Andrei Codrescu, NPR commentator and journalist, has written a fascinating first novel based on the life of his real-life ancestor, Elizabeth Bathory, the legendary Blood Countess. Codrescu expertly weaves together two stories in this neo-gothic work: that of the 16th-century Hungarian Countess Elizabeth Bathory, a beautiful and terrifying woman who bathes in the blood of virgin girls; and of her distant descendent, a contemporary journalist who must return to his native Hungary and come to terms with his bloody and disturbing past.
Drake Bathory-Kereshtur, a Hungarian-born journalist who has lived in the United States, returns to his native Hungary, only to be the target for recruitment among a patriotic group that wants to restore the glory--and the horror--of the Hungarian aristocracy. As a descendent of the Countess Elizabeth Bathory, he is heir to all that is wonderful and terrible about his country and his family's past. Codrescu brilliantly explores Drake's anguish, as he realizes the truth behind his gruesome family history. But more importantly, Codrescu also creates a convincing and historically accurate picture of a sadistic woman obsessed with youth, vigor, beauty, and blood_a woman with enough power to order the deaths of 650 virgins so that she could bathe in their blood.
The Blood Countess is a bizarre and compelling book about the horrors of the past, shown so effectively in the monstrous yet attractive personality of Elizabeth, and what pull these horrors have on those who live now.
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A folk belief that on bitter cold nights the stars come down to mate with wolves. An adolescent boy, sexually aroused by an "iron maiden" torture device. The smell of paprika and boiled chicken served with Tokay wine. These and other vivid images of Hungary in the 16th century, and Hungary today, swirl together amid scenes of luxury and barbarity and talk of Martin Luther's Christianity and post-Communist ideals in this gloriously gruesome novel inspired by the life of Countess Elizabeth Bathory. They say she killed 650 virgin girls in order to rejuvenate herself with their blood.From the Publisher:
The National Bestseller
"As compellingly readable as it is thoughtfully intelligent...The Blood Countess is that rarest of things, a new American novel of serious literary merit that is actually about something."--San Jos Mercury News
"A brilliant work that reveals much about power and politics and obsession." --St. Petersburg Times
"The Blood Countess is a wonderful and accurate re-creation of history by a very knowledgeable author. A page turner!" --William S. Burroughs
"The Blood Countess will frost your plasma, curdle your goulash, and stir your nightmares with a golden shiv." --Tom Robbins
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Book Description Dell, 1996. Mass Market Paperback. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110440221919
Book Description Dell. MASS MARKET PAPERBACK. Book Condition: New. 0440221919 New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW7.0160364