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Fangland: A Novelby John Marks
"In this extraordinary new thriller of a bloodsucker novel, John Marks has crafted a horror story that rivals its most noted forebear: Bram Stoker's Dracula....The trick still works; the intertwined first-person narratives lend the book a documentary feel that heightens tension as it increases the believability of a fantastical plot." Jessica Bennett, Rain Taxi (read the entire Rain Taxi review)
Synopses & Reviews
An acclaimed novelist and former 60 Minutes producer grandly reinvents the Dracula epic in the halls of a certain television newsmagazine.
In the annals of business trips gone horribly wrong, Evangeline Harker's journey to Romania on behalf of her employer, the popular television newsmagazine The Hour, deserves pride of place. Sent to Transylvania to scout out a possible story on a notorious Eastern European crime boss named Ion Torgu, she has found the true nature of Torgu's activities to be far more monstrous than anything her young journalist's mind could have imagined. The fact that her employer clearly won't get the segment it was hoping for is soon the very least of her concerns.
Back in New York, Evangeline's disappearance causes an uproar at the office and a wave of guilt and recrimination. Then suddenly, several months later, she's heard from: miraculously, she's convalescing in a Transylvania monastery, her memory seemingly scrubbed. But then who was sending e-mails through her account to The Hour employees? And what are those great coffin-like boxes of objects delivered to the office in her name from the Old Country? And why does the show's sound system appear to be infected with some strange virus, an aural bug that coats all recordings in a faint background hiss that sounds like the chanting of...place-names? And what about the rumors that a correspondent has scored an interview with Torgu, here in New York, after all? As a very dark Old World atmosphere deepens in the halls of one of America's most trusted television programs, its employees are forced to confront a threat beyond their wildest imaginings, a threat that makes gossip about an impending corporate shakeup seem very quaint indeed.
Written in the form of diary entries, e-mails, therapy journals, and other artifacts of early-twenty-first-century American professional-class life, compiled as an informal inquest by a very interested party, Fangland manages both to be a genuinely — in fact, triumphantly — frightening vampire novel in the grand tradition and a, yes, biting commentary on the way we live and work now.
"Marks has written an electrifying modern tale of horror that pays homage to Bram Stoker's Dracula. He goes much further, however, creating a hideous vampire more horrifying than anything that ever came from Stoker's imagination. Highly recommended." Library Journal
"Marks' sense of place...and tone-setting emphasis on blood and bloodlines kick in early....A scary twenty-first-century take on the stuff of Dracula, worthy of its rightful place among others." Booklist
"A disappointment for horror fans; though Romania provides good, scary fun, the New York scenes are a mess." Kirkus Reviews
"Half satire, half vampire novel, but completely ridiculous, Fangland has an absurdly complicated structure and goes on far too long to support the journalists-as-bloodsuckers joke." Joe Queenan, The New York Times Book Review
"Fangland is the rare real thing: a novel about a monster that evokes all the sadness, brutality and hideous glamour of human depravity. It's about the abyss, and the big hole in Lower Manhattan, and the strange, dark, funny stuff in each of us. It'll grab you and not let go until it's done with you." Audrey Niffenegger, author of The Time Traveler's Wife
"Love and death, sex and violence, satiric wit and genuine horror: Fangland has it all. Much more than a modern goth thriller, John Marks's novel is, at its dark heart, a meditation on the nature of good and evil. I was thoroughly creeped out — and enjoyed every minute of it." Keith Donohue, author of The Stolen Child
An acclaimed novelist and former producer for CBS's 60 Minutes reinvents the Dracula epic in the halls of a certain television newsmagazine. Written in the form of diary entries, e-mails, therapy journals, and other artifacts of early 21st-century American professional-class life, this vampire novel is a biting commentary on the way we live and work now.
As the popularity of Elizabeth Kostova's bestselling The Historian proves, there's always an audience bloodthirsty for quality, page-turning horror. Now, in a marvelously horrifying turn, John Marks-a former 60 Minutes producer-sinks his satirical teeth into twenty-first- century media. In Fangland, Evangeline Harker is an employee of the legendary TV news magazine The Hour. Sent on assignment to Transylvania, she delivers more than a story when mysterious e-mails, coffins, and a creepy guy named Torgu descend on the New York office. This darkly funny tale will appeal to vampire and horror aficionados as well as anyone who's fed up with what passes for "news" today.
About the Author
The former bureau chief of U.S. News & World Report in Berlin, where he lived for five years, John Marks has written for the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, among other publications. He holds an M.F.A. from the Writers' Workshop at the University of Iowa and is currently a domestic correspondent at U.S. News & World Report. He lives in New York City.
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