05 February 2013

Vampires in the Lemon Grove; Karen Russell

Vampires in the Lemon Grove: StoriesVampires in the Lemon Grove: Stories by Karen Russell
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I haven't read any of Ms. Russell's other books, so I came to this with no preconceptions. It's eight stories, and the first two are the strongest - the others, I sort of sped-read through after a few pages because they didn't really grab me.

"Vampires" is not horror, it's more about a sad old man who happens to be a vampire and is maybe losing his wife? They've stayed in Italy, in a former nun's lemon grove (or nearby), drinking lemon juice rather than, you know, blood. But it isn't working any more... "Reeling for the Empire" is more disturbing, with former women-turned-silkworms in Mejie Empire Japan. The rest of the stories felt like they were trying too hard, with "The New Veterans" reading like an update version of Bradbury's "Illustrated Man".

ARC provided by publisher.

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