The World on Blood by Jonathan Nasaw
341 pages, 1996, Dutton Book, Penguin Group, New York, $22.95
Review score: **1/2 out of *****
If blood was an intoxicating drug, then Vampires would be in twelve step programs. Or at least they are in The World on Blood, Jonathan Nasaw's book, which adds a new twist to Vampire mythology. Nasaw's vampires are people who have a gene that makes human blood a powerful intoxicant. The world on blood is brighter, sharper, and more vibrant. Blood makes the vampire stronger and quicker. But when the blood wears off, the elephant of depression sits on their shoulders. Only more blood will bring the vibrant world back. For vampires, this makes blood a drug, like cocaine or heroin. The vampires in The World on Blood, being twentieth century vampires, are in a twelve step program for their blood addiction. This may sound like a satire on twelve step programs, and it is. Nasaw draws a fine picture of reformed addicts, who are well meaning zealots and the boredom of the "sharings" that take place at twelve step meetings.
Jonathan Nasaw is not a great english stylist, but he gets the job done. I found that about two thirds of the way through the The world on Blood bogged down a bit, but the story has some unexpected twists that kept my interest. Many of Nasaw's minor characters are stereotypes and at times they are a bit too "cute". So while The World on Blood is not great literature, it would make a great book for a lazy summer afternoon.
Ian Kaplan - 4/96
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