A review that originally appeared in The Third Alternative #29:-
Dedalus pb, 245pp, £7.99
Farrington’s 1983 novel, reissued by Dedalus and with an introduction by Kim Newman, pretty much follows in the footsteps of Anne Rice, while studiously avoiding use of the V-word.
The book is the testimony of John Richard Le Perrowne, an unhealthy young man with morbid tastes, who is turned into a vampire by one of his ancestors. Having learned how to control his bloodlust and rejected the philosophy of his peers, who see humans simply as foodstuff, John roams the world for decades in Helena’s company. Her death at the hands of a priest gives new urgency to his existence, and after a botched stab at revenge he sets out in search of the fabled Master-Revenant, the one who can give meaning to his unnaturally prolonged lifespan.
There’s not a lot to be said about this. It’s the usual angst ridden vampire schtick made so popular by the success of Interview, well written and avoiding a lot of the post-Dracula clichés, as Newman points out in the introduction, but ultimately a case of been there, done that and spilled blood on the T-shirt. What was fresh and new in 1983 now seems old hat. New Vampire has become as anodyne as New Man, apparently unaware that there’s nothing more pretentious than soul searching when you’re not supposed to have a soul. I prefer Buffy, where in the main the vampires are blood sucking fiends and the humans are appropriately ‘grateful’.