Book Three: Fangland

Fangland, John Marks

This book started out with all the potential in the world. Evangeline Harker, an associate producer for a 60 Minutes-type show, travels to Romania, and then goes deep into the mountains of Transylvania, to suss out a potential interview subject who is an elusive, yet notorious, Eastern European criminal. The first half of the book, told mostly from the perspective of Evangeline, is one of the creepiest things I've ever read. After the crime boss, Ion Torgu, takes her back to his "hotel" in the mountains, it becomes so scary I couldn't bear to be alone in the dark the last few days. But then... well, then we go back to New York City to the offices of The Hour, where some mysterious video tapes have arrived and things start to go all wonky, the staff either start dying or start looking like the living dead, and everyone is hearing "voices" that seem to be whispering something truly evil that no one can escape.

For me things really started to fall apart here. All of the tension from the first half dissipates, and then the most insane ending comes! If anyone who has read this book can explain the ending to me I would be most grateful. I mean, I get most of the general themes, and I appreciate them to a certain extent and think they could have made for a really interesting vampire book, but then... It's like John Marks (who, incidentally used to be a producer at 60 Minutes) throws a bunch of shit out there (including the entire history of death and torture and murder, September 11th, Dracula and vampires [though those names are mentioned only once or twice], technology, the media, feminine power over men), and then tells me, the reader, that it's my job to make any kind of sense of it. I don't mind using my noggin when I read, but I'd like at least some semblance of cohesion from my books.

To be fair, I haven't actually ever read Dracula, which this book apparently heavily borrows from and/or references. I wonder if that would make it make sense? It's on my list of books to read this year, and let's hope it's a better read than Fangland.


Blogger Jessica Brown said...

Just finished reading it myself and the ending has me scratching my head as well. I think I know what happened, but there wasn't much direct action for me to be sure. Pretty vague, if you ask me.

July 6, 2009 at 7:03 PM  

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