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Anno Dracula: Johnny Alucard (Anno Dracula, 1976-1991) Hardcover – September 17, 2013
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From Publishers Weekly
The transformation in 1944 of a boy into a vampire launches the zany latest entry in Newman's Anno Dracula series of vampire stories, set in an alternate world where Dracula ruled England before dying in 1959. The boy, who goes first by John Popp and later by Johnny Alucard, heads for the bright lights of New York, where he's immersed in Manhattan celebrity culture, and Hollywood, where he's immersed in greed; Newman gleefully and capably skewers the inanities of life in both cities in the 1990s. As America embraces the cutting-edge vampire phenomenon, Alucard's intentions turn sinister and he contemplates revenge against vampire opponents. The exuberance of Newman's satire is overwhelming at times, but takeoffs such as a benefit concert for the Transylvania Movement (featuring the Free Transylvania anthem—John Lennon's ÇÿImagine,' the greatest song ever written by a vampire ) are undeniably funny. As vampire characters from previous books resist Alucard's domination, cash disbursements ensure his success in human society. The conclusion hints at further tales to come. Agent: James Lockhart, Antony Harwood Literary Agency. (Sept.)
"Anno Dracula: Johnny Alucard is a rollicking ride through the pop culture of 1976-1991, as Kim Newman cleverly twists and turns the events of those fifteen years to fit his vampiric narrative." - Criminal Element
"I highly suggest picking up this book. 9/10" - Horror News Network
"A dream come true for long-time fans of the Anno Dracula series" - Open Letters Monthly
"This is yet another must read book from an accomplished author, don’t let it pass you by." - Pop Cults
"Recommended for literate horror fans who wants something cleverer than the latest True Blood or Twilight book. Great fun and definitely recommended." - SciFi Movie Page
"I entered a world which totally engulfed me." - Horror-Movies.ca
"A rollicking ride through the pop culture of 1976-1991, as Kim Newman cleverly twists and turns the events of those fifteen years to fit his vampiric narrative." - Criminal Element
"This book will delight fans of the series and bring in new fans as well, it’s a fun and easy read put together beautifully by Titan Books." - City of Films
"The sheer imagination, dark humor and masterful use of vampire lore makes Johnny Alucard another triumph for Newman and should make the book top-of-shelf for vampire lovers everywhere." - The Vampire Source Review
"An interesting and relevant vampire story. Newman’s nuanced portrayal of vampires is incredibly refreshing." - Paper Droids
"Both gripping and horrific… and also slightly hilarious." - Comic Book Resources
"Newman has crafted a remarkably entertaining story and found a way to breathe new life in the tired old vampire tropes. I particularly love the final scene, which I found to be rather beautiful and a perfect way to end this story. This book is one I highly recommend looking up, whether or not you're a fan of Nosferatu." - Horror Talk
"This book was addicting, fun, intelligent, and exciting." - Nerd Span
" Tough and tender, funny and frightening, intellectual and poppy, Johnny Alucard is one vampire book that’s likely to put many others in its black and red-cloaked shade." - Adventures in SciFi Publishing
"I would recommend Johnny Alucard for both it’s historical and entertainment value" - Atomic Moo
"Newman is having a blast." - Den of Geek
"stands above the rest of most of the vampire literature out on the shelves right now and for recent years." - Aint It Cool
"The sheer quality of Kim Newman’s writing remains unchanged" - One Metal
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Top customer reviews
My bare bones summary does not even begin to describe the rich satire and cultural references that fill every page of the book. The first quarter tells the fictional story of Francis Ford Copola filming a Dracula biography in Transylvania, a story that is basically a retelling of the trials and tribulations he faced in making Apocalypse Now in the Philippines, but with vampires. The next section has Johnny Alucad establishing himself as the drug lord of New York selling the vampire blood concocation known as 'Drac'. It's Scarface, but with vampires. Other sections reference Top Gun, the end of the Cold War, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and other historical and fictional events. It's fun, there are some real laugh out loud moments and even the most dedicated pop culture fan is sure to miss some references.
But after a while it gets to be too much. At one point Alucard is faced with a team of vampire hunters including Robert De Niro's character from Taxi Driver, Gene Hackman from the French Connection and (why not) Shaggy from Scooby Doo. It's a cute scene, but would be so much better if we'd actually seen these characters before and if they had any point other than to be an obvious reference.
As I read I got tired of going to Wikipedia to see what a company's name or a ship is really a reference too.
Newman is a delightful writer and I'm always happy to have something new come out, but he needs to reign in some of his desire for in-jokes when they start to hurt my enjoyment of the story.
And then there's the mythology....in Anno Dracula, Newman developed the idea that vampire elders were more powerful than newborns and that silver was deadly to any vampire....if you remember the elder Kostaki(?) character from Anno Dracula, you'll remember him dying of silver poisoning after being shot with a silver bullet. Yet in this novel, the newborn Allucard develops powers seemingly overnight and survives a mass attack (which included everyone from Popeye Doyle to Shaggy and Scooby) simply by drinking vampire blood. Even old favorites like Genevieve and Kate seem like shells of their former selves.
I'd like to say that Newman saves the novel with a fabulous ending, but sadly that doesn't happen. It's more like he just decided to stop writing or had run out of names to throw into the mix.
So if you enjoyed the original Anno Dracula, I recommend you steer well clear of this installment....believe me when I say it's not even close to being in the same league.