BOOK REVIEW: THE VAMPIRE TAPESTRY
What if vampires really do exist? What if they really are not like the movies but exist in a slightly altered form?
That is the premise for THE VAMPIRE TAPESTRY.
THE VAMPIRE TAPESTRY was originally published in 1980 and now is being new published twenty-eight years later. It is considered to be a classic in vmapire literature. This is the story of Edward Weyland split into five novellas each revolving around a different time, characters, and events in his current everyday life. Each section is fairly short and gives you perspective through each character and event.
Dr. Edward Weyland survives as an antropology professor at a small university. Equipped with a stinger on the tongue, instead of fangs, he isn't bothered by garlic or holy water and doesn't seem to burn in the sunlight. He does wear his Panama hat though for protection from the sun. His drive for blood is there, however, by teaching at a small school, there is always a fresh supply of untainted blood within the student and staff population. Because he does not usually use the same repeated source for his feedings, he lives a life of anonymity until he announces and seems to believe that he is really a vampire. Unfortunately, others are also of that belief.
Much of the book deals with his life after this realization from others. He is assigned a wonderful and caring psychiatrist, Floria, who believes he might be the real thing. Another influence on his life is a troubled teenager, Mark, who willingly allows himself to be food for the vampire. Of course, there is the antagonist, Reese, a Satanist who wants to kill Dr. Weyland. The relationships of these three greately influence the vampire so much that he moves to another area of the country to start over only to find that it is nearly impossible to live as a hermit in a college setting. The influences of another professor and a graduate assistant make his need for isolation and blood feeding difficult. Also, he discovers that his influences on others are changes those people and not always for the better.
He doesn't seem to remember how he actually became a vampire due to his long hibernations of about fifty-years of sleep during his continuous life. These are needed for his existence, but he does not remember much of his previous lives after his sleep.
What is unique about this particular vampire novel is that it seems to border closely on reality. If a vampire could exist, I could see it as a possibility within the parameters of THE VAMPIRE TAPESTRY. All the characters are closely woven together with everyone's flaws exposed, as well as the vampire's. He does have difficulty though when a Satanist named Reese wants to destroy him. (Why would a Satanist want to kill a vampire? I never could completely understand that temptation.)
Suzy McKee Charnas is a native New Yorker who transplanted her life in New Mexico. She has written numerous works in various genres, but favors science fiction. She has won awards such as the Hugo, the James Tiptree, Jr. Award, and the Nebula Award.
Overall, it is unsettling to discover how a realistic vampire could exist among us. This book could be considered as a guide.
REVIEWED BY TERI DAVIS
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