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The Vampire Of Ropraz (2009)

by Jacques Chessex(Favorite Author)
3 of 5 Votes: 1
1904738338 (ISBN13: 9781904738336)
Bitter Lemon Press
review 1: Chessex was the only non-French author to have received the Prix Goncourt by 1973 (he won another, for poetry, in 2004), and despite a large body of work there’s still little by him that’s available in English. This is a fictionalised account of a ghoulish but unsolved true mystery regarding necrophilia and the desecration of young women’s graves in Switzerland’s Jura mountains at the turn of the twentieth century. It starts out lucidly and almost frighteningly atmospheric, with the mountainous landscape harbouring isolated villages rife with superstition and Calvinist doctrine, and when a possible suspect is found the rule of law comes a poor second to the prejudices of the local people and the courts. Chessex’s writing grabs the reader from page one: it’s unf... morelinchingly spare and direct and gets straight to the point, but although much of this story is based on real events he perhaps added a little too much gratuitous detail, even though this just adds to the sense of how much remains unknown. The twist at the end seems almost too extraordinary to be true and would be incredible if it were, but even so it’s still a very good allegory for buried secrets. A brief but memorable novella.
review 2: More of a crime thriller than a horror story, and not about vampires at all (also, barely a novel at a soft 100 pages). It's 1903 and the Swiss countryside is rocked by a series of horrific, cannibalistic attacks on recently buried young women. But the story is told through an oddly detached omniscient POV that reads more like a news account. There's lots of graphic violence and sexual abuse and some sort of twist at the end. I don't know. I think something was lost in translation. less
Reviews (see all)
Nem crónica. Nem relato. Nem romance.Fraquinho... Fraquinho!
Interesting but not for the faint-hearted! Bloodthirsty!
I liked the spare, stark telling of this tale.
A most unusual read.
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