Vlad by Carlos Fuentes is a short novel taking place in Mexico City, Mexico. The story was part of the 2004 collection "Inquieta Compañía" and recently came out as its own book translated by Alejandro Branger and Ethan Shaskan Bumas
Count Dracula, Vlad, has decided to immigrate toMexico after the mayhem inEastern Europe and countless wars have shortened his blood supplies. Vlad has vessels inMexico who introduce him Yves Navarro, a lawyer, and his wife Asunción, a real estate agent.
Yves and Asunción have lost a son in sea and Vlad entices them with the promise of seeing their daughter live forever, and remain a child eternally.
Vlad by Carols Fuentes takes on an interesting premise, what if Dracula still lived and settled inMexico City. As one might expect, there is a lot of dark humor in this book, starting with the strange requests the client is making of the real estate agent ("remote", "easy to defend") to the client's look which consists of a silly wig and glued on mustache.
What I found to be different in this book is that the reader knows a lot more than the narrator. This style of storytelling invigorates the dark comedy and brings a sense of ominous foreboding to banal and meaningless lines said by the famous Count.
In this rendition of the story, Fuentes marries vampire and lawyers - both server as vessels for unprincipled lust without ethics. As many vampire stories do, they let the fantasy and myth reflect on our own lives through anecdotes and metaphors.
While I'm not much for horror and fear, I think this novel is a gem which clearly illustrates the essence of great writing, characterization and flamboyancy which are difficult to pull off. The balance between horror and comedy, debauchery and personification are perfect and the campy, yet surreal atmosphere is almost magical.