovered turn-of-the-century work of fiction.

Rosedale is a fascinating character, an empty, sorrowful man who has never quite fit in.Ostracized by family, shunned by society, and bereft of the only woman to have ever loved him, he's a rich Jewish man who seems to have it all . . . but who is a veritable pauper when it comes to happiness. Adding to the sense of tragedy is the fact that he appears to be a genuinely nice guy, polite and solicitous even to the prostitute he frequently employs in a desperate cry for release.

While the discovery of puncture wounds upon his neck and a mysterious stranger in his parlour are initially cause for fear, he quickly acclimatizes to the idea of being a vampire. Raphael plays the situation very carefully, making the transition more about societal power and respect than about supernatural abilities. Freed from the prejudices of those around him, Rosedale not only accepts his fate, he seizes upon it and makes it his own.

What make the story especially interesting for me was the way in which Raphael interweaves spirituality with the vampire legend, drawing upon history to portray the Hebrew race in a very different light. It's a religious element that would normally distance me from the story, but its hands so deftly, with such subtle suggestion, it really does cause one to wonder about just where and why our biblical prejudices began.

A short, atmospheric, gothic tale, this is a novella that's best consumed in a single sitting. Quite a pleasant surprise, and a very nice addition to the vampire genre.
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