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Vida Nocturna (2011)

by Mark D. Diehl(Favorite Author)
4.19 of 5 Votes: 3
1463554060 (ISBN13: 9781463554064)
review 1: In reading Vida Nocturna, be prepared for a unique and emotionally intense literary experience. The author employs a disjointed structure to give readers an unsteady and disconnected feeling, thereby instilling a sense of the main character’s state of mind. As the story jumps between past and present, between fantasy and reality, we are drawn ever deeper into Sara’s struggle to escape the fear and loneliness that threaten to consume her completely. Each carefully sequenced scene provides new perspective on the damaging psychological trauma she has endured. We cringe at the destructive choices she makes in her desperate search for something-- anything-- to fill the emptiness in her soul. Our feelings for her swing from profound sympathy to agonizing frustration and... more back again, never quite knowing where to settle. Even as she becomes more and more deeply immersed in the world of drugs and addiction, we can’t help but hold out more hope for her than she probably has ever had for herself.As the darkest moments of Sara’s life are depicted, the writing is especially strong and strikingly visceral. The graphic and realistic detail with which her horrific experiences are described imparts a vivid impression that we are physically present witnesses, frozen and unable to look away. It is a powerful novel. Sara’s story feels heartbreakingly real, and it is one you won’t forget anytime soon.
review 2: I wrote "Vida Nocturna" in graduate school at the University of Chicago. As I learned about the publishing industry, it became obvious that the books corporate publishers picked up weren't necessarily good stories. The key to getting published was that the book be predictably profitable. At that time, there was tremendous pressure to write a series about vampires in love. "Twilight" had been bringing good returns on the publisher's investment and the others wanted a similar product to market. Vampires sell, and so do romances. But when authors are forced to chase the market like that, no new ideas can get in. It's a death spiral of creativity. This book was my experiment, to see how far I could stretch the idea of vampires in love and create something new. Did it have to be real love? Did the vampires have to be supernatural? I have known real vampires. They are real, you know. They're just not supernatural. Vampires are creatures with an insatiable need to fill up that space where their souls used to be. I knew people who lost their souls. In fact, this book is largely based on the life of a good friend of mine who disappeared about twelve years ago. In "Vida Nocturna," Sara, a college freshman crippled by social phobia, fantasizes that her new boyfriend is a vampire but discovers he's a cocaine addict. The scenes are short and the transitions between them are abrupt so that readers experience Sara's trepidation and sense of unreality. As she slips further into the decadent '80s subculture, she becomes, in a non-supernatural way, undead. Fantasy, horror, and reality become one. When was the first bite that started her transition? When did the victim become the predator? less
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I'm a wimp about scary things ... but I admit that this does sound somewhat interesting.
Won as part of the Goodreads first reads program. Review to come.
An interesting and genuinely weird horror novel.
WOW. Review pending.
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