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The Secret Life Of Laszlo, Count Dracula

3.5  ·  Rating Details ·  582 Ratings  ·  51 Reviews
In his mesmerizing fictional debut, psychiatrist Roderick Anscombe creates a stunning reinvention of the classic Dracula myth. In sweeping prose, this epic delves into the fevered mind of a man living two lives--a public healer and a private monster whose tormented psyche draws him into a world of violent emotion, bloodlust, and self-loathing. Author media. HC: Hyperion.
Published (first published 1994)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,152)
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Nov 16, 2008 AM rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-and-own
I was telling a friend about this book and how much I liked it, just now I went to find it on my bookshelves. I don't think I've picked up this book since the tender age of 18. It's funny to flip through and see what I thought was worthy enough to underline, along with a bookmark from a rave in November of 1994. I still like those lines I underlined and so I share a few with you:

"My heart bled for her."

"Foolish questions by a man whose heart ignored the knowledge in his head."

"I have been trying
Nov 29, 2011 Alexandra rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This has to be one of my favorite books of all time. I loved the way it was written in diary form in the eyes of the main character, his inner most feelings, and deepest thoughts. It gave me a different look on Dracula, as a human that suffers from a primal need and feeds it. It was a great read. something i read over and over.
-Jugando a ser Best Seller no siempre se gana.-

Género. Novela.

Lo que nos cuenta. Laszlo es un joven húngaro de origen noble y de 23 años que se ha desplazado al París de la segunda mitad del siglo XIX para trabajar como ayudante clínico en el hospital de la Salpêtrière, donde espera seguir profundizando en sus investigaciones sobre el laberinto de la mente humana. Pero también para estar más cerca de su prima Nicole que siempre ha generado en él profundos sentimientos a pesar de la aparente indi
Mar 25, 2009 Sam rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
Although this isn't your typical vampire story it was well written and portrayed Laszlo's character exceptionally well. Despite the lack of the usual vampire gore that I was expecting this book still portrayed the obsessive, impulsive yet incredibly charming characteristics of the 'traditional' vampire. It is the Laszlo's of the world that we should be worried about not the fictitious Dracula types portrayed elsewhere.
Nov 24, 2009 Marc rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Ok I finally finished this book and it was a chore to get through - it was not in the least bit suspenseful, intriguing or scary - I must say I was expecting alot more... takes too long to get started... I won't be reading any other books by this author.
Aug 16, 2010 Gerhard rated it did not like it
A dark and BORING road down to the depths of a crazy person! Would not read this again....
Jun 24, 2014 Kathy rated it it was ok
I found this book at a thrift store. I judged it by the cover :-) The info given on the book jacket seemed interesting and kind of weird. I bought about 5 books; I decided to read this one first. At first, I had a hard time wanting to return to it; however, the more the main character developed, the more I found myself wanting to read. I wanted to know what was going to happen next. In saying that, it was predictable; but I wanted to read the specifics and how ands what. I also feel it was unrea ...more
Jun 17, 2011 Katy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It has been about 22 years since I have read Bram Stoker's "Dracula," which was the only book that ever gave me a nightmare - until now. I don't know what it is about these books that gets under my skin the way they do, but if a book is written in such a way that much of the horror is hinted at more than actually given up outright, THAT, my friends, is the book that is going to make its way into my dreams.

I will tell you right out - this is NOT a vampire book in the usual sense of the word - it
Shane O'Neill
Mar 11, 2014 Shane O'Neill rated it liked it
This was a difficult book to review. I was obviously drawn to the title of this book, but confess it has spent quite a few years on my book shelf gathering dust. There are many pluses and minuses to this piece of work, so I’ll work through them the best I can.

Firstly, at face value this was an exciting-looking Gothic horror novel, and I’m sure it was meant to look as such. Gothic it certainly is, which is a plus for me, but a horror it is not. That was an immediate disappointment that became app
Dash M
Aug 04, 2015 Dash M rated it liked it
I actually finished this in 2 marathon sittings, keeping my eyes glued until the early hours. I admire the angle taken on the Dracula myth, but I was hoping for something more visceral - perhaps it's the diarized format that made it unlikely. Reminded me of The Portrait of Doran Grey, mixed with Perfume: Story of a Murderer.
Jan 26, 2013 Aros rated it it was ok
I didn't like this book lol it was definitely well written and the characters all flowed with the entire story. It just wasn't my cup of tea :-)
Aug 29, 2016 LauChan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
En realidad le pondría un 2,5. A ratos me enganchó, pero la mayor parte del tiempo se me hizo pesada y aburrida. Parte de una buena premisa y podría haber sido una buena revisión del mito de Drácula, pero para mi gusto, está totalmente desaprovechada. Su ritmo es irregular, y a la novela le cuesta arrancar. Cuando lo consigue, no permite conectar con Laszlo porque, al menos para mi gusto, no está perfilado adecuadamente, y no consigo entender las motivaciones reales que le llevan a moverse. Con ...more
Oct 06, 2009 Missrachella rated it did not like it
unfinished. slow, dry read.
Aug 04, 2015 Aaron rated it really liked it
The first part of this book really got my attention. Laszlo is a wonderful character who knows the difference between right and wrong...and he begins his descent into that world of the "wrong." He falls in love with his cousin, he literally likes the taste of blood, and his emotions and desires lead him down a dark path that leads to a betrayal that he cannot forgive himself for. After giving up hope on a life of love and happiness, he thrives in this dark world, all the while knowing that it is ...more
Sep 24, 2012 Martin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literary, fiction
I must say that I have mixed feelings about this book. It is well written and feels real, although in places strangely out of context and anachronistic (as already noted by other reviewers) All in all I did enjoy the book and it was even more interesting to read since I knew beforehand that the author is a trained psychiatrist. You do get the feeling and understanding what a person of this nature thinks. The author does not try to explain the actions of the protagonist. A wise decision in my vie ...more
Apr 04, 2012 Cheryl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 21, 2012 Kayla rated it liked it
I can't quite put into words how I felt about this book. I've read many different genres of books over the years and have entered all of them with an open mind. I read this book with an open mind as well.

I have always had a peculiar love of all dark, thought provoking, sometimes nightmare inducing books. So when I found this book, claiming to be a different perspective of the classic "Dracula," I couldn't contain my excitement to read it. After a world of the same basic "Dracula" story and all
Jun 12, 2014 Yusra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: paranormal, vampires
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 31, 2014 Lori rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014december
So, apparently I have a very different definition of "erotic" than HarperCollins and book reviewers across the country. Because whatever The Secret Life of Laszlo might be, it's not that. At all.

And it's not much, actually. Sure, Dracula is a tormented serial killer. A man, not a monster. And this is supposed to somehow intrigue me, deepen the story, add drama, etc., etc. But it's just plain silly, through and through, and not even a LITTLE fun.

Blergh. I should've known better.
Jan 29, 2015 Eric rated it really liked it
I've recalled parts of this book several times in the years since I read it, pieces have stuck with me: absinthe dens, the castle, and some of the gruesome deaths. I remember the feeling of Laszlo being selfish, bad, and then finally terrible and evil. The secret, shameful evils of Laszlo's mind are shown well.

I read it quickly and enjoyed it, but I don't remember it well enough to comment much more.
Richard Magoon
Sep 10, 2013 Richard Magoon rated it it was amazing
I own three copies of this story, including two first editions. Why? It just seemed like one was not nearly enough. This story is purely subtle in all aspects: it develops slowly, as well it should, but enraptures completely with its poetic voice. Truly lacking the simplistic character key points that today's popular stories revel in, the author develops his character through constant introspection in Laszlo's own journal, where the reader delves deep down the rabbit trail that is Laszlo's own m ...more
Emma Darcy
Mar 22, 2015 Emma Darcy rated it liked it
I generally don't enjoy reading about vampires but I took a chance on this because the blurb insinuated he was just a crazy dude, not literally a vampire. So much better! Because dude really is crazy. It really is a very good reimagining of the evil associated with the name Dracula.
Feb 26, 2009 Phil added it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 09, 2009 Janet rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction, vampires
This is a new take on the tired old Dracula-the-bloodsucker theme. Laszlo is a mortal with an insatiable blood lust. He doesn’t seem too upset about his proclivities, and even his wife and best friend show a tacit acceptance of this aberration. There are only four victims in this book, and the descriptions of their murders are clinical at best. The book’s a bit of a snore, with the only truly “EUW!” moment occurring when Laszlo contemplates devouring a maiden’s hand and compares it to eating a r ...more
Jun 16, 2015 Kirsi rated it liked it
Dracula is a serial killer in 19th century Paris and Hungary. Anscombes (who is a shrink) lip-smacking violence-as-sex fantasies are at least elegantly written. ...more
Jevron McCrory
I had high hopes for this book. After finishing, one question begs; why the Dracula link? Is it only to get readers who would normally never read this, to read it? It's a very slow book. The prose is very fitting and the characters and situations feel right for the setting. However, for a psychologist author, I really didn't like the main character's motivations, for most of the things he ended up doing, evil or otherwise. Basically, this is a convoluted character piece where four people die wit ...more
Bradi Simpson
Mar 26, 2015 Bradi Simpson rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Great read! Very well done and entertaining. Pretty dark but that's to be expected with this type of story.
Mar 17, 2014 Kohi rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.8 - 3.9
The ending was disappointing but he wrote the book well. :D
Mar 23, 2016 Amanda rated it it was ok
long.... fairly boring... not worth it
Cyan Wisp
Sep 30, 2008 Cyan Wisp rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Vampire or serial killer lovers
Recommended to Cyan by: Friend
Another vampire story? Not so. This charts, subjectively, the degeneration of a normal man into the nadir of depravity. Yet it is a reflective depravity, sauced with regret, guilt and anguish - more like a compulsion, a "bloodlust".

It is disturbingly easy to sympathise with young Laszlo as he follows his dark desires - and even easier to be entranced by the deliciously erotic nature of his murders. Anscombe makes stalking and murder sexy.

A great read. Maybe a little too good... [evil smirk]
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