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The Vampire Tapestry [MultiFormat]
eBook by Suzy McKee Charnas

eBook Category: Horror
eBook Description: Hailed by Stephen King as "scary and suspenseful" and "unputdownable," and by Peter Beagle, author of The Last Unicorn, as "The best vampire novel I have ever read," The Vampire Tapestry examines the classic monster as a biological, rather than supernatural, predator who awakens from hibernation every few decades needing to relearn human culture. After years of secret effort, the self-styled Edward Weyland has become a respected anthropology professor and director of a sleep research lab. With reliable access to unsuspecting blood donors, he grows complacent and makes a near-fatal error. First critically wounded by a strong and canny woman, then imprisoned and humiliated by a power-mad Satanist, he is forced on a journey toward an empathy with his prey that threatens the foundations of his survival.

eBook Publisher: Electricstory.com, Published: 1980
Fictionwise Release Date: March 2002


65 Reader Ratings:
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"On one level Charnas has created a marvelous and compelling page turner of a what-if tale, about a believable and wholly natural vampire. She has asked, what would a successful predator of the human herd be like physically and mentally? On another level she takes a cool fascinating look at prey-predator relations as a focus for what goes on between men and women, between those with power and those without, between the outlaw and the society that at once feeds and hunts him. She has stripped the vampire tale of its Gothic and sado-masochistic elements. As her clever and ironic vampire remarks, it does not do to confuse sex and feeding, and Charnas never does, in a book that is witty and frightening at once."--Marge Piercy

"A superb work of the imagination, a rich, deep and intelligent study of a being who looks quite human but is nothing of the sort."--Richard Bradford

"... one of the most original and highly regarded vampire novels of all time.... Although there have been numerous attempts to write stories from the vampire's point of view in recent years, most notably by Anne Rice, none rival The Vampire Tapestry's straightforward, intelligent treatment."--Don D'Ammassa

"Among the genre's few modern classics."--New York Times Book Review

"The Vampire Tapestry seems as fresh and arresting as it was at the time of its first publication, and it remains the most original addition to the field since Richard Matheson's I Am Legend (1954)."--Fantasy Review

"...probably the best vampire novel ever written..."--Oxford Times

"Don't let the title fool you. This is not another weary novel about Dracula, his imitators, or his heirs. [The Vampire Tapestry] works on many levels, as pure adventure, as social description, as psychological drama, and as a passionate exploration of the web that links instinct, morality, and culture . . . a serious, startling, revolutionary work."--Washington Post

"A complex and disturbing tale with a vampire as thoroughly believable as the one in Anne Rice's Interview with a Vampire."--Library Journal


Part I:
The Ancient Mind At Work

On a Tuesday morning Katje discovered that Dr. Weyland was a vampire, like the one in the movie she'd seen last week.

Jackson's friend on the night cleaning crew had left his umbrella hooked over the bike rack outside the lab building. Since Katje liked before starting to work to take a stroll in the dawn quiet, she went over to see if the umbrella was still there. As she started back empty-handed through the heavy mist she heard the door of the lab building boom behind her. She looked back.

A young man had come out and started across the parking lot. Clearly he was hurt or ill, for he slowed, stopped, and sank down on one knee, reaching out a hand to steady himself on the damp and glistening tarmac.

Behind him, someone else emerged from the building and softly shut the heavy door. This man, tall and gray-haired, stood a moment touching to his mouth a white handkerchief folded into a small square. Then he put the handkerchief away and walked out onto the lot. Passing behind the kneeling figure, he turned his head to look--and continued walking without hesitation. He got into his shimmering gray Mercedes and drove off.

Katje started back toward the lot. But the young man pushed himself upright, looked around in a bewildered manner, and making his way unsteadily to his own car also drove away.

So there was the vampire, sated and cruel, and there was his victim, wilted, pale, and confused; although the movie vampire had swirled about in a black cloak, not a raincoat, and had gone after bosomy young females. Walking over the lawn to the Club, Katje smiled at her own fancy.

What she had really seen, she knew, was the eminent anthropologist and star of the Cayslin Center for the Study of Man, Dr. Weyland, leaving the lab with one of his sleep subjects after a debilitating all-night session. Dr. Weyland must have thought the young man was stooping to retrieve dropped car keys.

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