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Book Review: 'The Blood Countess'

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The Blood Countess

Current Status:
In Season
Andrei Codrescu
Historical Fiction, Horror, Fiction

We gave it an A-

The Hungarian countess Elizabeth Bathory (1560-1613) was powerful, beautiful, intelligent, and possibly the most sadistic murderess in all of history. Her stomach-churning debaucheries included bathing in a shower of blood below a cylindrical cage lined with iron spikes, in which her victims were rotated. Codrescu, a poet and Romanian-born NPR commentator, has spun a Draculaesque novel out of Bathory’s tale, at once dramatizing her life and bringing her back to haunt her fictional descendant, a New York journalist. Although the contemporary segment of Codrescu’s story is ultimately unconvincing, Blood Countess is beautifully written and meticulously researched; Codrescu has woven together Hungarian history, politics, psychology, and religion (with witty asides on the vampirism of Christianity) in a book of high gothic drama. A-