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Vampire in Suburbia (the Sequel to Desmond) Kindle Edition
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More About the Author
Ulysses Grant Dietz grew up in Syracuse, New York, where his Leave it to Beaver life was enlivened by his fascination with vampires, from Bela Lugosi to Barnabas Collins. He studied French at Yale, and was trained to be a museum curator at the University of Delaware. A curator for thirty-two years, Ulysses has never stopped writing fiction for the sheer pleasure of it. He created the character of Desmond Beckwith in 1988 as his personal response to Anne Rice's landmark novels. Alyson Books released his first novel, Desmond, in 1998. Vampire in Suburbia is his second novel.
Ulysses lives in suburban New Jersey with his partner of 37 years and their two teenaged children.
By the way, the name Ulysses was not his parents' idea of a joke: he is a great-great grandson of Ulysses S. Grant, and his mother is the President's last living great-grandchild. Every year on April 27 he gives a speech at Grant's Tomb in New York City.
Top Customer Reviews
Desmond is reborn again at 21 years old; the loss of his lover Tony is still a fresh scar for a more than 200 years old vampire, but he is ready for a new life; not only he has left the big townhouse in the Bowery, he has also decided he doesn't feel like living in the Dakota apartment like he did for the last years of his previous life. Desmond wants a "country" life, a property remembering him his native England, and the suburbs in New Jersey seem to be the right place.
With the new home, he also meets new friends, like Oliver, the curator of the local Historical society, and Denis, a young business associated; both men stir something in Desmond, but, like in the previous novel, I have to highlight that Desmond is not exactly a champion of diplomacy and tactics. If not for the fact that we know that Desmond is an ancient vampire, he is really behaving like the 21 years old trust fund boy he is pretending to be.
There is really a change in the mood between the two novels, the new Desmond is less "gothic", less dark hero; even the setting is lighter, from a gothic XIX century townhouse full of heavy wooden furniture, to a `20s country house with its Art Deco lightness. Change of life, change of home, and so also change of ending: Desmond, the novel, was nice, but it was sad for Desmond to end up alone. Not the same here, and actually, if the author is in the mood, this could be the nice beginning of the nice vampire suburban series.
For original review see The Prism Book Alliance Blog online
I read Desmond and was enchanted by Ulysses languid prose, but there were elements that meant I could not give it a 5* rating. Those elements have been lessened or removed from this sequel and I was again enchanted. The writing here was more confident, as I suppose was to be expected in a sequel, however, it is more than that the author really knows his character in Vampire in Suburbia. Desmond is a long lived vampire, he is also a detached vampire becoming lonely with his existence. This ennui applied to immortals is not new, and indeed it is a very human trait to apply to immortality, but Ulysses’ vampire ennui is practical rather than existential and that is why in this novel it works.
For one thing Desmond must regenerate on reaching sixty-five and become twenty-one again, a trait to be envied you would think. In order to fit back into life again this vampire becomes his own estranged son, each time. This is not without its problems though, as you must make friends with your friends again, as Desmond says,
Hell, having to live up to your father is one thing. Having to live up to yourself is incredibly annoying.
I loved this premise and it made me think and chuckle. There is a dry humour to this sequel, which I love and Desmond’s self-deprecation is not particularly common in vampires. In this sequel he buys a large home, Oakwood, in need of renovation and surrounded by a lot of land in a suburb of Newark. He knew the house when it was built and the people who had originally lived in it, and his knowledge through interest and actual experience helps him in having the house renovated to high, tasteful and original standards.Read more ›
The first thing that will strike you as you read this is the elegant sophistication of the writing. Every character is lovingly detailed, every setting is breathtaking in its exquisite descriptions. You get to really feel that you are there with these people. You are seeing the world in vivid detail.
Then there are the characters. Desmond is a delightful contradiction in terms. He's 200+ in the body of a 21 year-old, but he talks and acts like an 18th century gentleman. He feeds off of people to live, and yet he is the most caring and compassionate man you'll ever meet. And we get to see his quiet desperation as he searches for love over the decades, always looking for the right person but always coming up short. They can't compare to his first love, the one he lost.
Filling out his world are characters like his feisty assistant Jane. She's funny and fierce and kind and sweet. There's also his best friend and fellow vampire Roger, who is much more modern in every way.
And there is Oliver, the handsome curator who is lonely himself and sees something special about the mysterious young man that shows up in his museum. Oliver acts as the anchor for the story. Desmond can't deny his attraction, but he's been hurt before.
Another great thing about this story (and it's prequel, Desmond) is the re-imagining of the vampire mythology. Vampires age in this world, which helps them to pass as normal.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Loved ,loved , loved the sequel! Great to visit with old friends & discover new - the descriptions of the Newark Museum were so spot on that they gave me chills. Read morePublished 6 months ago by david messner
Well-written, character-driven literary fiction about a world-weary gay vampire, with elements of erotica and intrigue. The sequel to a book that was decades ahead of its time.Published 13 months ago by Brent Hartinger
However, the sequel to "Desmond" was even better. Here I was reading about Desmond and areas of New Jersey I could relate to and had actually visited and lived in or near. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Tony Sorrenti
I loved reading Desmond and was delighted to have my first Kindle book be the sequel to Desmond. Ulysses Dietz is a gifted writer and storyteller. Read morePublished on May 13, 2013 by Artlover752
I think Mr. Grant is a gifted writer. Many gay fiction novels I've read lately have more sex than story and that is a shame really. Read morePublished on January 3, 2013 by Book Worm
"Vampire in Suburbia," set in New York City and Newark, is a gay novel written by Ulysses Dietz.
Early on, during an intimate moment between Desmond, the protagonist,... Read more
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