Christian, M. “Running Dry”, Sizzler Reprint, 2013.
154 and in Los Angeles
Ernst Doud is non-human and 154 years young. He lives quietly in Los Angeles and all was fine until he got a letter from a lover he has not seen since 1913 and it was then that he killed him. Now that is a way to start a story as you soon realize that you are reading about the undead. Most of us love a good vampire story and I have often wondered why that is true. I suspect that there are two major reasons and a bunch of lesser ones. Vampires are very sexy and mysterious; they are dark and live forever.
This is a vampire story without all of the “vamping”. M. Christian writes stories that are quite far out yet maintain a sense of truth. This is his way of showing that our worlds can come together. We tend to fear that which we do not know and here is where vampires gain ground. We have never seen a vampire but he has a sense of mystery which is exciting and sexy. In this story we see the themes of vengeance, loyalty and “the humanity of the inhuman”. I believe vampires made a comeback with the AIDS epidemic when gay men’s lives depended on blood tests. The fact that blood is so essential in vampire lore has been a conundrum and an enigma for me especially when you consider the importance of blood in Christian religions and in Roman Catholicism when at the act of transubstantiation, wine turns into blood. Yet it is those very same religions that condemn vampires because of the emphasis on something that is so integral to what their members and religious leaders believe.
Unlike other vampire stories, here is one that will get the reader to think. This in one of those stories in which sex is not important but thoughts are. M. Christian is known as an erotic writer but this time he chose to forego sex and concentrate on the mind. Instead of using his literary skills to write vivid sex scenes, he chose not to write about sex this time and develop characters who not just sexual beings but who have minds with which to think. Instead of a lot of sex, we get a lot of adventure so this is not like other books in this genre. It may just be that M. Christian has begun an entirely new genre but I guess we may have to wait awhile to see if that is true. In the meantime there are many other opportunities to read M. Christian. He is always new and never bores.