Top positive review
9 of 10 people found this helpful
Double vision works for me
on 2 January 2001
You see, reading 'Binary 2' is like making love to a beautiful woman. You've got to take your time, savour the atmosphere, go with the flow - and when you're finished, you can turn it over and start again...
But enough of the Swiss Tony impression. Being far more familiar with Michael Marshall Smith's work than with Kim Newman's, I picked up 'Binary 2' on the basis that it offered me a fresh fix of MMS while I'm waiting for 'Straw Men' to be published. 'The Vaccinator' reads like a cross between 'Men in Black' and 'Hawaii 5-0', and as one might expect from an MMS story, it's eventful, eminently readable and cooler than Frosty the Snowman in dark glasses.
'Andy Warhol's Dracula' is a slightly different kettle of fish, being darker in tone but matching the knowing humour of 'Vaccinator'. I've only read a few of Newman's short stories, but it's clear that his favourite pastime is remodelling the twentieth century around a fictional conceit, then mixing in a variety of real and fictional characters to suit the situation. 'Warhol' presents a late twentieth century in which vampirism is not only genuine, but romanticised and even fetishised in Europe. It follows Dracula's hippest son on an odyssey to the New World and through Andy Warhol's pop art world, intercut with mock academic critique to add a depth of background flavour not often found in a novella. 'Warhol' demands more of its reader than 'Vaccinator', requiring at least a passing familiarity with the 1970s world on which Newman hangs his sleight-of-reality references, but is just as entertaining as Michael Marshall Smith's more easy-going piece.
All in all, good light reading. Not so much a literary snack as a midnight feast.