Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Vampire Books: Literary Novelist Turns to Vampires and Finds Pot of Gold

Justin Cronin is the author of an epic, multimillion-dollar, 766-page novel that stars bloodthirsty creatures that run in packs and savagely kill people at night. And he’s planning to turn it into a trilogy.

So he is prepared for the inevitable comparisons — another vampire book? — that could accompany the publication on Tuesday of “The Passage,” the sprawling saga of a girl named Amy who is one of the victims of a covert military experiment that went horribly awry and its bloody aftermath.

“I have not read ‘Twilight,’ ” Mr. Cronin, 47, said of the Stephenie Meyer book that kick-started the recent public obsession with the paranormal, adding that he was reared on vampire comics, the 1960s television soap opera “Dark Shadows” and the 1931 film version of “Dracula,” with Bela Lugosi. “My relationship to vampire material definitely predates the recent renaissance.”

But if “The Passage” shares anything else with “Twilight,” it may be pure commercial frenzy. In the publishing industry, “The Passage” has been hyped as one of the hottest books of the summer. At the annual book industry convention in New York last week, it was advertised on a banner roughly the size of a city bus, hanging from the ceiling in the vast convention hall. For those attending, 13,000 name tags were emblazoned with the title and a spooky image of a dark, empty forest that is also on the cover of the book.

read on New York Times
Chad Batka for The New York Times