Customer Reviews


3 Reviews
5 star:    (0)
4 star:
 (2)
3 star:
 (1)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The first, but not the best, but still excellent...
There are two types of Vampire fans: those who have encounted Chelsea Quinn Yarbro's Comte de Saint-Germain, and those who are yet to discover the greatest series of vampire novels in history. Sadly, Yarbo is virtually unknown in the UK, is far too subtle for most readers of 'Twilight', fans of 'True Blood' and the glut of adolescent "dark romances" that have appeared in...
Published on 21 April 2011 by Stephen E. Andrews

versus
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 3.5 stars Different but still good
Comte Saint Germain is an elegant,charismatic and mysterious foreigner, in mid-18th century Paris.Saint Germain is one of the million names he has acquired throughout his existence, which basically counts back to the beginning of time.He is, of course, a vampire.However, he's unlike any vampire I have ever read.What came as a complete surprise to me, is his character.He...
Published on 24 May 2010 by Giota V.


Most Helpful First | Newest First

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The first, but not the best, but still excellent..., 21 April 2011
By 
Stephen E. Andrews "Writer" (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
There are two types of Vampire fans: those who have encounted Chelsea Quinn Yarbro's Comte de Saint-Germain, and those who are yet to discover the greatest series of vampire novels in history. Sadly, Yarbo is virtually unknown in the UK, is far too subtle for most readers of 'Twilight', fans of 'True Blood' and the glut of adolescent "dark romances" that have appeared in the last few years. Yarbro has been writing vampire tales since the late seventies and she even makes Anne Rice's first vampire novel look a bit silly (and don't get me wrong, I love 'Interview with a Vampire'). Not only that, but at least half of her series is out of print and have been reissued at prohibitive prices in trade paperbacks with sometimes dreadfully cheesy covers. The prices puts young and thrifty readers off, the fact that the books featue a vampire deter the literati, while obsessives who seem to think they have to read everything 'in order' are deterred by the fact that the chronology of the books is complex.

This is all a great shame, as Yarbro is not only the absolute Queen of the modern vampire novel (and I've read all the classics from Byron to Le Fanu, from Stoker to Matheson, from George R. R, Martin to Whitley Streiber to Ray Garton and many others), she is also a stunningly gifted historical novelist and purveyor of real literature. I wish a UK publisher would buy the rights, issue them in uniform B format editions and just SHOUT ABOUT THEM. I didn't read a Vampire novel for many years and thought the whole thing was long (un)dead, tired and dull, but Yarbro breathes fresh life into the vampire novel while remaining traditionalist about the mythology of the blood-drinkers in so many ways. Incidentally, she does have one rival - Suzy McKee Charnas' 'The Vampire Tapestry' is the best standalone vampire novel I've ever read, a real work of art that should be in Penguin Modern Classics or NYRB Classics.

'Hotel Transylvania' was the first Saint-Germain book to be issued (and yes, someone has nicked the title for a Hollywood movie that has nothing to do with the book). You don't have to read it first, though, guys. You can read the Saint-Germain books in any order in my opinion, as every one I've read (I've now read thirteen of them, with as many to go) has been excellent and stands alone as a one-off. 'Hotel Transylvania' is also not the first book in order of internal chronology (i.e. the timeline the stories themselves fall into if arranged in their historical date order instead of order of publication). My point here is that as a first dip into the world of Saint-Germain, it's fine, but (and this is a big but) it is not the best of the books and is the most atypical.

However, 'Hotel Transylvania' is by far the most melodramatic and traditional of the Saint-Germain novels I've read so far, so for a novice used to more trad vampire tales, it is a good place to start. For readers used to literary fiction, I'd suggest 'Blood Games', 'Blood Roses' or 'Saint-Germain: Memoirs', which are subtler and more typical of Yarbro's tone in the sequence as a whole. I'm not going to recount the plot here, but if you like Laclos' 'Dangerous Liaisons', but imagine the villain as a vile Satanist and the hero as a virtuous vampire, you'll get an idea of the feel.

Saint-Germain: subtle, sensual, truly romantic (with both a large and a small r) and refreshingly different. Mature readers tired of the same old blood-sucking cliches should give the Comte a try - world-weary, sexy, refined and with a mystery all of his own (there is little violence, blood letting or over-use of vampire mythos in these mysterious tales), these novels show what a supremely gifted writer can do with an old cliche by putting it to use as a way of observing mankind's history through a glass darkly. It's all magnificent stuff.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Subtle description, subtle powers, great read., 12 Mar. 2003
By 
A. Cotton "AJR" (London UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The Saint Germain books have a reputation for being full of period description and it certainly felt like I was in a BBC Period drama. Characters and places are described excellently, you really feel like you are experiencing the time they live in and the authoress manages to unveil everything in a slightly sensuous way.
The villians (ignoring the fact the hero is a vampire!) are sufficiently evil to get you boo-ing them, and Saint Germain and his comrades are sufficient hero-like to get you rooting for them. Saint Germain himself is a good vampire character - his supernatural 'powers' are not flaunted in a comic book way, but in a subtle slowly revealed way. I dont think every Anne Rice fan will love these books, but as this is the first in the series it is well worth getting it to see what you think. Personally I am looking forward to reading the whole series.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 3.5 stars Different but still good, 24 May 2010
Comte Saint Germain is an elegant,charismatic and mysterious foreigner, in mid-18th century Paris.Saint Germain is one of the million names he has acquired throughout his existence, which basically counts back to the beginning of time.He is, of course, a vampire.However, he's unlike any vampire I have ever read.What came as a complete surprise to me, is his character.He is good.He is THE hero.He is there to save the damsel in distress because he feels it's his obligation, as a noble and gallant man.Not because he desperately wants her or because he wants something in return.I'm not saying that all the other vampire's I've read about are like that, but they all had a darkness in them,giving off a sense of danger even to the ones dearest and closest to them.St.Germain is not like that.He is so good and kind hearted, it's almost awkward.In a sentence : he is the purest vampire in the history of vampires.

He cannot feel ecstasy through the act of sex, since,according to Yarbro's take on vampires, "they[vampires]are not capable of genital sexual contact, but they express their desires through their biting". I know a lot of people who are into PNR may be put off by this, and I'll be honest, I was too at the beginning.But when I finished reading, I found myself being fascinated and intrigued by the change of the vampire status quo.Being different is not always bad.However, the lack of sex scenes does by no means indicate that this is a Young Adult book, far from it.It contains extensive and very detailed descriptions of Satanic rituals along with nudity.

Hotel Transylvania may not the best one of the series storywise, but Yarbro's exquisite writing is what's keeping it alive,in my opinion.She portrays vividly and with impeccable period details the glamour of 18th century Paris upper class and high society along with its decadence and immorality.She is an amazing historical fiction writer(romance is mostly a sublot in this book).

You should definitely try out at least one book of St.Germain series, since,as far as I know,each one is set in a different place and in a different time, so continuity is not an issue.I recommend them,basically because of Yarbro's incredible writing but also because after all these modernized teen hunky vampires, it's good to sit back and find out where it all began, enjoying a wonderfully written, classic vampire novel.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Hotel Transylvania
Hotel Transylvania by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro (Paperback - 1 Feb. 1979)
Used & New from: £0.22
Add to wishlist See buying options
Only search this product's reviews