Easton Press (50) Great Books of the 20th Century

Yet again another list.... 

1. Go Tell It on the Mountain by James Baldwin

2. Ficciones by Jorge Luis Borges

3. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

4. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

5. The Stranger by Albert Camus

6. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

7. Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather

8. Light in August by William Faulkner

9. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

10. A Passage to India by E.M. Forster

11. The Power and the Glory by Graham Greene

12. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

13. Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway

14. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

15. The Ambassadors by Henry James

16. Ulysses by James Joyce

17. The Trial by Franz Kafka

18. On the Road by Jack Kerouac

19. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey

20. Darkness at Noon by Arthur Koestler

21. Women in Love by D. H. Lawrence

22. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

23. Babbitt by Sinclair Lewis

24. The Call of the Wild by Jack London

25. The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann

26. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

27. Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maugham

28. The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers

29. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

30. Beloved by Toni Morrison

31. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

32. Nineteen Eighty-four by George Orwell

33. Dr. Zhivago by Boris Pasternak

34. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

35. Swann's Way by Marcel Proust

36. The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand

37. All Quiet On The Western Front by Remarque

38. Portnoy's Complaint by Philip Roth

39. One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

40. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

41. Rabbit, Run by John Updike

42. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut

43. The Color Purple by Alice Walker

44. All the King's Men by Robert Penn Warren

45. Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh

46. The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells

47. The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton

48. Night by Elie Wiesel

49. To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf

50. Native Son by Richard A. Wright


Biting into another vampire novel, and it is oh so good!

Fevre Dream
by George R. R. Martin

There are a plethora of vampire novels out there sitting on the shelves of bookstores and libraries, and it is a difficult task to distinguish between the humdrum and phenomenal. Lately I've been googling noteworthy vampire novels. I wanted to get past the the obvious great vampire novels like Stoker's Dracula, King's Salem's Lot, Rice's Interview with the Vampire, and Simmons' Carrion Comfort. After some searching, I discovered science fiction writer George R. R. Martin's vampire novel Fevre Dream

Fevre Dream is an outstanding vampire novel.  The story is unique and wonderfully written capturing the steamboat era's opulence, and abject imperceptibility in conjunction with slavery. From the first chapter Martin seizes my attention. There is no such thing as slow pace in this novel. The suspense is unbearable; I could not read fast enough!

Without revealing too much, the vampires in Fevre Dream are unique. They are an entirely different species. Martin explains the primordial history of the vampire, which makes reasonable sense. The book has a strong undertone theme of morality. The plot is found on an analogous correlation between master/slave and predator/prey. Simply, societies hierarchical system is questioned. Two powerful vampires struggle. Joshua wants to change the way his people live, and Damon sees nothing wrong with the old days even though the red thirst is conquered. Abner, a man of integrity is Joshua's only hope.   

If you're a horror enthusiast, this should be on your list of "to read" books (on the top). I loved it so much, I bought the signature edition. 

To the left is the signature edition, which is limited to 448 copies.


There are always two sides to a story (maybe more).

The Dracula Tape
by Fred Saberhagen

Bram Stoker published his renowned epistolary novel Dracula in 1897.  It is been adapted into numerous films, and personally my favorite is Francis Ford Coppola's Bram Stoker's Dracula. Since Dracula, there has also been a multitude of vampire novels, and the vampire has not been confined to one persona. Vampires has taken the role of villain, victim, and hero.  

In 1975 Fred Saberhagen published a rebuttal novel to Stoker's Dracula called The Dracula Tape. Saberhagen's version of Count Dracula is admirable; he is a victim to misunderstanding and circumstance that are beyond his control. 

Dracula divulges his side of the story into a tape recorder in the car of Mina Harker's descendants. Saberhagen establishes Dracula as a misunderstood protagonist through recounting the events of Dracula's quest to make London his new home and imploring the rationalization of his version of events. For example, Lucy was on the verge of death not because Dracula drank her blood but rather because of Van Helsing performed three blood transfusions.  

The Dracula Tape is an interesting way to reintroduce Dracula as a virtuous man.  However, I cannot say I fully enjoyed reading it. Throughout the book Saberhagen included lengthy quotes from Stoker's book to substantiate his assertions.  Thus, the book contained lackluster writing. On the upside, the ending was a surprise. The only creative feature of the book was telling the side of Dracula. Nevertheless, if you are interested in discovering the many facets of Dracula and vampire literature it is worth the couple of reading hours. Other novels of Saberhagen Dracula series is quite good such as An Old Friend of the Family.