Vlad

Carlos Fuentes, Author, Ethan Shaskan Bumas, Translator, Alejandro Branger, Translator
Carlos Fuentes, trans. from the Spanish by E. Shaskan Bumas and Alejandro Branger. Dalkey Archive, $17.95 trade paper (125p) ISBN 978-1-56478-779-8
Reviewed on: 05/21/2012
Release date: 07/01/2012
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In this short novel, Fuentes (1928–2012) follows the pattern of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, but infuses the story with a modern sensibility and vivid imagery: a bedroom filled with eerily identical dolls all dressed in pink; a flock of bats that resemble monstrous winged rats, with “filthy, long, hairy ears.” In place of Stoker’s Jonathan Harker, Fuentes has lawyer Yves Navarro, devoted to his beautiful wife, Asunción, and young daughter, Magdalena. Navarro makes a house call to the title character, a mysterious and wealthy new resident in overcrowded and somewhat lawless Mexico City. When Yves sets out for his appointment one dark and stormy night, the door to Vlad’s elegant new home (procured by Asunción, a real estate agent) is answered by a hunchback servant, and the vampire even uses the classic Dracula line, “I never drink... wine.” Navarro, however, does lose consciousness, and wakes knowing neither where he is nor how he got there. By the time Navarro realizes the danger around him, he’s already in too deep. A deliciously barbed bagatelle from a fiction master, with perhaps a strain of allegory for a world devoured by rapaciousness. (July)
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