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The Golden

3.51 of 5 stars 3.51  ·  rating details  ·  367 ratings  ·  25 reviews
Deviating from traditional tales that feature lonely vampires who prowl through human society in search of victims or solace, this account of vampires flourishing in their own "inhuman society" takes place in the year 1860, when their centuries-long breeding experiments have finally produced "The Golden," a mortal whose blood is perfect and powerful. Mobilized by the news ...more
Paperback, 200 pages
Published April 1st 2006 by Golden Gryphon Press (first published January 1st 1993)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 837)
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mark monday
shepard is a hell of an author. in The Golden, he almost appears to be slumming a bit... but shepard slumming is better than many a hack's best efforts. this novel combines vampires, police procedural, and historical fiction in an elegant little mystery set in the 19th century, in one of the most foreboding, mindboggling, and just plain gigantic castles this side of Gormenghast. which of the nefarious vampires slaughtered the lovely Golden before her decanting? what a waste of a ceremonial victi ...more
Adam
I wanted to use this review to critic vampire fiction in general, but then I realized I haven’t really read any since reading Dracula in middle school. Anyways I believe this book is different from probably most anything in that school, as it is on one level such a parade of delirious, freakish imagery that if this was written in late 19th or early 20th century by some French guy we would all be drooling over its small print reissue by Daedelus or Exact Change. A detective story, set in a bizarr ...more
Mona Temchin
Some Amazing Writing in a Fantasy Vampire Novel Marred by Major Issues



I really wish I could give this book a higher rating.

Lucius Shepard is a very gifted writer.

His baroque descriptions of the labyrinthine grotesqueries of the huge vampire stronghold in Carpathia, Castle Banat, are worth the price of admission. He's kind of the Hieronymous Bosch of fantasy writing (I mean the bizarre medieval painter, not Michael Connolly's detective who's named after him).

I could live with his often purple pr
...more
Charles Dee Mitchell
In 1860 the vampire elite gathers at Castle Banat, deep in the Carpathian mountains. They are there for The Decanting, a ceremony in which a chosen few will drink the blood of The Golden, a virgin specially bred to produce an intoxicating, subtle vintage.

OK, this sound like the setup for a 1970's Eurotrash horror film, but Shepard's tale is in my limited reading the best vampire novel since Dracula. His vampires are the traditional variety susceptible to sunlight, fire, and wooden stakes, but th
...more
DoctorM
Lucius Shepard's "Green Eyes" gave us the first Lacanian faux-zombie existential romance--- a wonderful and wonderfully different kind of zombie tale. "The Golden" is his vampire tale, and while I liked it...or liked it in small doses...it's not "Green Eyes". There is something of "Anno Dracula" and "Empire of Fear" here--- the vampire society and its own culture and rituals ---as well as Peake's Gormenghast or any number of Gothick romances, with the characters encased in a surreal building (ca ...more
Seizure Romero
This is one of the books that led to my vampire novel addiction (along with Anno-Dracula, The Book of Common Dread and Suckers). The Golden is a murder mystery, but one with a unique premise and an emphasis on the relationships and power struggles played out between vampires in the course of the investigation. It's a good story; it just happens to have vampires as the characters.
Outis
Weird. Garish, brillant, ludicrous, insane. To Excess.
The reviews aren't conveying how crazy half of this nightmare of a book is. The other half has a logical plot and they didn't always mix too well, as if the shiny parody of a fallen god had read the numinous recipe for a black swan curry backwards. Or something.

The first flowery chapters of The Golden are deceptive. Except for some details, it didn't seem it was a Shepard. Oh but it was!
The hero was all angsty about his relationship with the
...more
Meganm922
Very strange book, but extremely well written and incredibly interesting. It was recommended to me by a friend and I'm glad I read it. It started off a bit slow. It reminded me of The Picture of Dorian Gray as far as style and dialogue. At first, there didn't seem to be anything vampiric about it at all (other than the characters being vampires, obviously), but as it progressed, it was dark and haunting. I liked the philosophies presented and I think I will pick up a few more of Shepard's novels ...more
Rea
Decadence, sweet decadence, thy stench permeates the pages of this book.
Stevedutch
From the first line to the last the prose is entrancing; a delicious blend of descriptive and declarative writing that superbly evokes not only the nature of the vampiric protagonists but also the fantastical Castle Banat within which this extraordinary tale unfolds. It will draw you in and, in all likelihood; you’ll find yourself so hooked that you will find it difficult to extricate yourself from the almost mesmeric pull of its pages.

It’s a story with seemingly disparate elements that Shepard
...more
Mjl
Kultainen on vampyyrimurhamysteeri, jossa murhamysteerin selvittämiseen ei ilmeisesti tarvita perinteistä salapoliisityötä, vaan murhaaja selviää vahingossa ja siihenkin johtavat tapahtumat ovat satunnaisia epämääräisyyksiä. Jotenkin tästä jäi sellainen tuntu, että valtaosa ilmaan heitetyistä juonentyngistä jäivät vain niiksi: irrallisiksi juonentyngiksi, macguffineiksi, joille ei loppujen lopuksi ollut minkään kanssa mitään tekemistä.
Parin bussimatkan pikalukemiseksi tämä kyllä sopi, muttei Kul
...more
Carlos
Dec 11, 2011 Carlos rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of dark fantasy
Shelves: read-2011
The aristocracy of vampires has gathered at the ancient fortress of Castle Banat in the Carpathian Mountains to argue politics and, for some, to partake of the Golden, a woman who has been bred to have blood of a particularly delectable and intoxicating quality. However, when the Golden is discovered murdered one evening, it falls on newly converted vampire Beheim, who was previously a police inspector, to seek out the culprit. He soon learns that this investigation will be like none he conducte ...more
Kathryn Tucker
I liked so many aspects of this book, but I'm not sure I liked it as a whole. Many of the scenes were interesting or thought provoking, but the main plot/moral was kind of lame. (view spoiler)

It read very much like a Vampire: The Requiem game or a character backstory for Michel (our main character). This caused me to roll my eyes a few times, but was not too distracting. Bloodlines! Clans! Backstabbing! It's classic Vampire, just with differen
...more
Kyle Muntz
This book is a gothic dream--like a distorted echo of Peake (the setting is especially reminiscent of a much darker Gormenghast) shot through with notes of Bataille, Kafka, Lynch, and maybe even a Borgesian labyrinth. I wasn't sure what to expect since this is my first time reading Lucius Shepard. He's definitely writing to entertain--this is a murder mystery where most of the characters are vampires after all--but at the same time, it's an impressive piece of almost imagist storytelling, with r ...more
Travis
From across the world, the vampire clans are gathering. Then there's a murder and it's up to a novice vampire, that used to be a police detective to wade through all the political intrigue, dozens of suspects and clues to solve it.
It's a 30's noir detective story set in the middle of an Anne Rice vampire novel.

Very clever, with a decently constructed mythology, but because it all takes place in this secluded gathering place , full of vampires, it all feels a bit dream-like and surreal. This crea
...more
Oleg
At the beginning I waited much more intrigues and personages. The plot was promised to be unpredictable.
However it was all pretty obvious and my rough guess about murderer was correct.
Read "Dracula" instead ;)
Tijana
I really liked this book. it became one of my favorites. The story is in some parts morbid, but that is what makes it so amazing. It's exactly how I imagine a perfect book about vampires. I love Shepard's style of writing and how he describes everything to the smallest detail.
Kimi
I loved the plot, the setting, the characters and just about everything else in this book, but it was difficult to read. The sentences and paragraphs are extremely long (some paragraphs going on for two or three entire pages at a time) and there's a lot of description.
Keith Davis
An entertaining vampire novel in which vampire clans breed lines of humans like cattle for their uniquely delicious blood. If you like vampire novels with mystery and science fiction elements, but not much horror, you will like The Golden.
Michelle
It has been a long time since I read this novel, but I have never forgotten how much I loved it and the haunted tale of Castle Banat... A very powerful tale of the political intrigue of a vampire coven...
Donna
A very interesting twist on the vampire tale. Twilight has one similar plot element, but this is a book for grown-ups.
Geraud
beaucoup trop de cliché dans cette histoire de vampire
Nick
One of the better vampire stories I've read.
Velvetink
Sep 10, 2010 Velvetink marked it as to-read
Shelves: horror-etc
vampires.

*note to self. Copy from A.
Ron
My favorite vampire book.
Mimi
Mimi marked it as to-read
May 22, 2015
Pat Elvidge
Pat Elvidge marked it as to-read
May 22, 2015
Mark Heber
Mark Heber marked it as to-read
May 21, 2015
Per
Per marked it as to-read
May 14, 2015
Drea
Drea added it
May 12, 2015
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Brief biographies are, like history texts, too organized to be other than orderly misrepresentations of the truth. So when it's written that Lucius Shepard was born in August of 1947 to Lucy and William Shepard in Lynchburg, Virginia, and raised thereafter in Daytona Beach, Florida, it provides a statistical hit and gives you nothing of the difficult childhood from which he frequently attempted to ...more
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