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  1. The Vampire of Ropraz by Jacques Chessex

    Wednesday, August 18, 2010

    Title: The Vampire of Ropraz
    Author: Jacques Chessex
    Publisher: Broche; Bitter Lemon Press
    Release Date: 2007; 2008
    Source: Library

    From the Back Cover:
    1903, Ropraz, a small village in the Jura Mountains of Switzerland. On a howling December day, a lone walker discovers a recently opened tomb, the body of a young woman violated, left hand cut off, genitals mutilated and heart carved out. There is horror in the nearby villages: the return of atavistic superstitions and mutual suspicions. Then two more bodies are violated. A suspect must be found. Fevez, a stable-boy with blood-shot eyes, is arrested, convicted, placed into psychiatric care. In 1915, he vanishes

    My Thoughts:
    The Vampire of Ropraz is not about a literal vampire story. Rather, it is a novella about how the community of Ropraz reacts to a horrific crime.

    I have seen some claims that the book is based on actual events although my little bit of research hasn't actually brought up anything to do with any actual event so I cannot comment on the historical accuracy here. That said, Chessex does a wonderful job of cementing the story in reality, of making it feel like you are reading an account of actual events. There is a strong sense of the bleakness, fear, and superstition rampant at the time and the macabre nature of the events.

    The perspective in The Vampire of Ropraz seems strangely unique. It is journalistic and yet feels somehow personal, absorbing the horror of the citizens of Ropraz. It is a novella that I am sure would probably have read even stronger in its original language but is a great little Gothic piece in English as well.

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  2. 1 comments:

    1. mummazappa said...

      sounds like an intriguing story!

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