The Blood Countess is a
novel in two parts, the intertwining stories of Countess Elizabeth
Bathory and her twentieth-century descendant Drake.
Elizabeth's story reads like a biography, dry and often detached.
The author even includes references and quotations from other
sources. And like a biography, there is no evident plot beyond the
progression of events of her life leading to her trial and
Drake's story, presented as a first person court testimony, is
more interesting. He describes his return to his native Hungary where
he is immediately caught up in mysterious circumstances he does not
The Blood Countess is an unpleasant novel, filled with sex
and torture. Elizabeth tortures and kills hundreds of girls for
amusement and in efforts to preserve her own beauty. Since the
Countess is an actual historical figure, it is difficult to determine
to what degree, if at all, the excesses described are the author's
The author himself, Andrei Codrescu, is an NPR commentator who,
like Drake, is from eastern Europe. On the radio he speaks with a
heavy, lyrical accent, and you can hear the rhythmic cadences of his
speech echoing in his written words. This is the only pleasant thing
about the book.
This review originally appeared in the January 14, 1996 edition of
The Roanoke Times.
Other Vampire Reviews
This review copyright 1996 by Wendy Morris