8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Orwell meets Dracula in Kafka's Castle,
This review is from: Vampire Nation (Paperback)
This is an amazing novel. I can strongly recommend it as a delightful allegory of organized socialism in the last century. (Delightful being a relative term, of course!) It takes a lot to get me to read a novel in one sitting - Vampire Nation is just such a page turner. Moreover, I've never been a big fan of the genre (or genre fiction in general), but Sipos' treatment has transcended genre with its handling of the premise.
Without exaggeration, I can say that there are echoes of Orwell, Stoker, and Kafka in this novel. (And perhaps just a touch of Jonathan Swift? I couldn't help but feel, as I read the descriptions of the vampires as seen by Henry, the protagonist, that there was a touch of Gulliver's Travels, when Gulliver commented on the physical appearance of the pores in the giant's skin.) The trouble with statements like that, however, is that they compare the literature of today with the literature of the past. Sipos' vision is uniquely his, and uniquely modern, despite the "A meets B" cliche of the title of this review.
For those who like grim descriptions of morbidly graphic scenarios, there are plenty of those in this novel as well. What is particularly disturbing about Sipos' gift for the graphic, however, is that his descriptions of the ghouls in the children's hospital is probably less horrific than the reality of those awful places.
Whether you wish to read it as an allegory, or just an adventure filled romp through Communist Rumania, this book certainly only rarely gives the reader a chance to catch his or her breath.