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Slave of My Thirst Hardcover – October 1, 1997

11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

These days, what can a writer do to make his vampire novel stand out from the pack? In Lord of the Dead (LJ 1/96), Holland made Lord Byron one, and he brings his vampire Byron back in this new novel, narrated in part by Bram Stoker. Like Stoker's masterpiece, this book is arranged as a series of letters, journal, and diary entries. Stoker here plays Doctor Watson to a Doctor John Eliot's Sherlock Holmes. The book's opening section, though, comes right out of the movie Gunga Din, complete with a deadly battle atop a tower against the forces of Kali. But in this novel, those forces are not thugs but zombies, and Kali is not just a statue but a supernatural power who summons Jack the Ripper into the book. Holland mixes all of these associations together and serves up an entertaining concoction all his own. Literary junk food, perhaps, but you won't stop after just one bite. Highly recommended.?Charles Michaud, Turner Free Lib., Randolph, Mass.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

In his previous book, Lord of the Dead (1995), Holland turned Lord Byron into a vampire; in this one, he uses the vampire myth to explore reason versus passion in Victorian England. An introductory note by "Abraham Stoker" (the book is full of literary jokes) sets the mood by warning the reader of the danger in this "body of papers," which includes chapters from a book about India and excerpts from letters and diaries. The section in India is told by a charmingly pompous British officer sent to Kalikshutra on India's border, where Russians are infiltrating. There, he meets an English doctor studying a local "disease" that seems to turn people into vampires. The action moves quickly in this section, but after 75 pages, the scene and teller shift to London and the English doctor John Eliot. He is a less humorous storyteller, but the tale builds new momentum when an old friend asks him to investigate the disappearance of her husband, who just happens to be presenting a bill in Parliament about Kalikshutra. His search leads him through the real Victorian London (meeting Conan Doyle, Oscar Wilde, and some surprises) and the spiritual world behind it. Holland does a good job of pacing the discoveries in this page-turner. Fans of vampire stories, mysteries, spiritual musings, and Victorian London will clamor for this one. Kevin Grandfield

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Atria; First Edition edition (October 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671540521
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671540524
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.5 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,917,251 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Lauren on July 4, 2003
Format: Paperback
Having recently read Holland's first Byron novel, _Lord of the Dead_, i couldn't wait to read this one, and I was not disappointed at all. I've read all of the reviews saying how contrived the historial characters are, and i strongly disagree. Bram Stoker is exactly how i imagined him, a sweet yet doddering man with a simple life with a simple inspired idea for a novel. Jack is even more interesting in the novel, drawing the reader into his carnal lust for death and resentment towards the filth of the world. Polidori is great and annoying at the same time as usual, and of course, Byron is terrific and beautifully portrayed as well.
The book had no slow parts whatsoever, every page was filled with mystery and deceit and wonderful descriptions of its characters. The climax was tremendous and it made my heart beat faster as i turned the pages, afraid and expectant.
I don't want to give away too much, but as a suggestion to readers, pay close attention to the beggining of the story with Moorefield and the army guys, you won't regret it even though it is a little bit tedious compared to the meat of the book itself.
I seriously want more Byron, especially after the end comment from Jack (if anyone knows what i am saying!).
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Minsma on September 25, 2000
Format: Paperback
*Slave of My Thirst* is an engaging trip through a number of narrative styles, from an hilariously oafish British colonial officer, to Bram Stoker's journal, to the diary of the Sherlock Holmes-like hero, Jack Eliot, and beyond. Each voice is distinctive, advancing the plot from its own point of view, making for an interesting journey from the remote mountain passes of India to the slums of London, from the vampiric worshippers of the goddess Kali, to the prostitutes and opium addicts of Whitechapel. Although overall I would say this is a "ripping good yarn," it transforms itself over the course of its varied narratives from a 19th century adventure story into something else, quite rich and strange. Jack Eliot, accompanied by Bram Stoker, tries to rescue one of Jack's old friends, and also to protect a young actress of Stoker's acquaintance from a web of intrigue which boggles the rational, Victorian minds of the two men. Holland has written passages of almost hypnotic sensuality (which were also interesting in his other vampire novel, *Lord of the Dead*), interspersed with a claustrophobic sense of being trapped in a life not of one's choosing, and with deliciously amorale characters. *Slave of My Thirst* seduces with a plot which masquerades as a linear adventure story, then broadens out into nearly hallucinogenic fantasy, and ultimately returns to being a thriller. Dr. Jack Eliot and friends may start off as fearless vampire killers, but they end up being transformed by their experiences--sometimes quite literally.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 26, 1999
Format: Paperback
This was a novel which touched many points of the adventurous spectrum, traveling from India to England. But, underneath all of the main plot, there is a sub plot which is superb. The fact that Holland was able to work in Lillith as a character is astounding. Lillith has a house which all are subject to a metamophasis. You had to have read the Lord Of The Dead to understand the Lord Ruthven lines and Holland's "rules" on vamparism. The part in India is pretty boring and simple, but necessary. The instance where Stoker and Elliot go into the Opium den was cool, not many other vampire writers touch on that. The ending is so completely great. I loved it...I've never read a book with a more complex and intrical ending. I give this book two thumbs up anyone's rear who says that the ending was bad. This book is definetely for the Elizebethan reader. READ IT TODAY!!!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Craig Larson VINE VOICE on October 7, 2002
Format: Paperback
I read this book in the British version, with alternate title _Supping With Panthers_. It isn't exactly the most inspired of plots and the characters are pretty derivative (as others have noted)--John Eliot, the protagonist, is a pretty-thinly disguised version of Sherlock Holmes, for example. But there is something undeniably gripping about this story. I can't quite put my finger on what it is exactly that Holland has brought to the table, only that I found myself unable to stop reading. Maybe it's the epistolary structure (the novel is told through letters, diaries, and journal entries), each fragment given a suitably unique voice as it pushes the story forward. Perhaps the strongest part of the book are the early scenes in India, as a group of "stiff upper lip" British soldiers are sent to a mysterious region on the frontier and find themselves face to face with Russian zombie/vampires. Holland's attempt to bring real-life characters (Oscar Wilde, Bram Stoker) into the story to mingle with his fictional creations has been done better elsewhere (notably, Tim Powers' _The Stress of Her Regard_), but the whole package, ultimately, shapes up as something pretty memorable. Recommended!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Kyter@AOL.com on June 19, 1998
Format: Hardcover
The book might be worth reading if only for the first section set in India. It has all the elements of adventure and horrors to be found on some late night black and white movie. But sadly, the remainder of this book, while interesting at times, fails to deliver the promise of what takes place in the first 75 of 421 pages. His ideas are very interesting and would provoke a lively discussion of many of them. But he cloaks them too deeply in layer after layer of words. Thus reducing the pleasure of the read (which is why we're here) while we remove words from the page like cloaks to be removed after coming inside to a warm room. All this to finally uncover his ideas! Too much work for too little. Yet I must admit that at moments my attention was absorbed. And the authors ability to bring us to India and England of 1888 could not be considered to have been a wasted effort.
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