cover image From Hell to Breakfast

From Hell to Breakfast

Meghan Tifft. Unnamed, $17 trade paper (264p) ISBN 978-1-944700-62-1

A Pirandellian farce that owes more to David Lynch than Anne Rice, Tifft’s bizarre, captivating second novel (after The Long Fire) depicts the perilous relationship between a young woman and a man who claims to be Dracula. Dracula, a night-shift UPS driver, can’t remember anything before meeting Lucinda, causing him to wonder if “he has domesticated himself right out of his eternal curse and never noticed it.” This domesticated Dracula feeds on pigeons instead of women, while Lucinda, whose dietary staple is chewing gum, is rehearsing a play she has written about celebrity and immortality. The central prop is a coffin, “a portal back and forth between the idolatrous and the arcane, the consecrated and the debased, the destined and the damned.” Dracula is not the strangest character in this novel, which features mysterious doppelgängers, an experimental theater troupe, and Lucinda’s creepy boss, whose daughter is one of several young women who have disappeared in the small town. The more Lucinda and Dracula learn about the “currents of obscure collusion” among this supporting cast, and the “inexplicable correlations of their partnerships,” the greater the sense that they’re unwitting actors in some grotesque, indecipherable performance piece. Tifft dexterously and lucidly handles the pervasive confusion. This is a sharp, head-spinning story about two lovers desperately seeking nourishment. (Oct.)