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The Vampire Tapestry by Suzy McKee Charnas
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The Vampire Tapestry (1980)

by Suzy McKee Charnas

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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5221619,378 (3.78)49
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» See also 49 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 16 (next | show all)
Intensely clever and original, this will stand as one of my favorite vampire novels along with Anne Rice's Interview with the Vampire and Jonathan Nasaw's The World on Blood. Charnas' work has all of the play and suspense you might expect of a novel built around a vampire, but moves forward with more humanity and introspection that you'd usually find, and paces itself with such surprise that it's a wonderfully unique and surprising read.

I'll admit: it starts out slowly, so slowly in fact that I wondered if the full work would end up being dated or so basic a vampire tale that I'd be bored throughout. Still, having read endorsements from Peter S. Beagle and Stephen King, I read the beginning straight through...and suddenly couldn't put the book down. After the first part (which is about fifty pages, of the 286 in my edition), I found that I was totally wrapped up in each page, each successive part moving more quickly than the last. And yet, it kept surprising me nearly until the last.

Simply, I loved it, and I'd recommend it to anyone who wants a good "vampire read", or just an engaging book that wavers between suspense and horror.

Absolutely recommended. ( )
  whitewavedarling | Jan 7, 2014 |
Intensely clever and original, this will stand as one of my favorite vampire novels along with Anne Rice's Interview with the Vampire and Jonathan Nasaw's The World on Blood. Charnas' work has all of the play and suspense you might expect of a novel built around a vampire, but moves forward with more humanity and introspection that you'd usually find, and paces itself with such surprise that it's a wonderfully unique and surprising read.

I'll admit: it starts out slowly, so slowly in fact that I wondered if the full work would end up being dated or so basic a vampire tale that I'd be bored throughout. Still, having read endorsements from Peter S. Beagle and Stephen King, I read the beginning straight through...and suddenly couldn't put the book down. After the first part (which is about fifty pages, of the 286 in my edition), I found that I was totally wrapped up in each page, each successive part moving more quickly than the last. And yet, it kept surprising me nearly until the last.

Simply, I loved it, and I'd recommend it to anyone who wants a good "vampire read", or just an engaging book that wavers between suspense and horror.

Absolutely recommended. ( )
  whitewavedarling | Jan 7, 2014 |
Our hunt for new series to read is ongoing and often on our blogs, or the podcast we request new titles. We are especially looking for books that are progressive and have good representations of marginalized people. Because all of our blogs are social justice related we have a tendency to trust the recommendations. The following is the recommendation that we received for the Vampire Tapestry

“I also recommend The Vampire Tapestry by Suzy McKee Charnas for vampire fiction fans. I read it years ago but it's a very interesting take on the Vampire mythos with just scary good, brilliant writting..”

We need to thank you. Up to this point we were forced to constantly refer to Charlaine Harris’ Aurora Teagarden series as our example as the most fail possible. It was awkward, because we were constantly referring to a book outside the genre and justifying it based in Harris’ urban fantasy series. But no more, now we have a book that is worse than Teagarden – a book within the genre that sets a new limit for awful. So, thank you.

I’m sorry, this review does descend into a lot of snark - but oh gods this book was PAINFUL. Honestly, we got through this only by emailing each other in snarky glee. This is also why this review is a collaborative effort. I warn for MILD spoilers but not many.

Read More ( )
  FangsfortheFantasy | Mar 29, 2013 |
My introduction to Suzy McKee Charnas was in my wild angry feminist days, and she was perfect writing in the Holdfast Chronicles about a society of women who breed by mating with horses though their emotional lives are with each other. Their goal is to rescue women from the land of men in which they are treated as chattel - a cheese made from breastmilk is one of the men's delicacies. There are four books, and they're just great. Maybe they should be required reading now with the no longer subtle war on women going on in American politics. Anyway, The Vampire Tapestry is not one of those. The vampire, Dr. Weyland, is a centuries old anthropologist at a university - good job for a vampire. There's not the usual emphasis on sex. Dr. Weyland is not too fond of that pastime, especially with humans, whom he regards as cattle. Even evidencing his disdain he is nearly irresistible to women, which works in his favor, though he's quite happy to feed off either sex. At one point in the book he meets a therapist who, of course, does not believe in vampires. Against the vampire's wishes, he begins to access his human side. The love of art, the comfort and stimulation of memory - he thinks these things make him weak. Even though he is a respected academic, he prefers neither to think nor to feel. This is a great example of his thought process:
Having a voice implies the existence of others. One does not need a voice to speak to oneself. Except for the need to entice my prey, I could be mute.
Moreover, without the necessity of outwitting clever victims I could be --not mindless, but unthinking. Sitting in the sun as a cat sits, its mind an effortless murmur of sensory input flecked with a point of attention here, a fragmentary memory there--but primarily a limpid stream merging with the palpable environment around it.

That's what he wants for himself, and the book is an exploration of the ways he juts away from and moves toward that goal. ( )
4 vote Citizenjoyce | Feb 28, 2012 |
What an interesting vampire book. I'm not very familiar with the genre (Twilight is my only reference) and The Vampire Tapestry is quite different from the Twilight series. There are five novellas featuring Dr. Edward Lewis Weyland: a tall, suave, gray-haired, slightly stooped vampire. (This book was published in 1980 and due to the name "Edward Lewis" I kept picturing a taller version of Richard Gere from "Pretty Woman"!) Dr. Weyland scoffs at those who believe vampires have fangs (his method for sucking blood is rather cool, I thought) and he is more destructable than the Cullens but still manages to live for centuries. His palpable disdain for the humans upon which he feeds is realistic yet kept me at a distance from his character. I found it hard to connect to Dr. Weyland's austere personality.Of the five novellas, the one I liked the best (and the one that won the Nebula Award) is "Unicorn Tapestry", featuring Dr. Weyland in therapy. I give this novella 4 stars . . . it is fascinating to see a vampire come clean about his true nature in therapy. At first the female psychologist thinks he must be delusional but then she begins to wonder if he's really telling the truth, which prompts her colleague to recommend therapy for the psychologist, worried that she's enabling and buying into the delusion. This section ends in a very satisfying (and sexy) way. The only reason I don't give this novella 5 stars is that the psychologist's style seems quite cold to me, like many of the fictional therapists I've read in books or watched in movies (but that's my little pet peeve). I think effective therapists are likely much warmer in real life.Overall, it's an intellectual read. Besides Dr. Weyland, I grew attached to the characters Katje, Floria, and Irv, and wished their stories were woven throughout the novel. I disliked the extreme detail about the opera Tosca, which I've never seen. For those vampire lovers out there, I think you will enjoy this book. ( )
  JenniferLane | Feb 15, 2011 |
Showing 1-5 of 16 (next | show all)
A consensus classic, so recognized when first published in 1980.... It's a fascinating conception, handled with masterly skill. Nothing better has been done in this, er, vein since Bram Stoker's legendary Dracula in 1897. And, as a pure piece of writing, Charnas' deeply intelligent, disturbing novel may actually be the superior book
 

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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Suzy McKee Charnasprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kozloff, JoyceCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To the memory of Loren Eiseley. We never met, but his writing first opened to me the vast perspectives of geologic time. From those distances eventually emerged the figure of the vampire as envisioned in this book.
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On a Tuesday morning Katje discovered that Dr. Weyland was a vampire, like the one in the movie she'd seen last week.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0765320827, Paperback)

Edward Weyland is far from your average vampire: not only is he a respected anthropology professor but his condition is biological — rather than supernatural. He lives discrete lifetimes bounded by decades of hibernation and steals blood from labs rather than committing murder. Weyland is a monster who must form an uneasy empathy with his prey in order to survive, and The Vampire Tapestry is a story wholly unlike any you've heard before.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:33:34 -0400)

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