Neil's Reviews > A Sharpness on the Neck

A Sharpness on the Neck by Fred Saberhagen
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's review

did not like it
bookshelves: did-not-finish, fantasy, fiction, finished-in-2019, horror, stupid, stupid-crap

I did not finish this book. I ended up stopping around page 63, as I was still having a hard time 'getting in to' the book and struggling to want to continue to read it. I was not sure what to expect; it sounded like it might have an interesting premise, but it got pretty "stupid" for me, pretty quick. I finally had to stop reading it.

For me, I think the most stupid part of what I read was that "Radu" (Vlad's younger brother) kept trying to kill Vlad in prior lives (incarnations? apparently he and Vlad both have an amazing healing factor), yet Vlad apparently has some kind of issue with saving his life by killing his brother (which I 'get,' on the one hand, having younger brothers of my own), but after some point one would think "enough is enough!" and Vlad would act to ensure his brother permanently ceased and desisted trying to kill Vlad. (Apparently Vlad placed enough dirt from their home country in the coffin to ensure that Radu never 'fully died' but remained 'alive' [after a fashion] until his head was reattached to his torso and he became 'more fully alive') (or, as alive as a vampire can become).

Neither did I care for the number of rapes that occurred right away in the book. The author never actually says how many men and women Radu rapes before sucking away at their blood, but it seems like it was quite a bit, based on how Radu lost track of the number of 'couplings' he had experienced after being revived. I call them 'rapes' because these people were not in their right minds when he took them for himself; the author is also pretty clear on that standpoint, that many if not most of them were being taken against their will in order to satisfy Radu's . . . hunger.

Now, I will admit to this - I did find it 'clever' and 'original' that Vlad forced the descendant of some dude and the descendant's wife to watch a video as opposed to answering their questions himself. In this fashion, he could continue to 'safeguard' future descendants of the man who saved his life during the French Revolution (and Time of Terror) and explain to them, via this recording he made, how he came to be their family's 'eternal guardian' (or, something like that). Well, I should say I thought it was clever that he recorded himself relating their entwined history (for at least six hours) instead of he himself having to answer the same questions over-and-over from each generation of descendants he 'has to save' from whatever. It was definitely a time-saver for him to do so!

It is 'funny' - I have read the original Dracula and enjoyed it, as well as three other stories that involved vampire-like creatures. I enjoyed those stories far more than this story, to be honest. This one left a foul taste in my mouth and mind. This book is clearly not for me, which is a shame, as it sounded like an interesting premise on the back of the book.


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Reading Progress

April 29, 2019 – Started Reading
April 30, 2019 – Finished Reading
May 6, 2019 – Shelved
May 6, 2019 – Shelved as: did-not-finish
May 6, 2019 – Shelved as: fantasy
May 6, 2019 – Shelved as: fiction
May 6, 2019 – Shelved as: finished-in-2019
May 6, 2019 – Shelved as: horror
May 6, 2019 – Shelved as: stupid
May 6, 2019 – Shelved as: stupid-crap

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