Heeeeeyyyo! Welcome to Boozy Books! The booziest of book-based entries!
Forgive me if I’m a little loopy. I’ve been doing a lot of writing this week on three different stories and I think I might be reaching the big white E at the bottom of my tank. I need some recoup time soon…
But first! One of the coolest novels I’ve ever had the opportunity to read. Maybe not as cool as Thursday Next, but really damn cool, nonetheless. A little background to whet your appetite for Anno Dracula by Kim Newman:
- Dracula won and turned Mina Harker into a vampire.
- He then went on to marry Queen Victoria and turn England into a military state.
- History and literature all play together in this world, which is amazing.
Seriously. Here’s a list of some of the characters to be found in this book:
Mycroft Holmes (and the rest of the Diogenes Club, for whom the main character works)
Lestat (in passing, really, but seriously… even Lestat)
Jack the Ripper
Jekyll and Hyde
Yeah, I know. All of them (and so many, many more) running around in the same book! It’s like the coolest piece of alternate history fan-fiction in the history of ever. And it’s well-written, too. Kim Newman has a way with language that I really enjoy, and I think y’all will enjoy, too.
Basically, Charles Beauregard is called in by the Diogenes Club to solve the Jack the Ripper murders, except the Ripper is now killing vampire prostitutes. This is causing a great deal of tension between pro- and anti-vampire groups and the government, which, it must be remembered, is being run by Dracula himself. If the murders go on too long, there is a chance Dracula will bestir himself and lash out against the people of England. Beauregard has to work with allies both human and vampire, trustworthy and otherwise, to figure out who the Ripper is and stop the killing. And he has to do it all while dealing with a social-climbing fiancee determined to become a vampire.
The best part about this book? It’s only the first in the series! The next one, set during WW1, features characters ranging from Dr. Caligari to the Shadow, as well as Edgar Allan Poe and even a brief cameo from a Doctor Who character! It’s amazing. Seriously. I love this series. It’s such a great mix of history, literature, and vampire lore, with obvious and oblique references alike. I’m a huge fan of mixing history and literature (you know… that being exactly what Killing Mercutio is), and especially so when it’s done well like it is here. This is a fulsome recommendation.
Now, what to drink? I think something fun and, of course, the red of blood. Something perhaps a little addictive and sweet, but also deep and dangerous and liable to leave your head spinning. And something, I think, including gin, which is popular in England, but came from somewhere else (like vampirism itself in these books) entirely. So… you know what, I’m gonna do it. I’m gonna go Singapore mf’in Sling! Four different kinds of liquor, pineapple, lime, and cherry juice, AND bitters all shaken up and poured into a highball! I admit it, I love them. And I love these books, too.
Well, that’s it for me today! A is up with the Shakespeare report tomorrow!
Buy the Book
Anno Dracula by Kim Newman
Make the Drink: