Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Quincey Morris, Vampire

As both a sequel to DRACULA and a spinoff from her Jack Fleming and Jonathan Barrett novels, P. N. Elrod wrote QUINCEY MORRIS, VAMPIRE (2001). The first chapter appeared in its original form as a story in the anthology DRACULA: PRINCE OF DARKNESS (1992). Like Fred Saberhagen in THE DRACULA TAPE, Elrod postulates that the Count did not actually die at the end of Stoker’s novel. When the heroes’ knives pierced his heart and neck, he faked his death by vanishing into mist. QUINCEY MORRIS, VAMPIRE begins with Quincey’s awakening from death as wolves drag his body away from the campfire where his friends sleep. He then meets Dracula and faces the revelation that he himself has become a vampire. Years earlier, Quincey encountered vampire Nora Jones (from the Jonathan Barrett series) in South America. Because of his intimacy with her, he rises as a vampire after death. At first horrified by what he has become, he takes little comfort from Dracula’s assurance that vampirism doesn’t necessarily mean damnation. Elrod ingeniously reconciles the differences between her vampires and Stoker’s by stating that at least two different “breeds” of vampires exist. Dracula’s kind, more powerful but cursed to avoid religious objects, differ from Quincey’s as wolves from hunting dogs. Elrod’s Dracula, like Saberhagen’s, is ruthless yet honorable. Although he could have killed his pursuers anytime, he refrained. Quincey accepts hospitality at Castle Dracula but takes longer to accept his changed nature. Learning that Dr. Seward and Arthur Holmwood have stayed behind to search for his body, he wants to make contact with them, but Dracula forbids any action that would reveal his own survival.
Eventually Quincey makes his way back to England, where he reveals himself to Seward and Holmwood. After the first shock, they accept that he remains essentially himself and welcome him with joy. At the same time, Quincey meets and falls in love with Holmwood’s very unconventional sister, Bertrice, an artist, actress, and suffragist. Unfortunately, Van Helsing’s fanatical hatred of vampires remains unchanged. When he learns of Quincey’s transformation, the professor resolves to destroy him.
Like Elrod’s other vampire protagonists, Quincey comes across as a decent man struggling to cope with a catastrophic change in his life. As the novel’s first-person narrator, he sounds convincingly Texan without the near-caricature of Stoker’s notion of an American cowboy. Although the novel has a completely satisfying conclusion, I’ve always wished Elrod had written a sequel.
Margaret L. Carter
Carter's Crypt

1 comment:

Cylver said...

I totally agree, a sequel would be fantastic!
I've been meaning to thank you for, in addition to reviewing new books, spotlighting those older gems that may have been overlooked. So, thank you!