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JON RUDDY
The Bargain


click to enlarge

Kinghtsbridge, New York, 1990
(price: $4.95, 296 pages)


The blurb on the back:

'In form they were young women, and every one of them was sexually alluring, abandoned-looking, languid, but with an undying tension, the tension of perverse appetite held in check.'
Two blood thirsty dictators seek supremacy. High in the hills overlooking the sleepy town of Arefu, Romania, Count Dracula dwells in the ruins of an abandoned castle.
For what was Hitler but another kind of vampire? When a bargain with the village elders is unwittingly broken, Dracula unleashes his terror on the town... and on the Nazi soldiers who have invaded his beloved homeland.
Bu the Count doesn't like the competition. As the legions of vampirism wind their treacherous way to Hitler himself, the world is about t be consumed by the powers of darkness which may now become immortal.


opening lines:
Hauptmann Hans Klatt considered for the first time the face of the girl on her back on his bed. It was a flat face with sallow skin stretched over high cheekbones, a coarse face in which the eyes alone attracted attention.


Check those sleeve notes again: 'For what was Hitler but another kind of vampire?' Well, quite a bit really. More to the point, to equate him with Dracula is firstly, an absurdly and offensively mistaken portrayal of the Third Reich, and secondly, a misunderstanding of the symbolic significance of the vampire in European culture, which is centred on the historic legacy of feudalism in its conflict with bourgeois capitalism (it says here).

As it happens, the book is not as offensive as it sounds, being essentially a small-scale story of occupied Romania fighting back against the Wehrmacht. But it's still rubbish.


ARTISTIC MERIT: 1/5
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE:
2/5
HIPNESS QUOTIENT:
2/5


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