Feature

Novel of the week: The Orange Eats Creeps by Grace Krilanovich

Krilanovich's “beautiful and deranged” vampire story is one of 2010’s small-press triumphs.

(Two Dollar Radio, $16)

Vampirism has been done to death in recent literature, said Adam Wilson in Bookforum.com. But in a debut novel that was one of 2010’s small-press triumphs, Grace Krilanovich seemed never to run out of “unique things to say” about a band of “slutty teenage hobo vampire junkies.” Krilanovich’s “beautiful and deranged” story is told by one of those vampires, a girl wandering the 1990s Pacific Northwest, “doing drugs, searching for her missing foster sister, going to hardcore shows, and preying on men when they’re not preying on her.” But Krilanovich is less interested in “horror kitsch” than in depicting a character “on the brink of insanity,” and her gamble pays off. Though its plot details may call to mind the blockbuster Twilight series, Krilanovich’s novel is actually more William S. Burroughs than Stephenie Meyer, said Rachel Syme in NPR.org. Written as if in a fever, it’s a book that will “make you believe that new ways of storytelling are still emerging from the margins.”

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