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Dracula Cha Cha Cha

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Written by award-winning novelist Kim Newman, this is a brand-new edition, with additional 40,000 word never-before-seen novella, of the popular third installment of the Anno Dracula series, Dracula Cha Cha Cha. Rome. 1959. Count Dracula is about to marry the Moldavian Princess Asa Vajda - his sixth wife. Journalist Kate Reed flies into the city to visit the ailing Charles Written by award-winning novelist Kim Newman, this is a brand-new edition, with additional 40,000 word never-before-seen novella, of the popular third installment of the Anno Dracula series, Dracula Cha Cha Cha. Rome. 1959. Count Dracula is about to marry the Moldavian Princess Asa Vajda - his sixth wife. Journalist Kate Reed flies into the city to visit the ailing Charles Beauregard and his vampire companion Geneviève. Finding herself caught up in the mystery of the Crimson Executioner who is bloodily dispatching vampire elders in the city, Kate discovers that she is not the only one on his trail...


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Written by award-winning novelist Kim Newman, this is a brand-new edition, with additional 40,000 word never-before-seen novella, of the popular third installment of the Anno Dracula series, Dracula Cha Cha Cha. Rome. 1959. Count Dracula is about to marry the Moldavian Princess Asa Vajda - his sixth wife. Journalist Kate Reed flies into the city to visit the ailing Charles Written by award-winning novelist Kim Newman, this is a brand-new edition, with additional 40,000 word never-before-seen novella, of the popular third installment of the Anno Dracula series, Dracula Cha Cha Cha. Rome. 1959. Count Dracula is about to marry the Moldavian Princess Asa Vajda - his sixth wife. Journalist Kate Reed flies into the city to visit the ailing Charles Beauregard and his vampire companion Geneviève. Finding herself caught up in the mystery of the Crimson Executioner who is bloodily dispatching vampire elders in the city, Kate discovers that she is not the only one on his trail...

30 review for Dracula Cha Cha Cha

  1. 3 out of 5

    Mike

    Why, why in the name of all that's profane was "Dracula Cha Cha Cha" retitled "Judgment of Tears" for the North American market? I would never read a book actually titled "Judgment of Tears." "Dracula Cha Cha Cha," on the other hand, that's a title with moxie!

  2. 4 out of 5

    F.R.

    ‘Dracula Cha Cha Cha’ is brilliant. It’s fun, exciting, tense and a fantastic addition to the ‘Anno Dracula mythos. The setting is Rome in the last 1950s, where Genevieve, Kate and Penny once again find themselves crossing paths with the most famous vampire of them all: Dracula. The setting itself is without a doubt borrowed from ‘Roman Holiday’ and Federico Fellini films (although I see this one in shiny Technicolor, rather than black and white), but that faded glamour of Rome works so well as ‘Dracula Cha Cha Cha’ is brilliant. It’s fun, exciting, tense and a fantastic addition to the ‘Anno Dracula mythos. The setting is Rome in the last 1950s, where Genevieve, Kate and Penny once again find themselves crossing paths with the most famous vampire of them all: Dracula. The setting itself is without a doubt borrowed from ‘Roman Holiday’ and Federico Fellini films (although I see this one in shiny Technicolor, rather than black and white), but that faded glamour of Rome works so well as a backdrop with vampires. That fin de siècle element of the original novel, ‘Dracula’ is fantastically captured here, as the characters go about their business in front of ruins and ancient artefacts and it really feels they’re closer to the end of something than the start. But the glamour, no matter how faded, means this is a place which calls to people from all over the world, which is great for this author as he gets to bring in a whole cavalcade of references from culture and real world. Make no mistake, this is the most Kim Newman of all Kim Newman books. Appearing in ‘Dracula Cha Cha Cha’ – in no particular order and using only my memory – we have: Tony Hancock; Charles and Morticia Addams; Orson Welles; John Huston; Michael Corleone; Norma Desmond; Edgar Allen Poe; Herbert West; Kirk Douglas; Lord Greystoke; Cliff Richard; Errol Flynn; Clark Kent; and Winston Churchill. With far more substantial roles from both James Bond and Tom Ripley. But what makes it really work in this instance – what stops this being just too clever by half glibness – is that the murder mystery story is strong enough to support all of this. Yes, I love all the references, but it needs the ballast of a real tale and in ‘Dracula Cha Cha Cha’ we get that. But what I really loved about this story is that it sets itself up loud and proud as feminist horror, it’s a vampire tale where the bloodthirsty sisters of darkness are doing it for themselves. Yes they are captured and make mistakes, but they are the ones who going to save themselves and stop the evil machinations threatening all. There are men involved, but they are old dying heroes, or they’re over-grown schoolboys like James Bond, or inconsequential cyphers like Tom Ripley. It’s the women who are important, the women who save the day and it’s wonderful. And maybe ‘Dracula Cha Cha Cha’ being so good is what makes the follow up tale, ‘Aquarius’ seem such thin offerings. It’s the trickle of blood on the collar after one has drained the throat of a vibrant adult. Here we have Kate trying to solve crimes in south London ten years later and coming across student politics and a Manson-esque cult leader. The problem in this shorter piece is that the story is frankly anaemic. As such Newman’s normal tricks – the references galore – do feel glib and unearned here, just needless showing off. It’s irritating, rather than engrossing. But more than that, there’s a level of vampires intruding into the real world which isn’t helpful or clever or called for. A big part of the plot hinges Enoch Powell and his Rivers of Blood, but making the race problems of the late 1960s/early 1970s about vampires rather than newly arrived immigrants. There was a smidgen of that in the first story, where one or two references are made to Hitler having death camps for the vampires. It isn’t explicitly stated that that was instead of the Jews, but the implication does seem to be there. In this second story, the crashing onto real events is as overt and unsubtle as it can be – with the Rivers of Blood speech being about actual blood. And it just doesn’t work. Replacing actual human suffering on such an endemic scale with vampires, just feels like it’s trivialising and cheapening what really happened, and such a unthinking smartness does leave a sour taste in the mouth after what was the most part a really enjoyable read.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Dan

    This is the third book in the Anno Dracula series, set in an alternate world where Dracula wasn't defeated in Bram Stoker's book and has spread vampirism across Europe. You can largely ignore The Bloody Red Baron for the purposes of this book as it follows more on from the events and with the characters of the original Anno Dracula. Set in 1959, this book takes to Rome. Dracula hasn't been seen in some time but is about to get married to a Princess. Naturally, Charles Beauregard of the Diogenes C This is the third book in the Anno Dracula series, set in an alternate world where Dracula wasn't defeated in Bram Stoker's book and has spread vampirism across Europe. You can largely ignore The Bloody Red Baron for the purposes of this book as it follows more on from the events and with the characters of the original Anno Dracula. Set in 1959, this book takes to Rome. Dracula hasn't been seen in some time but is about to get married to a Princess. Naturally, Charles Beauregard of the Diogenes Club is nearby but having refused to become a vampire he is dying. The book focuses on the three vampires who love him, Elder Geneviève, journalist Kate Reed and former fiancee Penny. For many years the focus of their lives have been two men, Beauregard and Dracula but with a vicious murderer on the streets of Rome it looks like their lives are going to change dramatically. There are many things in this book that worked rather well. Despite the usual vampire silliness, this is actually a very emotional and character-driven book. It's all about the three women and how they are coping with the events of Anno Dracula so many years later. It also contains a decent mystery and I couldn't work out where it was going. Like the previous books, Newman does insert lots of contemporary references into the story. Hamish Bond, a modern member of the Diogenes Club, is James Bond in all but name with references to Fleming stories and even a subtle moment where he changes from Sean Connery into Roger Moore. By 1959 the age of the celebrity had begun and naturally everyone who's anyone is there for Dracula's wedding, whether they are fictional or were real. Unlike in Anno Dracula these characters do not alter the plot and mostly only appear at the party. Also included is Anno Dracula: 1968- 'Aquarius', a novelette which sees Kate Reed back in London investigating another murder mystery- this time it's a vampire killing 'warms'. It is a sort-of sequel to the novelette included with The Bloody Red Baron, Anno Dracula: 1929, but as ever makes great use of the era for it's themes. It also continues Kate Reed's battle with the monster inside, a theme of the main novel, and here she is tested more than ever. I did wonder whether Anno Dracula could have much life after two excellent books but it seems it certainly does- I think this was my favorite. Newman has created a great world and it's fascinating see it develop through time, something which I have rarely seen done before. A really enjoyable book.

  4. 3 out of 5

    Mark

    With Book Three of the Anno Dracula series we reach the late 1950’s and 1960’s. A time of European opulence and Mediterranean glamour, epic film making and spy thrillers such as Ian Fleming’s James Bond and Len Deighton’s Harry Palmer. Not to mention vampires. Old Vlad (Count Dracula) is still around and at the start of the book due to marry again – this time to Asa Vajda, Princess of Moldova. Kate Reed, vampyrric super-reporter and erstwhile secret-agent for the mysterious Diogenes Club, is in R With Book Three of the Anno Dracula series we reach the late 1950’s and 1960’s. A time of European opulence and Mediterranean glamour, epic film making and spy thrillers such as Ian Fleming’s James Bond and Len Deighton’s Harry Palmer. Not to mention vampires. Old Vlad (Count Dracula) is still around and at the start of the book due to marry again – this time to Asa Vajda, Princess of Moldova. Kate Reed, vampyrric super-reporter and erstwhile secret-agent for the mysterious Diogenes Club, is in Rome to meet old friend Charles Beauregarde, now-dying ‘warm blood’ and his vampire lover Genevieve Dieudonne as well as cover this select event. On her arrival Kate soon ends up in trouble. First, she meets an old adversary, Penelope Churchward, an old friend turned vampire, now one of Vlad’s assistants. Secondly, whilst as a guest of Count Kernassy, and his young-looking lover Malenka, rising vampire starlet, Kate finds herself witness to their gruesome deaths. These are not the only fatalities. It seems that the city is in a state of alarm. Whilst preparations for the world-class event are in hand for the un-dead wedding of the century, the mysterious Crimson Executioner is about, messily executing vampire elders. Kate finds herself trying to discover why, whilst Genevieve, with the help of un-dead superspy, Hamish Bond, finds herself up against Russian spies, assassination attempts and her old nemesis, Vlad, and his assistant Penny. I enjoyed this one a lot. Like before, it’s that sense of time and place that really works for me in the impeccably imagined world of 1960’s Italy, albeit with added vampires. Thoughts of Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier of Monaco, Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck, warm weather, sunglasses, espresso and motor-scooters infuse this tale throughout. Whilst I’m not quite sure that the vampires appreciate the sunshine as much as us mere warm-bloods, (actually something Kim does deal with in the novel!) it’s a nice change from Victorian England and the battlefields of France that we’ve encountered in the previous books. The 1960’s are cool and this is engagingly retro-cool. The writing is as lively as ever, the culture references throughout. You don’t have to have read the earlier books to get a gist of what’s going on but I found I did enjoy reading about characters met before and what happens to them here. It is a tale of three women and how events have led to this. It is also a book with a great deal of closure. Originally the last book in the series, there are major developments here, with the death of some key characters and the consequences of those deaths clearly impacting upon the others. This highlights the need to move on and to change, in a world that was rapidly changing anyway. The point is made that the elder vampires are finding this faster, brighter world with global media coverage difficult to live in. Of course, one example of this change in the 1960’s, go-faster, live faster world, is the arrival of ‘the superspy’, whose approach to espionage is very different to that previously encountered from the Diogenes Club. The epitome of this is the debut of Bond - Hamish Bond – to this tale. He is looked upon with serious disdain by the elder vampires such as Genevieve, as the personification of this ‘act first, think later’ approach. Whilst Bond is working for the Diogenes Club, like Kate and Genevieve, it is quite clear that Bond’s world is different from the Victorian world of Kate and the older Genevieve. But of course Bond is not the only reference to other metafiction. Others I found were references to The Exorcist, Michael Moorcock and many others. In addition, the use of real people such as Orson Welles, Arthur C. Clarke and Tony Hancock help create a realistic feel to the world that is an alternative to ours. This world building is carefully crafted. Not only does Kim show this vampire-dominated world with humour – privileged airline passengers are offered white mice as part of their ‘in-flight meal’ and other small mammals as an entree at Dracula’s Engagement Ball – but examines the wider implications of a world run by vampires: the Roman Catholic view of vampires in their Holy City, the difficulties of vampires involved in the Cold War negotiations, and so on. It’s a writer with confidence in his created world, writing with skill. Strangely, one of things that works well (again) is that, despite the series being entitled ‘Anno Dracula’, the titular Count appears very little. Though his presence is always there, and his importance to the tale undeniable, our focus is really upon all those around him, and in particular Kate, Genevieve and Penny who each create a different perspective to the events herein. This new edition from Titan, like all the previous releases, has an added bonus: a novella of Aquarius, set in 1968. As the title may suggest, the story about vampire murder, set at a time of upheaval at the dawning of The Age of Aquarius. From the other end of the 1960’s decade, it is all flower-power, drugs, swinging London and social revolution – and ‘Drakky-bashing’. It’s an engagingly written tale, not only being a murder case but also a summary of the zeitgeist of that time mixed with Kim’s usual cultural links. I enjoyed the link to Christopher Fowler’s Bryant and May, nosing around the case. With Dracula Cha Cha Cha we bring to an end the re-release of the Anno Dracula books. The fourth, Johnny Alucard, is due in April 2013. This moves us towards the next decade, allegedly set in the 1970’s.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Autumn Is Azathoth

    Reviewing for Hearts on Fire Reviews Fans of Horror, especially of the Vampiric subgenre, and aficionados of excellent writing, can be thankful to Titan Books for bringing Author Kim Newman’s classic trio, the “Anno Dracula” series, to a broader readership, and introducing readers (like myself) who missed out on these at first publication, to an outstanding set of books. Mr. Newman knows his history about as well as any historian; and the details he brings to light and to life are extraordinaril Reviewing for Hearts on Fire Reviews Fans of Horror, especially of the Vampiric subgenre, and aficionados of excellent writing, can be thankful to Titan Books for bringing Author Kim Newman’s classic trio, the “Anno Dracula” series, to a broader readership, and introducing readers (like myself) who missed out on these at first publication, to an outstanding set of books. Mr. Newman knows his history about as well as any historian; and the details he brings to light and to life are extraordinarily accurate. Of course, his is an alternate history, an alternate timeline, and so we read details we might have missed in our history textbooks at school: Queen Victoria with a new Prince Consort—Count Dracula; the World War I European Axis Powers, commanded by: Count Dracula; and so forth. Different? Yes. Always engaging? Most definitely. In this installment, it is 1959; in “our” timeline, the Cold War is frozen, Communists are the enemy, and actress/star Marilyn Monroe had converted to Judaism and wed playwright Arthur Miller, author of “The Crucible.” However, in Europe (in Mr. Newman’s Dracula timeline), while Count Dracula prepares for his new marriage to a princess from Moldavia in Eastern Europe, Charles Beauregard, that point man for the covert arm of the British Government, continues to age (his vampire love Genevieve, of course, does not age), and journalist Kate Beauregard hunts for the mysterious and elusive “Crimson Executioner,” a wily murderer seemingly determined to destroy vampire elders in Rome, the site of Dracula’s imminent wedding festivities. Kate, who is a preciously feisty undead character and heroine, is not the only hunter of this killer; Bond is too, on behalf of the British government, and Bond also happens to be undead. I found this series to be excellent on first read, and I often took a moment to ponder throughout. But these are also keepers and destined to be re-read, and I think many readers will find this so.

  6. 3 out of 5

    Richard Wright

    Third book in the Anno Dracula series, and this time Newman takes his vampire heroines to Rome, 1959, to attend the wedding of the greatest vampire. Newman practically invented metatextual fiction, in which characters and images from other things are woven through new novels (Alan Moore gets the credit for League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, but Anno Dracula was there first). Here he pushes that almost to the point of exhaustion, with a myriad cameo appearances infecting the plot. Some are deligh Third book in the Anno Dracula series, and this time Newman takes his vampire heroines to Rome, 1959, to attend the wedding of the greatest vampire. Newman practically invented metatextual fiction, in which characters and images from other things are woven through new novels (Alan Moore gets the credit for League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, but Anno Dracula was there first). Here he pushes that almost to the point of exhaustion, with a myriad cameo appearances infecting the plot. Some are delightful and others meaningless. While James Bond, Orson Welles, and Tom Ripley each find places in the action, there are a lot of superfluous faces coming and going. I enjoyed it, but it was almost too much. The plot itself blends genres, wrapping a giallo murder mystery around the tent poles of Dracula's marriage and the death of one of the mainstay characters of the series so far, and a very entertaining romp it is too. As an extravagant bonus, the book contains a second shorter novel - Aquarius - set in London a decade later, as revolution infects the populous. This piece is a little more restrained with its name-dropping, and is perhaps the more tightly orchestrated of the two stories. I had no idea it was included, so it came as a splendid surprise.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Voss

    Malinconico. Personaggi tristi e sciatti. Storia poco interessante. Peccato per le protagoniste. Meritavano di meglio. Finale meraviglioso.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Marie-Therese

    Four stars for 'Dracula Cha Cha Cha' and about 3 for the novella appended to this edition, 'Anno Dracula 1968-Aquarius'. For 'Dracula Cha Cha Cha', I'm going to echo my update comment here and reaffirm that this is an exceptionally fun, campy, and lively piece of vampire fiction; anyone who loves the films of Fellini, Pasolini, even cinema giallo, will have a great time with this book. Well-etched little cameos abound and Newman continues to draw inspiration from both fiction and real life in a Four stars for 'Dracula Cha Cha Cha' and about 3 for the novella appended to this edition, 'Anno Dracula 1968-Aquarius'. For 'Dracula Cha Cha Cha', I'm going to echo my update comment here and reaffirm that this is an exceptionally fun, campy, and lively piece of vampire fiction; anyone who loves the films of Fellini, Pasolini, even cinema giallo, will have a great time with this book. Well-etched little cameos abound and Newman continues to draw inspiration from both fiction and real life in a way that's clever without being too contrived. Beloved characters from the first book (Geneviève Dieudonné, Charles Beauregard) feature here and I found that an improvement over 'The Bloody Red Baron', where I really didn't like or care about the protagonists and that lack of caring made it very hard to invest in the somber setting. This is a considerably lighter book than volume two (it's hard to make world war "fun", after all) but I think it's better and more cohesive in tone. I certainly enjoyed it more. 'Anno Dracula 1968-Aquarius' is less impressive. It's a nice little mood piece but there's really not much in the way of plot and some of the scene-setting seems too obvious, too stereotypical. As always in this series, there are some clever name drops and alternate history twists, but this is thin stuff overall.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Toby Turner

    The third part of the Anno series. A solid and engaging story with the usual clever references. This however I found to be a slower and morre difficult read than previous and struggled to get through. If you're a fan you'll love it, if it's not your usual choice of genre you possibly won't.

  10. 3 out of 5

    D.M. Dutcher

    I only gave this three stars because of the references. Let me explain. This book is set in 1950s europe, surrounding the impending marriage of Dracula to another vampire royal. You see, vampires are mainstream here, existing among normal people in a manner vaguely echoing the upper class, jet-setters, and hoi-polloi in the real world. They are seen as glamorous, in control, and tend to be reacted to rather than just part of life. Kate Reed is a vampire journalist who gets caught up in the murder I only gave this three stars because of the references. Let me explain. This book is set in 1950s europe, surrounding the impending marriage of Dracula to another vampire royal. You see, vampires are mainstream here, existing among normal people in a manner vaguely echoing the upper class, jet-setters, and hoi-polloi in the real world. They are seen as glamorous, in control, and tend to be reacted to rather than just part of life. Kate Reed is a vampire journalist who gets caught up in the murder of vampire elders by a madman called the Crimson Executioner. Things get worse. Here's the problem. Kim Newman is awfully cute with the outright borrowing of characters from other works. The Crimson Executioner is straight from an Italian Giallo film. If you have SEEN the film, it kills any menace this guy can have, because it's campy as heck. He also borrows from Dario Argento's Suspira and other films, and outright steals James Bond to turn him into a vampire. There's a ton of name-dropping, to the point where it becomes a "let's recognize the cameo!" At first it's pretty cool, but the borrowings are so omnipresent that it overshadows Kim's fine storytelling skills. Especially the Argento references-I just found myself thinking of the movies as often as I enjoyed the story. You've got a serious and well done vampire story mixed in with conscious post-modern borrowing and irony, and the two can't help but grate some. If you like that, you'll give it five stars easily. But it clashed in my opinon, so I gave it three. This version had an additional novella, set in the swinging sixties. It's not as good as the main story, and still drops names. A nice bonus, but not enough to raise the score.

  11. 3 out of 5

    Adam

    The third installment in Newman’s wonderful Anno Dracula series(which I misread as Anna Dracula and avoided for years), but hopefully not the last. Offering the type of fun offered by Alan Moore or Mike Mignola comics or a hyper dense with cultural in jokes cartoon like the brilliant Venture Brothers (only good thing on Adult Swim), but with fully rounded characters. This time the novels of Ian Fleming and Patricia Highsmith,and the films of Dario Argento and Federico Fellini combine in a story The third installment in Newman’s wonderful Anno Dracula series(which I misread as Anna Dracula and avoided for years), but hopefully not the last. Offering the type of fun offered by Alan Moore or Mike Mignola comics or a hyper dense with cultural in jokes cartoon like the brilliant Venture Brothers (only good thing on Adult Swim), but with fully rounded characters. This time the novels of Ian Fleming and Patricia Highsmith,and the films of Dario Argento and Federico Fellini combine in a story that’s piercing satire, spy parody, psychological thriller, and part Giallo/splatterpunk horror romp. Also of course it’s a feast for pop culture addicts. One scene alone has the Talented Mr. Ripley, the Addams’s, characters from Lolita, and another character from La Dolce Vita in a nightclub watching a band from a Howard Waldrop story. Newman never sinks his story with his own cleverness though. Horror elements play more camp than chilling but are still a better Dario Argento styled entertainment than Argento’s awful Mother of Tears(also featuring Mater Lachrymarum). The title in the American edition as usual sucks. Judgement of Tears instead of Dracula Cha Cha. I’m convinced there are better science fiction writers in the British Isles than America for the simple fact that Alfred Bester’s book is title Tiger! Tiger! there instead of Stars my Destination. If you had the choice to read a book called Tiger! Tiger! or Stars my Destination, which would you choose. Awful geeky titles and bad covers are keeping people away from good books.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Baal Of

    Newman continues to impress me with his ability to write in a broad range of styles, and continues to bring his characters through different times. I liked the fact that he allows Charles to die, holding on to his principles despite Genevieve and Kate both being desirous to turn him. His death added a more emotional form of cutting to all the gore that was portrayed elsewhere. I enjoyed the deepening of the relationships between Genevieve, Kate, and Penelope. I liked the Bava and Argento influen Newman continues to impress me with his ability to write in a broad range of styles, and continues to bring his characters through different times. I liked the fact that he allows Charles to die, holding on to his principles despite Genevieve and Kate both being desirous to turn him. His death added a more emotional form of cutting to all the gore that was portrayed elsewhere. I enjoyed the deepening of the relationships between Genevieve, Kate, and Penelope. I liked the Bava and Argento influences on this story, and the ending was very satisfying. All around, well worth the time.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Margaret

    Not as enjoyable for me as the first book. Maybe it's because I just don't find the 1950s that interesting. Usual parade of amusing rain checks and in jokes, but not enough real plot to hold my interest for long. A pleasant read for a quiet afternoon.

  14. 3 out of 5

    Rajit

    Not quite as enjoyable as the first two books in the series and I wonder if the premise is wearing thin. The second section of the book (set in London) moves the Anno Dracula world building on, but the actual story feels surplufluous and tacked on.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Clint

    The Skinny: 1959 in the Anno Dracula world created by Kim Newman. Charels Beauregard is well over 100 and dying. Kate Reed, a vampire turned in Charels's age, and part of a love triangle with him, the Elder Vampire Genevieve and his one time fiancé, turned vampire and serving the House of Dracula, Penny. Kate, Genevieve and Penny must come to terms with the two looming figures that have shaped them: the mortal Charels Beauregard and the infamous immortal Dracula. The Good: This is a much more en The Skinny: 1959 in the Anno Dracula world created by Kim Newman. Charels Beauregard is well over 100 and dying. Kate Reed, a vampire turned in Charels's age, and part of a love triangle with him, the Elder Vampire Genevieve and his one time fiancé, turned vampire and serving the House of Dracula, Penny. Kate, Genevieve and Penny must come to terms with the two looming figures that have shaped them: the mortal Charels Beauregard and the infamous immortal Dracula. The Good: This is a much more entertaining sequel than The Bloody Red Baron. Newman recreates the magic formula of Anno Dracula: alternative history with figures from non-fiction and fiction mixed into the plot. There is Commander Hammish Bond (essentially James Bond) and Tom Ripley (The Talented Mr Ripley) play major parts. Flitting about are Dracula, of course, Clark Kent and Mr and Mrs Addams of The Addams Family. Historic figures: Edgar Allen Poe and Orson Welles. All of which are just a scant few of the fictional and historical characters that appear or are mentioned, some as their mortal selves, some as vampires; half the fun of reading stories in the Anno Dracula series are the several a-ha moments of "finding the reference". The Bad: To get into these novels you must like history and pop culture, particularly mysterious references from horror movies/novels/stories. If that ain't your thing, you won't like it. The Ugly: There is an inherent eroticism with these stories. It's not littered with sex, sex is implied not in your face. Thoughts: These are one of my many pleasures of series stories that I turn to for quick brain treat reads. I'm not huge into vampire literature and you don't need to be to enjoy these; however, it helps as many references are lost on me. I'd recommend these to any readers that enjoy alternate history with a horror/fantasy bend. I enjoy Mr Newman's blend of historical figures with fictional figures. At the least, it makes for a fun reading game. I recommend reading these on your tablet with a wifi connection. It's fun to have your memory tickled and to explore the references. Many of the references I'm not smart enough, well read enough or immersed enough in horror to catch without help. It is a series, and I can't recommend the first book, Anno Dracula, enough. Book 2, The Bloody Red Baron, is good but not great, this one comes close to book 1. It's not strictly necessary to read them in order or even all of them. Newman catches you up on his protagonists which haunt them all, but it makes for a more compelling reading experience. Readers with a feminist POV would enjoy this one in particular. It's written, mostly, from the POV of three female vampires: Kate, Genevieve and Penny. Good easy reading fun stuff.

  16. 3 out of 5

    Felecia

    A solid continuation of the Anno Dracula series. As with the first two books, this novel's chief pleasure is Newman's stunning ability to weave a tapestry of literary and cinematic references. Here he plays off the books' Rome setting to bring in a wealth of references to Italian cinema, from Fellini to Bava to Argento and so much more. Newman also delights in mixing genres. Two supporting characters appear who are not directly named, but who are immediately recognizable. First we have the dappe A solid continuation of the Anno Dracula series. As with the first two books, this novel's chief pleasure is Newman's stunning ability to weave a tapestry of literary and cinematic references. Here he plays off the books' Rome setting to bring in a wealth of references to Italian cinema, from Fellini to Bava to Argento and so much more. Newman also delights in mixing genres. Two supporting characters appear who are not directly named, but who are immediately recognizable. First we have the dapper, suave, undead British spy know as "Bond" (Hamish Bond, that is), who has a taste for Aston Martin automobiles and blood martinis "shaken, not stirred". (Another vampire character enjoys a good laugh upon hearing him make this request.) And then there is the amoral young American mortal who kind of drifts through life attaching himself to upper class people and grifting as hard as he can. We only know him as "Tom", but as the story unfolds it becomes clear that he is the talented Mr. Ripley. Is he talented enough to rip off the upper crust vampires he's traveling with? Both characters are involved in (but not central to) the story's plot: the murder of several vampire elders by the mysterious Crimson Executioner (another movie reference, this one to the character played by Mickey Hargitay in "Bloody Pit of Horror"). The deaths unfold against the backdrop of Prince Dracula's upcoming marriage to Princess Asa, another elder vampire. It will be up to the vampire women Kate, Penelope and Genevieve to try and solve the murders. The storylines all resolve themselves in unexpected yet satisfying ways. I enjoyed the book, and it made me want to learn more about Italian cinema, especially the giallo films.

  17. 3 out of 5

    Nicholas Whyte

    https://nwhyte.livejournal.com/3078487.html I had not read any of the previous books in this series, an alternate history in which vampires became visible in society in the late nineteenth century when Count Dracula married Queen Victoria, and history runs more or less along the same course as we know, except with added vampires. The first part of the book is a novel, Dracula Cha Cha Cha, set in Rome in 1959, and the second a novella, Aquarius, set in swinging London in 1968. Both feature vampire https://nwhyte.livejournal.com/3078487.html I had not read any of the previous books in this series, an alternate history in which vampires became visible in society in the late nineteenth century when Count Dracula married Queen Victoria, and history runs more or less along the same course as we know, except with added vampires. The first part of the book is a novel, Dracula Cha Cha Cha, set in Rome in 1959, and the second a novella, Aquarius, set in swinging London in 1968. Both feature vampire detective Kate Reed as a central character, and I suspect that both are pretty dependent on the events of earlier books in the series to the extent that I found it rather hard to get into. There are endnotes for Dracula Cha Cha Cha explaining all the cultural references (and there are a lot of them, including an undead Scottish spy called Hamish Bond). I actually enjoyed Aquarius a bit more, as I felt that Newman was focusing less on details of the setting and a bit more on plot. There are interesting characters in both. One point that occurred to me: it's interesting how often alternate histories are actually detective novels. I guess it's a convenient device to allow the central character to find out more about their own universe and allow us to accompany them on the journey. Anyway, I think I would have liked this more if I was more into vampire fiction, and if I had read the earlier novels in the series (there is nothing on the cover to indicate that this is not a standalone book).

  18. 3 out of 5

    Tony Calder

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This is the third book in Newman's Anno Dracula series, and it jumps the timeline forward by 40 years from the end of World War I to Rome in 1959, during the Cold War. That's the first two-thirds of the novel, the final third is a separate story set another 10 years in the future. This review contains some spoilers. As in the previous two novels, Kim Newman borrows heavily from the popular culture of the time the novel is set in, in this case it's primarily Italian horror films of the late 50s an This is the third book in Newman's Anno Dracula series, and it jumps the timeline forward by 40 years from the end of World War I to Rome in 1959, during the Cold War. That's the first two-thirds of the novel, the final third is a separate story set another 10 years in the future. This review contains some spoilers. As in the previous two novels, Kim Newman borrows heavily from the popular culture of the time the novel is set in, in this case it's primarily Italian horror films of the late 50s and early 60s. Bond also features. I didn't enjoy this as much as the first two novels, largely because I'm not as familiar with Italian horror cinema of the period as I was with the backgrounds of the first two novels. In many ways this seems like the end of a trilogy, as the two characters who have dominated the earlier novels (even without appearing onstage a lot) - Charles Beauregard and Dracula - both meet their end in the book. The story that ends the novel, set in 1968, feels like a passing of the baton, from Beauregard to Kate Reed, a character who has grown in importance as the series progressed.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Emma

    Listen. A book charactered by the likes of Tom Ripley and James Bond and Father Merrin from The Exorcist, that has Clark Kent dancing with Morticia Addams at a vampire club in the Rome of 8 and Roman Holiday? Like. Sold. I feel like even more than the earlier installments of the series this book just lets itself be aggressively cool and fun. Plot's a little thin but who cares. Listen. A book charactered by the likes of Tom Ripley and James Bond and Father Merrin from The Exorcist, that has Clark Kent dancing with Morticia Addams at a vampire club in the Rome of 8½ and Roman Holiday? Like. Sold. I feel like even more than the earlier installments of the series this book just lets itself be aggressively cool and fun. Plot's a little thin but who cares.

  20. 3 out of 5

    Jose Solis

    Tercer novela de la serie (Anno Dracula, The Bloody Red Baron). Ahora la acción es en Italia, 1959. El príncipe Drácula está a punto de contraer matrimonio para cimentar una alianza dinástica y toda la aristocracia vampírica está invitada. Aunque algunos están nerviosos por una serie de asesinatos de vampiros ancianos en circunstancias misteriosas. Aquí entra nuestra heroína Kate Reed, quien en su calidad de periodista y agente del Club Diógenes se ve involucrada en la investigación. Como es cos Tercer novela de la serie (Anno Dracula, The Bloody Red Baron). Ahora la acción es en Italia, 1959. El príncipe Drácula está a punto de contraer matrimonio para cimentar una alianza dinástica y toda la aristocracia vampírica está invitada. Aunque algunos están nerviosos por una serie de asesinatos de vampiros ancianos en circunstancias misteriosas. Aquí entra nuestra heroína Kate Reed, quien en su calidad de periodista y agente del Club Diógenes se ve involucrada en la investigación. Como es costumbre, la historia tiene innumerables referencias a personajes de la época: las películas de Fellini, Argento, James Bond, hasta "El talentoso Mr. Ripley" hace una aparición. Y muchos más... El autor sigue haciendo un gran trabajo con la idea de cómo sería el mundo, pero con vampiros y personajes de ficción. Se incluye la novela corta "Anno Dracula 1968: AquariusAquarius", que ocurre 10 años después, en Londres, en plena efervescencia del 68, en otra investigación policiaca relacionada con los enfrentamientos entre vampiros y humanos. También es buena.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jon

    Eh. Good, but dragged in places. Also there were a number of places where the font failed in the printing, leaving a random accented letter nothing more than a box.

  22. 3 out of 5

    Kathy

    Not as great as the first one, but still a very fun read!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Matt Mitrovich

    When I discovered a package containing Dracula Cha Cha Cha (originally titled Judgment of Tears) by Kim Newman my first thought was "I need to get some red wine." Weird, I know, but I always drank red wine while reading the first two books in the Anno Dracula series. It put me in the mood to really enjoy this horror/comedy/alternate history epic. Too bad they don't let you drink at work. For those who don't know, the Anno Dracula series can be described as an "alternate fictional history". The he When I discovered a package containing Dracula Cha Cha Cha (originally titled Judgment of Tears) by Kim Newman my first thought was "I need to get some red wine." Weird, I know, but I always drank red wine while reading the first two books in the Anno Dracula series. It put me in the mood to really enjoy this horror/comedy/alternate history epic. Too bad they don't let you drink at work. For those who don't know, the Anno Dracula series can be described as an "alternate fictional history". The heroes of Bram Stoker's Dracula fail to defeat the title character of the horror masterpiece. Dracula goes on to marry Queen Victoria, allowing vampires to come out of the shadows and walk openly among their prey. Those expecting some horrible vampire apocalypse as seen in I Am Legend by Richard Matheson will be disappointed (sorry Will Smith). Humans learn to adapt to the nocturnal monsters and discover that despite their powers, vampires can be killed. Vampires, meanwhile, discover that medieval notions of justice and superiority can get them killed in a world where they no longer have the defense of being dismissed as a myth. Dracula Cha Cha Cha is the third book in the series. Failing to hold onto to throne of Britain or conquering Europe through Germany during WWI, Dracula got a reprieve from exile to help the allies defeat the Nazis in World War II. For his help he was given a palace just outside of Rome where he holds court as "King of the Cats". In 1959, the world's notable vampires and warm celebrities gather in Rome for the wedding of Count Dracula to Princess Asa Vadja. The pending union has worried the global intelligence community who fear Dracula will use the influence gained from marrying such a notable elder to try again for world domination. Reporter Kate Reed, heroine from The Bloody Red Baron, has traveled to Rome to cover the wedding an ends up a witness to a brutal murder of two vampire elders. A vigilante known as the "Crimson Executioner" is killing vampire elders in Rome, but is he the true mastermind of the slayings or is someone else pulling the strings? Someone more powerful? Kate's investigation is hampered by the dying Charles Beauregard, former agent of the Diogenes Club and Kate's unrequited love. He is being tended by the eternally young elder vampire Geneviève Dieudonné who is concerned that the British agent Hamish Bond is putting undue stress on Charles who refuses to turn vampire to save his life. He may not have a choice if his former fiance and current head of the Dracula household, Penelope Churchward, has a say. She has become a powerful vampire in her own right and through the King of Vampires wields untold influence over the vampire community. Kate deals with love, loss and murder as we meet a cast of historical and fictional characters, including a football player from Kansas named Kent and the Vatican's best exorcist. Her trail will take her to the true ruler of the Eternal City, a being who does not wish to share power with the elder vampires. Despite Newman's vampires being natural beings within his universe, he leaves it open for a little magic in the world. Its not the magic of wand wavers and quasi-Latin spells, but a darker and far older magic that even elder vampires fail to understand (What's that? Something is rising out of the Pacific? I'm sure its nothing.) Dracula Cha Cha Cha has more in common with Anno Dracula then series The Bloody Red Baron. Vampires are being killed and the unsolved murders are throwing politics in disarray as vampires and humans compete for power. Though I am still a big fan of military AH, I have to admit that it is refreshing to read something besides battles and special forces missions. People will enjoy this supernatural mystery, although plausibility hounds will be frustrated by the lack of meaningful change to the timeline despite the existence of vampires. If you pick up a copy of the Titan Books reprint you will also get to enjoy a copy of the new short story "Aquarius", set in 1968 in Britain.

  24. 4 out of 5

    N.P.

    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. His take on La Dolce Vita is filled with references to characters both fictional and from real life and it is clear he was having great fun when writing this. Whilst the book is a relatively light hearted affair, one storyline most certainly isn’t. We are reintroduced to the characters of Genevieve Dieudonné and Charles Beauregard but it’s bitter sweet as Char 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. His take on La Dolce Vita is filled with references to characters both fictional and from real life and it is clear he was having great fun when writing this. Whilst the book is a relatively light hearted affair, one storyline most certainly isn’t. We are reintroduced to the characters of Genevieve Dieudonné and Charles Beauregard but it’s bitter sweet as Charles is now 105 years old and is coming to the end of his life. Genevieve, being immortal, has to come to terms with his imminent death and it’s in this story that we see Kim Newman’s writing at its most tender with Genevieve’s pain, as she tenderly cares for her soulmate, really plucking at the readers heart whilst Charles dignified acceptance of his own mortality is both life affirming and heart warming. The book opens with the arrival in Rome of Kate Reed, a regular from the previous two books, and a starlet called Malenka with her vampire sugar daddy. Malenka has all the attributes of Anita Ekberg but with fangs, whilst her sugar daddy comes across as somewhere between Vincent Price and some old European prince who has yet to inherit his throne. they arrive in Rome to the pop of flashbulbs and questions being thrown at them like the reporters lives depended on it. What follows is a cavalcade through the streets of the city as the paparazzi chase after the starlet and her benefactor for the best (and cheapest) shot. The whole circus ends in a bloody attack at the Trevi fountain that places Kate in the spotlight both with the police and the press. This sets the scene for a story which touches on both mythical and modern Rome. We find ourselves coming across characters from that era that Kim Newman has pulled from both fact and fiction. When you have both John Profumo and Charles De Gaulle attending a meeting with Dracula’s representative in a Roman castle you know this book is going to be a little different. In fact half the fun of this book is picking out the characters and pop culture references that Kim Newman has subverted in this world he has created. It could have been contrived and none-to-subtle but the author has done it in a way that sees the people and situations seem quite normal. Not an unimpressive feet when he uses characters such as Father Merrin from the Exorcist and Marcello from La Dolce Vita in the same scene. This story was both surprising and satisfying and I felt it was a lot stronger than the previous book, The Bloody Red Baron, which seemed to lack a strong enough narrative to push the story along. The story hear moves along at a cracking pace and is full of twists and turns which the reader will not see coming. One in particular was a real shocker. As with the Bloody Red Baron, Kim Newman has added a novella at the end of the book which takes the story on a few years. In this case it’s called Aquarius and sees Kate Reed having to solve a murder in South East London in 1968. The case revolves around the killing of two girls who are found to be exsanguinated with two teeth marks in their necks. Something that hasn’t happened in over twenty years in England. This causes a lot of political and social upheaval pitting pro and anti vampire camps against each other. The story has Kate following the trail to a student cult who follow a professor who turns out to be Caleb Croft, a vampire who was at the heart of the terror in the first book and with whom Kate has a lot of previous history. Again, Kim Newman has great fun bringing in characters from the popular culture of the day (a wolf-like Jack Regan anybody?) and the story was hugely enjoyable to read. This was less of an afterthought and more of a carefully crafted addition to the book which opens up the world of Anno Dracula that little bit more. This book is very enjoyable and for that reason I’ve given it 5 stars.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Tyler Dean

    When I started the Anno Dracula series, I was looking for a series that fit my interests in the literary zeitgeist. As a teenager, I read Alan Moore's League of Extraordinary Gentlemen as it was released, and I marveled at the idea that history and literature could be recombined to say important things about both. The first (eponymous) Anno Dracula novel certainly scratched this itch (I suspect it was a very clear influence on Moore in the first place). My lifelong love of Victoriana had made me When I started the Anno Dracula series, I was looking for a series that fit my interests in the literary zeitgeist. As a teenager, I read Alan Moore's League of Extraordinary Gentlemen as it was released, and I marveled at the idea that history and literature could be recombined to say important things about both. The first (eponymous) Anno Dracula novel certainly scratched this itch (I suspect it was a very clear influence on Moore in the first place). My lifelong love of Victoriana had made me reluctant to start the next. But now, at the end of the original trilogy (I have yet to read the fourth novel--the mosaic piece, Johnny Alucard), I think it is much more than a clever exercise in capturing history through literature. The Dracula Cha Cha Cha is a meditation on mortality--a novel about the exhausting price of living forever. Where the first two novels are stylistic enterprises that hew closely to the literary mode of the time (Anno Dracula is a Victorian detective novel and The Bloody Red Baron is a Boy's Own Adventure story about WWI flying aces), this end of the trilogy is far more wild and unstable. It experiments with Ian Flemming spy bravado and Patricia Highsmith dark thriller (James Bond and Tom Ripley are both major characters in the narrative) but it owes much more to Fellini films than to any strictly literary tradition. It is a novel strewn with Carnivalesque excess. Garish and overblown descriptions of the circus-like streets of Rome, intricately absurd tableau of orgiastic parties, and repulsively intricate depictions of grand guignol violence are the backdrop against which the story is laid. The prose is necessarily off-putting. One can get caught up in the madness of Newman's midcentury Rome but only for so long until one feels, like the majority of its central characters, that the dance has gone on too long and embracing the peace of the grave is the only solution. MAJOR SPOILERS Nominally the tale of a secret war between Dracula's cabal of vampire elders and the supernatural being worshiped as Mater Lachrymarum, The Dracula Cha Cha Cha draws strong ties between Charles Beauregarde, vigorous hero of the first novel and wise elder-statesman of the second, and the curiously absent villain of the series, the infamous count, now called Il Principe. Beauregarde is one hundred and five, wheelchair-bound, and on the verge of death. Dracula is revealed to be similarly tired of life--a willing participant in his own murder two thirds of the way through. As their tales wind down, it is left to the women of the series, vampire elder and lover to Charles, Genevieve Dieudonne, Victorian new woman turned vampire reporter (and character cut from the original Dracula manuscript), Kate Reed, and ruthless social climbing vampire and Charles' ex-fiancee, Penelope Churchwood to stand against Mama Roma, revealed to be a steward of cancerous, unchecked life, death, and renewal. The final passages of the novel are a strangely affecting account of Victorian femininity and perseverance in the face of a century that has gone disastrously off the rails. Tried and harrowed by the death of the world they new, Newman writes his trio of heroines as beacons of resilience, refusing to struggle against the inevitability of death, but also remaining aloft from the juvenile notions of immortality that everyone from Orson Welles to Clark Kent to James Bond to Tom Ripley to Marcello Rubini to Mater Lachrymarum herself is obsessed with. The novel ends with a game of tag on the steps of Castle Otranto, old ladies made young again, celebrating uncomplicated childhood amidst the Gothic ruins of the previous age.

  26. 3 out of 5

    Marc Jentzsch

    Newman's take on vampires integrating into society continues to be one of the smartest, most insightful, most creative implementations to date. The writing continues to be top-notch; engaging and compelling. This is the book for the girls. The three primary female protagonists (Genevieve, Kate and Penelope) take center stage here, each of them getting significant time in the spotlight. The 60s and second-wave feminism loom and here the women of the character roster step up and are passed the torc Newman's take on vampires integrating into society continues to be one of the smartest, most insightful, most creative implementations to date. The writing continues to be top-notch; engaging and compelling. This is the book for the girls. The three primary female protagonists (Genevieve, Kate and Penelope) take center stage here, each of them getting significant time in the spotlight. The 60s and second-wave feminism loom and here the women of the character roster step up and are passed the torch from the boys. Sadly the elders continue to be unnervingly easy to dispatch and it takes a lot from their mystique that they are. The additions to the supernatural roster are fun but seem a tad underused and more subject to the whims of the narrative than given an honest exploration. The best part of the book are the moments where Mr Newman completely catches me off-guard, and he managed it several times. From a particularly spectacular murder to the way a protagonist's death was handled, to the way the resolution and arc of this book isn't what it seems when you first settle into it. In all, I think if a cable company is looking for a property to turn into a new series with a supernatural angle, Anno Dracula would be a first-rate choice. The exploration of how Dracula and his ilk affect and change the world while also not changing a great many things is a lot of fun to delve into and given the expansive canvas of cable television, would probably be more fun than a lot of the properties that are given the green light. The story at the end I'm a bit less sure about, yet it still entertained me greatly. The staccato prose is intended to evoke the times, no doubt. More often than not it feels like an excuse to name-drop and info-dump with alarming intensity. I am not familiar enough with the late 60s for a lot of it to matter to me, but I caught enough that the story always made sense and I always had context. I still felt like the brevity of each statement (particularly early on) got to be both tiring and jarring at times. However, Kate is at her best here. She is also at her most seemingly inconsistent. She is both victim and vampire and the swings between the two are wide enough that I occasionally found myself wondering how both extremes could be the same character. I enjoyed seeing a bit of her evolution, to be sure, but given the resolution, I was a little surprised at her naive pliability and swooning weakness at certain points. Lest you think I am merely complaining, let me just reiterate that Kate largely shines and it's a lot of fun to see how she's evolved and grown and is on the cusp of becoming an elder herself. It's fun to see how her view of herself has changed with the years. It's also fun to see Mouse return, and in top form herself. I have caught wind that there are complaints about this volume, that a lot of people didn't like it. I think I know why but those reasons seem largely to be the same reasons why I enjoyed the book. The shocks, the changes, the upset expectations. As with the others, it is unlike any other vampire book you'll read...and that's a good thing.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Thomas

    As book titles go, Dracula Cha Cha Cha isn't the dumbest one I've ever seen, but it might be in the top ten, possibly the top five. I was surprised to see that this isn't even an original title; the title comes from a song that was part of a 1950s vampire movie, which was even covered by other artists. The title and its reference help give us the setting for this novel, which is Rome in 1959. It's important to note the time frame, since it isn't as evident in this novel as it was in the first two As book titles go, Dracula Cha Cha Cha isn't the dumbest one I've ever seen, but it might be in the top ten, possibly the top five. I was surprised to see that this isn't even an original title; the title comes from a song that was part of a 1950s vampire movie, which was even covered by other artists. The title and its reference help give us the setting for this novel, which is Rome in 1959. It's important to note the time frame, since it isn't as evident in this novel as it was in the first two stories in the series. I suppose it makes sense; Newman used Jack the Ripper and World War I as the backdrops for his first two novels, and moving further into the Twentieth Century, he may have run out of archetypal historical events to use as a frame for his stories (though I have to say I'm glad he resisted the urge to make vampire hippies). Like The Bloody Red Baron, the Titan edition of Dracula Cha Cha Cha is comprised of two stories, the title novel and a novella titled Aquarius (which, again, gives us a good sense of the setting and time for that story). The novel is a mystery story about elder vampires getting murdered in Rome, headlined with familiar characters and another fictional character -- a Mister Bond, Hamish Bond to be precise -- to round out the cast. It was compelling and readable, and had some shocking moments that I didn't want to believe. Let's just say that Newman's skills at characterization and voice are still to be admired (and those of you who have read the book probably know what I mean). Aquarius is a new-to-this-edition novella set in 1968, complete with the drug scene, Socialists, rock and roll, and beatniks, set as the backdrop to a murder mystery. It's entertaining, and will keep you guessing, but Newman, as he did with the other stories, captures the narrative style of that era to help set the story, and half the time I didn't even know what he was talking about. British beatnik slang seems to elude me. It's unfortunate that the book is riddled with typographical errors. There were several typos ("Her head span" instead of "Her head spun"), paragraphs that were not indented on the first line, and even some boxes printed in place of non-Unicode characters. I was surprised to find them at all, considering that I didn't notice anything like that in the first two books. Overall, this is another good entry into the entire Anno Dracula oeuvre, but I don't think it has the overall punch that the first two books did. It could also be that the books are encroaching on times that are more familiar with me (which doesn't bode well for the next one, which is set during my own lifetime), but either way, I've been impressed enough not to quit on them. Newman still tells a good tale.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Nicolas

    Dans ce qui est, je pense, le dernier tome des aventures de cette étrange civilisation vampirique, on se retrouve à Rome pour assister à encore un mariage de Dracula, qui n'est en fait qu'un élément de contexte pour mettre en scène la transition des trois femmes vampires amoureuses de Charles Beauregard. Chacune a évolué différement, mais chacune aimerait le voir accepter les ténèbres. Et évidement, ce sera plus compliqué que ça. Dans ce dernier tome, il y a toujours de l'action, toujours du compl Dans ce qui est, je pense, le dernier tome des aventures de cette étrange civilisation vampirique, on se retrouve à Rome pour assister à encore un mariage de Dracula, qui n'est en fait qu'un élément de contexte pour mettre en scène la transition des trois femmes vampires amoureuses de Charles Beauregard. Chacune a évolué différement, mais chacune aimerait le voir accepter les ténèbres. Et évidement, ce sera plus compliqué que ça. Dans ce dernier tome, il y a toujours de l'action, toujours du complot, mais ça n'est plus le sel de cette histoire qui se concentre maintenant beaucoup plus sur l’évolution des vampires : comment devient-on immortel. En effet, au-delà du côté facile de se faire mordre, d'échanger son sang avec un vampire, il y a aussi, et surtout, le fait de voir le monde changer. Et ce côté est assez difficile à voir, si on ne met pas en scène des personnages qui vivent cette aventure. Et c'est heureusement le cas ici. Heureusement, ou pas, puisque si la perte des proches est au coeur de cette histoire, ces proches ne sont pas toujours ceux qu'on croit ... Et c'est ainsi que Dracula, qu'on voyait dans les tomes précédents comme une quasi-incarnation du mal, devient plus une sorte de vieil oncle immortel, toujours effrayant, mais désormais quasiment inoffensif. C'est assez impressionnant, puisqu'on voit bien l'évolution des personnages, mais aussi du monde. Ce monde, d'ailleurs, est particulièrement plaisant : Rome dans les années 50 a un charme fou, et les personnages profitent à fond de ce décor. De la même manière, dans la deuxième histoire, plus courte, le Londres du "summer of love" est est très plaisant. Il y a en fait bien d'autres éléments dans ce roman, que je ne dévoilerai pas. En revanche, ce que je peux me permettre de dévoiler, c'est que si les personnages sont intéressants, profonds, si les citations multiples d'autres oeuvres sont aussi bien trouvées (Hamish Bond, typiquement), j'ai trouvé malheureusement qu'il y avait une forme ... subtile, certes, mais présente, de langueur. Peut-être que c'est un contrecoup de ces vampires si rapides, parfois, mais aussi souvent endormis, je n'en suis pas sûr. Toujours est-il que j'ai ressenti une forme d'ennui au bout d'un moment : les aventures continuaient, mais je ne m'y intéressai plus trop. Peut-être que d'autres y trouveront plus leur compte. En tout cas, personnellement, j'ai trouvé cette oeuvre intéressante, mais malheureusement trop longue.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Nigel

    Outrageously good third novel in Kim Newman's alternate world Anno Dracula series, where Dracula won and vampires were outed. After Victorian London and the trenches of France, this outing takes place in the bustling, lively, swinging city of Rome, 1959. Kate Reed arrives to see the aged and infirm Charles Beauregard one last time, only to find herself witness to the brutal murder of two vampire elders. Genevieve is also in Rome, caring for Charles, and Dracula himself is nearby, living out the Outrageously good third novel in Kim Newman's alternate world Anno Dracula series, where Dracula won and vampires were outed. After Victorian London and the trenches of France, this outing takes place in the bustling, lively, swinging city of Rome, 1959. Kate Reed arrives to see the aged and infirm Charles Beauregard one last time, only to find herself witness to the brutal murder of two vampire elders. Genevieve is also in Rome, caring for Charles, and Dracula himself is nearby, living out the years of his exile in the Castle Otranto, but engaged to be married, thus possibly signalling his impending reemergence onto the world stage. Keeping an eye on things for British intelligence is the suave, deadly, if rather shallow, newborn agent, Hamish Bond. Running Dracula's household is one Penny Churchward, an old friend of Kate and Charles, and under her spell is the American, Tom Ripley. Faces familiar and unfamiliar, fictional and real, human and vampire jostle in the crowded streets and scenes and parties. The Crimson Executioner cuts a flamboyantly bloody swathe through more vampire elders, rival powers stalk each other and jockey for position, but who is behind the killings? And what does Dracula intend when his dynasty is joined to another? I love this stuff, this clever, multi-referential, sharply written, bloody confection that mixes murder and comedy and spies and stars, that looks at death and life and undeath and unlife and tries to make some sense of it all, or at least come to terms with what little sense there is. Included in this edition is the novella Aquarius, a tale of murder and revolt and a wide variety of coppers and plods set in swinging London, 1968, featuring Kate and her investigations on the behalf of the Diogenes Club into the murder by a vampire, of a young woman, as the dark tides and passions of the sixties' underbelly roll towards a violent explosion. If I have a criticism of this volume, it's the annotations, which I enjoy. Only annotations for Cha Cha Cha are included, and even they feel a little sparse. I could have done with a run-down on some of the bit players in Aquarius. It doesn't detract from the novel or the novella, but it would have added to them, for me, anyway.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jordan

    The third installment of Kim Newman's Anno Dracula series! I really enjoyed this, for the most part. Still not as good as the first, original entry in the series, but at the same time it was better than the second book which I thought fell a little flat. Newman once again populates his world with a host of borrowed literary, film and historical characters, this time drawing heavily from Itallian horror and crime films in addition to the Bond franchise. (That's right--Bond! With that cover, are y The third installment of Kim Newman's Anno Dracula series! I really enjoyed this, for the most part. Still not as good as the first, original entry in the series, but at the same time it was better than the second book which I thought fell a little flat. Newman once again populates his world with a host of borrowed literary, film and historical characters, this time drawing heavily from Itallian horror and crime films in addition to the Bond franchise. (That's right--Bond! With that cover, are you actually surprised? But I'll get to that....) The year is 1959. World War II is over and behind us, and Dracula has settled his exiled house in a Roman castle given him by the Allies in recognition for his aid in defeating the Nazis. But now it seems Dracula is no longer content with his exile as his marriage to the undead princess Asa Vadja is announced. This is obviously viewed with concern by Charles Beauregard, now over a hundred years old and nearing his end, also in Rome where he can keep an eye on his old enemy. Genvieve and Kate are also concerned, but their main focus is Charles' failing health as he refuses to turn and join them in undeath. Charles' old firm, the Diogenes Club, has sent one of their top operatives to Rome to investigate the proceedings--"Bond, Hamish Bond." (Yes, Hamish is the Scots form of James....) Many 007-related references ensue, from other literary characters descibed as Bond's classic villains (Frankenstein's Monster is both Jaws and Oddjob, for example) to phrases and titles being worked in ("You only live twice," says Bond on his experience turning vampire). And against all this, someone is flamboyantly killing vampire Elders.....

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