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The Golden by Lucius Shepard

The Golden (1993)

by Lucius Shepard

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283959,228 (3.39)10



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One of the better vampire stories I've read. ( )
  ZoneSeek | Mar 3, 2017 |
The aristocracy of vampires has gathered at the ancient fortress of Castle Banat in the Carpathian Mountains to argue politics and, for some, to partake of the Golden, a woman who has been bred to have blood of a particularly delectable and intoxicating quality. However, when the Golden is discovered murdered one evening, it falls on newly converted vampire Beheim, who was previously a police inspector, to seek out the culprit. He soon learns that this investigation will be like none he conducted as a mortal and that failure could spell his doom.

The first word that comes to mind when thinking about this book is "operatic." The setting of Castle Banat, which is vast and mysterious enough to rival Gormenghast, holds many mysteries, and the intrigues between the vampires are often quite complex. Beheim is an interesting protagonist, largely sympathetic, though flawed; we see these flaws amplified as part of his new existence, and there are times it is easy to wonder if he will cross over from sympathetic to deranged. Shepard's style is up to the task of describing such an grandiose and fascinating story. ( )
  CarlosMcRey | May 22, 2013 |

*note to self. Copy from A.
  velvetink | Mar 31, 2013 |
I really liked this book. it became one of my favorites. The story is in some parts morbid, but that is what makes it so amazing. It's exactly how I imagine a perfect book about vampires. I love Shepard's style of writing and how he describes everything to the smallest detail. ( )
  Elverith | Feb 16, 2011 |
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The gathering at Castle Banat on the evening of Friday, October 16, 186-, had been more than three centuries in the planning, though only a marginal effort had been directed toward the ceremonial essentials of the affair, its pomp and splendor.
Like stirring himself in hot resin, like falling through the sun into wind and silence, and sailing for a while into some white palace of the mind through which a sea of fevers flowed, and then after a timeless time, the time accumulating like a crowd around a street accident, a tension waiting to be dispersed, emerging from it as he emerged then from that one kiss, glavanized, one of those sensational moments when you step out from the curling tendrils of a Paris fog into a lambent reality of lights and music and wild laughter, when you snap out of the waking nightmare that has held you tossing and turning for decades, and you glance up from a desk cluttered with the reports of a dozen grisly unsolved murders, or from a losing game of chess, or from the still-breathing body of a young woman from which you have just siphoned several unbearably sweet mouthfuls of needed blood, and there it all is, the whole born world summed up in a single glimpse, shining and clear, a lightning-bolt clarity, more perfect an expression of what is than any painting in the Louvre could ever be, everthing looking so fresh and strange in its brightness that you might be a visitor just dropped in from Atlantis or Mu or some mythic world of the ether, and you understand once and for all that the truth you have been searching for your entire life is no Mystery, it is like every truth a simple brightness that will support no interpretation, no analysis, that is only itself, and it might come to you in the guise of a pretty girl in a checkered apron setting tables in front of the Cafe Japonais just off the Bois de Bologne, it might reveal itself to you in an arrangement of pears and cheese on a plate in a hotel in Cannes; it might stream up at you from the self-inflicted wounds of a dead boy who painted azure wings around his eyes and spent each morning posing naked in a mirror and pretending he was a famous courtesan; it might announce itself in the taste of a stale sandwich eaten late at night; it might chill you in a dash of cold rain; it might terrify you in the form of a rat darting from an alley under your foot; it might arise like steam from the impassioned confession of a plump, tearful housewife stranded with you in a train station who shows you the silver angel pin given her as a farewell present by her lover, a vacationing schoolteacher who could not commit himself to any woman because of the secret grief he carried that annihilated his every happiness with guilt; it might be anything, anywhere, but for now it glided from the process of a kiss, and when you looked up this time, you saw the face of the kissed woman still rapt from the pressure of your lips, slivers of green irises showing beneath her lids, like beautiful gemmy green coins placed on her eyes, her red lips still parted, dizzy and dying from the truth of her own moment, and the ranked pines bending all to one side in a gust of wind, shaking their shaggy pelts, then straightening, all with a slow, ponderous motion like a chorus line of dancing bears, and the puddled sunlight ebbing and flowing with their movement, and the trillion brown needles making infinite hexagrams in their decay, and lastly, mostly, chiefly, the ugly centerpiece of all this excellent clarity and serenity, a scarred iron shutter half-covered with dirt, and beneath it, up to its neck in cold water, in the damp, dust-thronged air, a living being, its blackened head like a bizarre seed from which the darkness of its prison is seeping, its breath wheezing, its mind empty of everything but pain, waiting, no longer hoping, only waiting for your moment to end, for you to remember what had happened and to say, as Beheim said then, "I don't know what to do with him."

(one sentence! - from chapter 15)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0553563033, Hardcover)

In a gothic netherworld of underground canals, arched chambers, and crumbling statuary, the members of the Family, a race of Vampires, gather to discuss their future.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:12 -0400)

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