cover image Anno Dracula: Johnny Alucard

Anno Dracula: Johnny Alucard

Kim Newman. Titan (, $24.99 (448p) ISBN 978-0-85768-086-0

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 ‘Imagine,’ 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.)