Review: The Vampire Tapestry by Suzy McKee Charnas


in a sentence or two: an in depth character study and observation of dr. Edward Weyland (vampire) and a few of his more intimate human encounters

in the 5 sections of the vampire tapestry, there are 5 separate accounts of the life of Edward Weyland. beginning with his near-death encounter with a suspicious collegiate faculty, we are taken on a journey of personal thoughts and feelings (or lack there of) of Weyland and the people he comes to know.

there isn't much time spent on the genealogy or origins of Weyland, mainly because he isn't aware of any. that fact, among others, sets us up for a very interesting character study of the lone member of perhaps the most intriguing and infatuating supernatural being ever.

throughout the five sections, Weyland is accused of rape, held hostage, goes into therapy, gets swept away by the opera Tosca, and is stalked by a satanist who wants to use Weyland for his own gain. through the eyes of Weyland we see the weakness and emotions of human kind (his cattle, as he calls them) as well as the lack of understanding or care on behalf of Weyland.

as bizarre as it may sound, the best way for me to describe this book is that it is a character study of a vampire in modern times. it shows how people would interact with one, and how he interacts with them. his solitude and complete lack of interest (well, almost complete) in his prey (that's you and me folks) create a sad, intriguing, complex, yet basic creature that i found to be really fascinating. there are suspenseful moments and plot twists, but at it's core this book is an in-depth exploration of what / who a vampire is.

it was sooooo gooooooood! Charnas creates an amazing character with Edward Weyland, and using 5 different 'stories' within the story is an excellent way to keep the story shifting and changing. while any of the 5 sections could be read individually (apparently the section 'Unicorn Tapestry' won the Nebula Award) they are much more cohesive and rewarding as a whole. also, i feel like i was attracted to Weyland in spite of myself throughout the book...which is odd because he is repeatedly described as heartless, nonchalant, uncaring, etc etc.

while i'm not the most well versed on vampirical fiction (and i intend to change that), i have heard that this is the quintessential vampire book, and i am strongly inclined to agree! the way he survives, the way he hunts, and the way that humans play into his existence is simply fascinating.

fave quote: "On a Tuesday morning Katje discovered that Dr. Weyland was a vampire, like the one in the movie she'd seen last week". (opening line of the book baby!)

fix er up: nothing i can think of. pretty solid read.

title: The Vampire Tapestry
author: Suzy McKee Charnas
genre: Vampire, Drama, Lisa's Fave

Lisa is a gamer, crafter, fangirl, mother, wife and unabashed nerd who is pretty ridiculous and it's best you know that up front. When she's not binge watching Netflix or crafting into the wee hours of the night, you can find her spending a lot of her time on Pinterest and Twitter.

5 comments:

  1. i really hope that you are reading "ender's game" next.

    i find it hard to get excited about vampires.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Actually, so do I -- usually. This is Suzy Charnas here, saying thanks, Lisa, for your great review of my book! I love it when new readers come upon this novel and really connect with it.

    But I have to say that most "vampire" literature leaves me cold (though not actually dead and thirsty, thank goodness), because it's so predictable. I wrote "Tapesry" to do something unpredictable (for myself as well, as an author finding out what this creature was as I went along) with the concept of the vampire.

    Recently read "Twilight", which I ended up skimming because so much nothing was happening -- lots of emotional fru-fru, as with the standard Romance formula but for a younger set, but a little of that over-stretched angsty stuff goes a long, long way for me as a reader. I did like the NW coast setting a lot.

    For a charmingly fresh take on vampires and the whole secret supernatural world sub-genre, I'd recommend the Sookie Stackhouse books by Charlaine Harris -- neat, thoughtful, and smart. Has anyone else here read any of them?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks Suzy! And thanks for reading my review, that really means a lot to have you comment on here. I have not heard of the Stackhouse books, but will definitely give them a peek.

    And eriks - I anticipate getting to "ender's game" sometime in the future, no worries.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I always read blog comments on my wok, when I know about them, and respond, and it's not just because I'm a stellar human being but because I really want to know what experienced readers have to say about what they think I was trying to do, and how well (or not) I succeeded in a given story.

    *And* there's a bonus: just this autumn, I've had queries from a publisher in Spain and another in Greece about putting out spanish and Greek translations of "Tapestry" -- interest directly attributable to good reviews on the net! A publicity maven put out the word of the book's re-issue on the world wide web, and my publisher coordinated with him so that when he got responses from interested bloggers, the publisher's publicity dept. sent out review copies.

    So, against all odds, this novel that's nearly 30 yrs old got a lot of fresh, up-to-date reviews that reached people all over the world, painlessly and at almost no cost. For authors with a little web-savvy, reviews like yours can be very helpful.

    So the thanks go to *you*, for sharing your love of good books on your blog, to the benefit of readers and writers alike.

    ReplyDelete
  5. that's really exciting news about the re-release in spanish and greek! congrats on that incredible accomplishment, and it is my pleasure to facilitate spreading my happy little reviews and thoughts about great books around the web. it's especially rewarding to know that it can make a difference!

    ReplyDelete

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