- Paperback: 512 pages
- Publisher: Titan Books; Reprint edition (26 Oct. 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0857680854
- ISBN-13: 978-0857680853
- Product Dimensions: 13.1 x 3.2 x 20.3 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 17,497 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Anno Dracula - Dracula Cha Cha Cha Paperback – 26 Oct 2012
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What's the best way to approach Newman's brilliant new addition to his reinvention of the Dracula myth? Is it to expect an eccentrically plotted, flesh-tingling horror tale with some stunningly orchestrated (and grisly) set pieces? Or is it look for a highly intelligent, post-modern riff on the vampire concept, stuffed full of clever and witty references to both real-life and fictional characters? Actually, it's both. Since the groundbreaking Anno Dracula, Newman has not been content to turn out merely efficient and atmospheric thrillers (although he can do that as effortlessly as anyone in the genre); clearly what excites him is to extrapolate elements of an over-familiar genre into a richly textured picture of a society: Victorian England in Anno Dracula, and a fascinatingly realised Rome in the late 1950s in this latest book. Into this world of La Dolce Vita, paparazzi and coins in fountains, Newman injects his highly individual spin on a society in which vampirism is endemic. The jet setters, intellectuals and vampires of the Eternal City are talking about the forthcoming marriage of Count Dracula (in Italian exile from Transylvania) to the Moldavian Princess Asa Vajda. Some speculate that this is the first step in Dracula's master plan: to reassert his supremacy as Lord of the Undead. But this is essentially a backdrop to Newman's real story--an implacable, terrifying and enigmatic figure known as the Crimson Executioner is bloodily dispatching vampires in the city. Coming closer and closer to some grim revelations is Newman's insecure journalist heroine Kate, but the masterstroke here is the involvement of undead British secret agent Bond. However, this isn't quite Ian Fleming's sardonic character: and the other literary characters finding themselves involved in the operatic blood-letting include Patricia Highsmith's Tom Ripley, among many others. The brilliance and wit with which Newman reinvents these characters and incorporates them into his own outrageous narrative will probably make it difficult to ever see them in the same light again. But never do these mordantly funny reinventions overwhelm the inexorable progress of the plot, and Kate, struggling with her own vampirism, is a heroine as richly characterised as any in mainstream fiction. And when it comes to delivering the goods in terms of the gruesome, Newman has few equals:
Something she'd never seen before happened to Malenka. Pockets of blubber bulged under Malenka's skin, inflating her face, her belly, her thighs, her torso, her arms. She ballooned, splitting like overcooked sausage. White stuff, veined with red, bubbled out of her rent skin. Her dress exploded.--Barry Forshaw
He writes with sparkling verve... Dracula Cha Cha Cha has full rations of gore, shocks and sly laughs --The Times
"Newman is at his best when creating vampire works, and Dracula Cha Cha Cha is easily one of the best vampire stories ever told. Check it out today!" --BioGamer Girl
"Newman does it again. He s taken his own story, filled it with characters and themes from a variety of different sources and yet somehow managed to create something original that somehow fills you with a sense of nostalgia." --Bad Haven
"A fun, sly read for both Anno Dracula fans as well as newcomers. It manages a fine balance between seriousness and jokey irrelevance. Roll on the next Anno Dracula book we say!" --SciFi Movie Hype review
"If you already read this book when it first came out and you're a fan of Newman's, you might want to get it anyway. Because A) Titan Books really gave those books some absolutely fantastic covers ("Dracula Cha Cha Cha" has a cover like an old school movie poster; very stylish) and B) there's an additional brand new novella included here called "The Aquarius". I won't spoil that one at all, but it's the same level of quality of writing. So yeah, get it." --Trash Mutant review
"Enjoy the book for it s weird quirkiness and movie star surprises." --Atomic Moo
"The story adds a heady mix of mystery, thriller and alternative history to create something utterly unique." --One Metal Review
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Top Customer Reviews
But even better is Newman's twisted use of people from fact, fantasy and fiction from across the board. Here we've got a 007 who has been boosted by vampire blood, so it's a bloody mary(perhaps) shaken not stirred. A human user called Tom Ripley, who'll take advantage of anyone human or vampire. And a myriad of other figures from every genre you can remeber and some you can't.
If you don't like horror this is the book for you, because it looks at a world where vampires may drink blood, but have just as many problems as the rest of us (in this case a serial killer who can take them down, as well as dealing with the death of a loved one, growing older, growing up.) This is wonderfully written, exceptionally humane horror/fantasy and one of the most inventive books of the year.
I don't think this would have been as effective had Newman took the more obvious era of the Second World War as his setting. He has "done" the whole war thing from a vampire perspective in The Bloody Red Baron, so if he did it here as well, it could have become a simple retread. Thankfully this is a bold gamble which pays off.
The novel is populated by characters you could find in Federico Fellini, Maro Bava and Dario Argento films, and oozes atmosphere and class. From its intriguing opening flight into Rome, to its trip through the chaotic streets of the cosmopolitan city, this third entry holds you in an iron grip and never lets go.
I am a big Ian Fleming fan, so it was a delight to see a vampire secret agent with the surname Bond involved in the proceedings! Newman has really done his research again, he even remembers the special brand of cigarette Fleming's famous creation smokes. It is small attention to details like this which make reading any Newman novel such a joy. Not only can you enjoy being swept up in all the action, you can also spend hours doing follow up reading or viewing yourself.
Like the others, this is packed with movie and novel references, as well as nods to history. Newman has expertly and lovingly crafted his own alternate vampire universe, and I thoroughly enjoy it every time I visit it.
This will hold up to repeated readings and guarantees Newman's place as one of the most influential writers of horror in the world today.Read more ›
Genevieve, Kate Reed and the very elderly Charles believe it will be disastrous if Dracula is accepted again and as if this were not enough, The Crimson Avenger is a killer dispatching elders (vampires who have lived a long time). Will the Undead British Secret agent Hamish Bond be a help or a hindrance and who is the legendary Mother of tears?
The story is well written and paced and there is no shortage of celebrity cameos of famous vampires (Count Von Kroloch from "Dance of the Vampires" for one) and of other well known figures too-watch out for an undead Tony Hancock!
Hamish Bond is clearly a pastiche of 007 himself which Ian Fleming Publications have been sporting enough to accept as a warm tribute & not make trouble over. Hamish has a few of the famous traits of the literary Bond e.g. South Sea Island Cotton shirts & great love of the finer things.
The ending will make you anxious to see where the series will go with Johnny Alucard.
There is a novella which is set in the swinging sixties as Kate Reed investigates a killer who it is beleived is deliberately making deaths look like vampires did it. Much of her invesigation is on a college campus. This is more than readable but not up to the standard of other Anno tales, that's why I knocked a point off. A little better and the book would have got 5 stars.
If you enjoyed the previous 2 books, it's a must!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Bought this as a present, recipient loved it. They loved the fact that the references were more "recent" and fitted well in to the format of the book.Published 3 months ago by Tracy
Of the four Anno Dracula books, this is the weakest. But Newman on poor form is better than many authors bringing their A Game. Read morePublished 10 months ago by David Coutts
With Dracula Cha Cha Cha, Kim Newman has brought his tale of a world where vampires and humans have a shared existence up to 1959 in Rome. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Neil Griffiths