by Michael Talbot
“You are confronting a reality you do not have the powers of conceptualization to understand.”
Dr. Gladstone, a Victorian gentleman deeply engaged in his study of the flu virus after losing his wife to it, discovers a strain that prohibits antigens—a virus which disallows the human body any form of self-defense.
The doctor has two daughters, the youngest of which is severely mentally handicapped except in her recollection of and ability to reproduce music, where she is a savant. When she’s kidnapped by a mysterious young man the doctor has been studying, a man claiming to be vampire and with physical traits to support such claim, the doctor suspends his research to focus on the search for her, a search which leads him to the heart of a worldwide conspiracy.
More mystery than horror, and truncated by necessity for a quickly moving story, within the book lies an alternate history of man. This may be the greatest of all vampire novels, not just in its rendition of the creature, in explaining its existence and purpose, but in the book’s reminder that we comprehend 100% of nothing in a world that’s always had deception as a key tapestry.
Richard Matheson, we have ourselves a tie for Greatest Vampire Novel.
All the teeming peoples of the world may prove themselves wretched, but the wonders of their creation will remain.