Imposture by Benjamin Markovits

I…think I may have been reading YA for too long. Well, not too long, but long enough to erode my English degree. Okay, I’m digging myself into a hole here – I don’t mean to say that YA is not “literature” or is a lesser genre, it just doesn’t usually require quite the close reading skills that grown-up books do. Like this one.

I can tell you what happened, but I’m not sure I can tell you why it happened. It’s about John Polidori, Lord Byron’s personal doctor for a short time and a real person, who, at the famous gothic storytelling party, actually wrote a story of his own called The Vampyre (the first English vampire story). Well, Polidori looks just like Lord Byron and is mistaken for him by Eliza, a naive young woman, who develops an infatuations and a kind of strange (and entirely unhealthy) relationship with him.

It starts out promising – it’s a story within a story – and there are doppelgangers aplenty (which I’m sure means something – here’s where my degree is deserting me), but I really didn’t connect with either of the characters. Not that I think that’s the point of the book, but it does make it hard to become engrossed. I got through the first three quarters or so of the book fairly quickly and then ground to a screeching halt for the last remaining pages (only the thought of Leviathan tomorrow – thank you, Jillian! – spurred me on to get through the end of it).

My rating: C


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