Ulysses Dietz is the author, a lovely man who also happens to be a reviewer on this site. I read Desmond and really enjoyed it, so I wanted to read the sequel and see in the intervening years, how ‘Desmond’ and Ulysses’ writing, had changed.
Author: ULYSSES DIETZ
My Rating: 5 of 5 stars
From the Publisher:
Desmond Beckwith is back. He’s handsome, he’s rich, he’s gay.
And he’s looking for a house in Jersey.
Desmond, you see, is a vampire. He has a job he loves; he can get blood whenever he needs it. But he thinks he wants a family, and that can get complicated when you’re nearly 300 years old and don’t know how to drive.
Fourteen years after Ulysses Grant Dietz (great-great-grandson of Ulysses S. Grant) published his popular first novel, Desmond, the long-awaited sequel has appeared through Amazon Kindle Books, under the banner of Lightbane Publications.
Vampire in Suburbia picks up the story of Desmond Beckwith fifteen years after events of the first book. In the wake of 9-11 he’s moved his financial firm out of lower Manhattan and into a new office tower in downtown Newark. As his current life cycle winds down and he regenerates once more to the age of 21, the age when he first became a vampire in 1745, Desmond needs to rebuild the life he had, a life that had become—for the first time in centuries—filled with people who are important to him. He yearns for something more than the opulent seclusion of his flat in New York. Looking for a place to call home in the suburban greenbelt outside of Newark, he revisits people and places from past lifetimes, and meets a handsome bearded museum curator who stirs up emotions that Desmond thought had been carefully packed away.
Desmond Beckwith has always been an outsider. With the support of his friend of many lifetimes, Roger Deland, Desmond has managed to maintain his privacy and his fortune; but at the cost of meaningful human contact beyond the blood he needs to survive. Desmond realizes, this time around, that there’s got to be more to life than money, blood and anonymous sex.
And he hopes he’ll find it in suburbia.
I read Desmond and was enchanted by Ulysses languid prose, but there were elements that meant I could not give it a 5* rating. Those elements have been lessened or removed from this sequel and I was again enchanted. The writing here was more confident, as I suppose was to be expected in a sequel, however, it is more than that the author really knows his character in Vampire in Suburbia. Desmond is a long lived vampire, he is also a detached vampire becoming lonely with his existence. This ennui applied to immortals is not new, and indeed it is a very human trait to apply to immortality, but Ulysses’ vampire ennui is practical rather than existential and that is why in this novel it works.
For one thing Desmond must regenerate on reaching sixty-five and become twenty-one again, a trait to be envied you would think. In order to fit back into life again this vampire becomes his own estranged son, each time. This is not without its problems though, as you must make friends with your friends again, as Desmond says,
Hell, having to live up to your father is one thing. Having to live up to yourself is incredibly annoying.
I loved this premise and it made me think and chuckle. There is a dry humour to this sequel, which I love and Desmond’s self-deprecation is not particularly common in vampires. In this sequel he buys a large home, Oakwood, in need of renovation and surrounded by a lot of land in a suburb of Newark. He knew the house when it was built and the people who had originally lived in it, and his knowledge through interest and actual experience helps him in having the house renovated to high, tasteful and original standards.
Through his house purchase and subsequent renovations, Desmond gathers around him not only a home, but a family to share it with him. He invites his assistant Jane and her Partner Dorothy (Dot) along with their two daughters to live in the renovated servants quarters in return for Dot managing the estate for him. He makes friends with his young decorator, David and his boyfriend Jeffrey and is very attracted to Oliver, the curator of the Newark Museum which, Desmond is a benefactor of and invites him to be a ‘consultant’ on the house renovations. In addition he is still close to Bill, the only mortal to know Desmond’s secret, and his partner Alex, and the love of his life Roger, the eternally loyal and straight, friend.
Into this happy mix comes the gorgeous Denis who has several secrets himself, which rock Desmond’s new found stability. The story is gentle, intriguing , appealing and so believable. When I read,
When hunting for blood in the late night shadows, wasting time finding a parking space was not in the program.
I just chuckled and thought ‘No I can see that.’ Which is a sign of how acceptable and ordinary I found Desmond’s behaviour. It is quite a skill to make the unnatural, seem natural and is the ultimate aim of fantasy. Ulysses Dietz achieves this with great aplomb.
Ulysses still fights his fight against bad 1970’s upgrades, and describes the beautiful architectural features, design and furniture he loves but keeps the balance right in his sequel. There are some very hot sex scenes between Desmond and several lovers and some beautifully romantic prose,
As winter began to morph discreetly into spring, and Desmond was seeing more of Oliver, he reversed his established pattern by spending the weeknights at Oakwood…
Certain phrases and something about his gentleman vampire reminded me of Evelyn Waugh and I found the return to other books for review, difficult because I liked Ulysses’ world of Oakwood and the adult, soothing writing style he uses.
If you want an adult vampire book, which will totally immerse you in a world of manners and gentlemen vampires, I urge you to read Desmond and then this lovely sequel.
I would like to thank Ulysses Dietz for providing me with the eRC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
Ulysses Dietz has kindly offered a eCopy of Vampire in Suburbia to 1 lucky commenter.
Contest ends 30 April @ 11:59pm CST. Must be 18 or older to win. Void where prohibited.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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