Tuesday, December 2, 2008


Ok, I admit that I read all of the Twilight series in one week and saw the movie already (is Edward Cullen hot or what?). Well, there's a new, literary vampire in town and it's Jacques Chessex's The Vampire of Ropaz (Bitter Lemon Press, 2008). Chessex, one of the most important living authors in Switzerland and winner of the Goncourt Prize, bases this extraordinary book on a true story that occurred in in the Jura Mountains in 1903.

While the story could be considered a crime novel, the reality is that the book is much more of a moral tale that focuses on a community's fear of the unknown and strange. A beautifully and sparsely written book (less than 110 pages), this is a story that will leave you with more questions than answers - who has committed the horrendous crimes outlined in the novel? Is the accused truly criminal or simply a product of a life filled with abuse at the hands of others? Chessex is a first class writer who turns the notion of the vampire on its head...and there is no Bella or Edward involved.

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