Monday, July 04, 2011

New in Paperback: Anno Dracula by Kim Newman

It’s terrific to see the amazing Kim Newman’s Anno Dracula back in print at this most vampire-appropriate time. After all, since the book’s original publication back in 1992, we’ve come a very long way both as a culture and as consumers of all things vampiric.

Upon first publication, Anno Dracula met with critical acclaim. As the New York Times said back in 1992, “Anno Dracula is the definitive account of that post-modern species, the self-obsessed undead.” That’s a statement that sounds even more relevant in 2011 than it did nearly two decades ago.

Like much of Newman’s work, Anno Dracula takes what is history and shakes it up with an alternate view. This time out, though, he’s blended not only history, but historical literature, mashing up Victorian England with Bram Stoker’s best known tale. In Newman’s telling, Queen Victoria has remarried the dark count during Jack the Ripper’s reign. Madness ensues. How could it not?

Though in 1992 Anno Dracula was widely reviewed and publicly lauded, one must assume that -- ultimately -- the book did not do well because it ended up out of print. Titan Books has remedied that with a reprint edition that I can’t help but think will do very well. After all the vampires we’ve been exposed to over the last few years, we’re ready for Newman’s light and cunning take as well as a fond reimagining that will have you wondering well beyond the final page. Newman is a master and Anno Dracula is, arguably, his finest work. It’s good to see it back in print. It will be joined by the second and third books in the series, The Bloody Red Baron and Dracula Cha Cha Cha in 2012. A brand new fourth novel, Johnny Alucard, will be published in 2013. ◊

Lincoln Cho
is a freelance writer and editor. He lives in the Chicago area, where he works in the high-tech industry. He is currently working on a his first novel, a science-fiction thriller set in the world of telecommunications.

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