LOVE IN VEIN by Poppy Z. Brite

LOVE IN VEIN

Twenty Original Tales of Vampiric Erotica
edited by

KIRKUS REVIEW

 Vaguely familiar fairy tales and other prototypical plots take on a new darkness when viewed from a vampire's perspective in this horror anthology edited by fantasy author Brite (Drawing Blood, 1993, etc). The stories present 20 different worlds, from the Old West to modern Japan to the inner city, in which vampires' desires are no longer focused solely, or even primarily, on their victims' jugulars. These predators desire not only the blood, but also the flesh. Blood serves as a metaphor for sex in several tales that show carnal knowledge of a vampire leading to loss of the soul. Prostitutes and survivors of sexual abuse figure prominently in these stories; vampires are able to recognize experienced victims. The protagonist of ``Empty Vessels'' by David B. Silva feeds as much on painful memories as on the blood and desire of his prey. Heart of Darkness meets The Silence of the Lambs in Douglas Clegg's ``White Chapel,'' whose vampire leads his quarry upriver to a strange jungle site where people are skinned alive and bless the one who flays them. Lusty young men also fall prey to the dangers of desire. ``Love Me Forever'' by Mike Baker shows a trio of college buddies being serially seduced and abandoned: Two kill themselves from love and despair; the third is not so easily thwarted. In Elizabeth Engstrom's ``Elixir,'' a young man's desire to see the world's hues causes him to drink deeply from his mate, whose body holds the elixir that cures his color blindness. Appetites are powerful here; fortunately--since everyone seems to be enjoying the bloodletting--a diverse and wondrous array of fangs and other extraction devices are standard equipment for these vampires. Sometimes literate and lyrical, sometimes crude, a celebration of the aphrodisiac qualities of blood and flesh. Not to everyone's taste.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1994
ISBN: 0-06-105312-0
Page count: 416pp
Publisher: HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 1994




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