A MATTER OF TASTE by Fred Saberhagen


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Blood-soaked Dracula fantasy, an amusingly entertaining follow-up to An Old Friend of the Family. Vlad the Impaler, that 500-year-old Transylvanian afflicted with the red thirst, now lives high up in a gigantic 90-story Chicago condo and is known as Matthew Maule or--to his adoptive nephew John Southerland--as Uncle Matthew. The millionaire nephew is marrying Angie Hoban and brings her up to Uncle Matthew's condo for a prenuptial dinner. Saberhagen's brilliance here is that the Chicago condo seals in the entire modern-day plotline as much as if one were visiting Castle Dracula and were unable to get out. This confined scene allows the story to grow intensely and tings bells on the Bram Stoker original when we watch Uncle Matthew climb down the outside of the building to get to the swimming pool on the 40th floor. Meanwhile, on a tape that Angle listens to while lodging overnight at Uncle Matthew's, we follow Prince Drakulya's history--from his first death in battle (he was murdered by traitors) and resurrection as a vampire, through his subsequent entanglements with Lorenzo de' Medici and that untrustworthy brother-and-sister team of poisoners, Cesare and Lucretia Borgia. Cesare, himself turned into a vampire, has vengefully pursued Drakulya down the ages and now--as Valentine Kaiser, Celebrity Publicist--lays violent siege to Uncle Matthew's condo with intent to kill. Saberhagen's new Dracula lore includes the matter of the taste of blood, each human's blood being as unique as a fingerprint, and the author has a grand time cataloguing and lingering over flavors. Enjoyable series romp that avoids the Anne Rice high-style.

Pub Date: July 19th, 1990
Publisher: Tor--dist. by St. Martin's