Friday, April 30, 2010

Free Book Friday

This months free book Friday giveaway is:

Some of Your Blood By Theodore Sturgeon

This is not a self-published book, just one I had available from my own home library.

Genre: Horror/Psychological Thriller
Paperback 192 pages
ISBN 978-1933618005

Description: Theodore Sturgeon's dark and foreboding look at the vampire myth was an instant classic when originally published in 1956. When George Smith is arrested for assaulting a senior officer, a military psychiatrist is assigned to the case. The secret of George's past is unearthed, and a history of blood lust and murder. Innovatively told through letters, interviews, and traditional narrative, Some of Your Blood effectively portrays the tragic upbringing of George Smith to his attempts at a stable life and the great love of his life to his inevitable downfall. Millipede Press is proud to present this masterpiece of macabre literature in a brand new edition.
Theodore Sturgeon wrote science fiction, horror and fantasy over a four decade career. He also won the Hugo, Nebula and World Fantasy Awards. Theodore Sturgeon died in 1985.

My review: The take on vampirism was indeed unique, one of the best I have read, but that wasn't what struck me most about the "story." This was as far from traditional storytelling as one can get, and would probably have lesser experienced literary critics up in arms. There is only one traditional scene to speak of and that doesn't appear until the very end of the book, which is only 143 pages in total. Dialog is practically non-existent for the exception of two interviews between patient and psychologist, and the remaining narrative is completely exposition. As far as character arc goes, well, don't look for growth here. The monster is created and subsequently remains a monster.

There are a lot of different telling techniques used here to great effect. The book begins with a series of letters back and forth between a couple of Army psychologists who have initially conflicting views on a patient by the name of George Smith. Smith was thrown into lock-up for punching an officer who had become alarmed by a letter Smith had attempted to send home to his girlfriend. The book then flows into a third person narrative of George's life, written by George as instructed in the course of this therapy. Everything seems pretty standard fare for an abused backwoods undereducated -- possibly mentally retarded -- child. But ... nothing should be taken at face value here. Intuition plays a huge role in this story. The intuition of one psychologist who wouldn't give up digging until George's pathology, in all it's horror, is finally laid bare. We don't even know what the letter to his girlfriend said until the very end of the book. Every move each character makes is based on gut instinct. Everyone is speaking in code, hiding and yet revealing their intent at the same time. This is what gives the book its brilliance, not the gripping action, of which there is almost none, but the characterization. The style is very reminiscent of Stoker's Dracula, and George Smith was nothing less than Frankenstein.

Put all your notions of storytelling aside and pick this one up. Its nature is entirely subliminal versus visceral, and it strikes to the core. Very frightening, and yet in the end, disgusted, our sense of humanity shattered, we can't help but feel for George.

To win a copy of this book (like new condition) leave a comment on this blog post -- with a valid email address -- by Midnight Sunday May 2, 2010.

The winner will be announced Monday May 3rd. Good Luck and Happy Reading!

34 comments:

Tressa said...

I would like to enter the drawing for Some of Your Blood.

trfancher@yahoo.com

lisaray said...

I have enjoyed quite a bit of Sturgeon, but have not read this. I'd love to win it!

Anonymous said...

I'm a complete vampire lover! This book would completely rock!

mzpaw@yahoo.com

Jim Murdoch said...

Never heard of this one but I enjoyed I Am Legend a lot, more than any of the film adaptations so I've added this to my Amazon wish list in case I don't win and forget about it.

jmurdoch@ntlworld.com

Michael said...

Would love to read this.

Ray Timmins said...

I hate vampire stories, generally. but I have never read a Sturgeon story that I didn't absolutely love. timmins.r@gmail.com

abfantom said...

I love to read horror books. Please enter me in the giveaway.

abfantom at yahoo dot com

Eleanor Arroway said...

I've always been a fan of Sturgeon, have read many of his stories and novels. I read this book translated in Italina and would love to read it in original language!

Eleanor Arroway said...

oops, my email address: isabetta70@yahoo.it

Shannon said...

I remember you talking about this one. Sign me up.

-Shannon

shannonyarbrough@g mail dot com

Rick said...

I love this book and my old 70's copy fell apart.

deem25x@gmail.com

linett said...

would love to add this to my bookcase, thanks

slb3334 said...

Looks like a good book.

Autodidact said...

ladylightness@gmail.com

dos said...

Ooh! I've been collecting the "complete stories" volumes as I come across them, but haven't read much of his longer-form work; would love to have this!

wes.shull@gmail.com

chromiumman said...

big Sturgeon fan

chromiumman (at) mail (dot) com

Elise said...

Sounds interesting.
caliblue7@gmail.com

Rod said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rod said...

Argh! I shouldn't post before I'm fully awake.

Sturgeon is one of my favorite authors! I first read this book many years ago. Like many of my paperbacks from that era, this one is in sad shape. I'd love to replace the copy I'm hesitant to attempt to read again, lest it fall apart.

(rbartlett3 at gmail dot com)

Melissa B. said...

I like reading about vampires.

A Musing Mom (Taylorclan6) said...

This looks wonderful! Thanks for the contest!

Nancy

ntaylor228 at yahoo dot com

Book Sake said...

Please enter me in the drawing, thanks!
BookSake(at)yahoo(dot)com

ladystorm said...

This sounds interesting.

Thanks,
Stormi
booklady2007[at]gmail[dot]com

Randominities said...

You have me curious about this book. I'd love to read it. And I like the fact that it is used. I love to pass on books.

Charlene said...

My kinda book :)
motherabagail531(at)yahoo(dot)com

Anonymous said...

This book looks intriguing!

theyyyguy@yahoo.com

Julie said...

This book sounds really interesting. juliecookies(at)gmail.com

Colleen Turner said...

Sounds good, please include me in your giveaway.
Thanks,
candc320@gmail.com

TerriL said...

Love books

droopydog63@hotmail.com

debbie said...

I would love to read this book, it sounds really interesting.
twoofakind12@yahoo.com

bridget3496 said...

This sounds like a great book that me and my daughter would both enjoy


brdgcombs at aol dot com

kathy pease said...

Thank you for the Great giveaway please count me in :)

klp1965@myfairpoint.net

Gianna said...

Please enter me.. my email is in my profile :)

lilyk said...

Please enter me into the contest. Thanks!

lilyk@mail2world.com