Five words from the blurb: Hungarian, grandmother, vampires, traditional, independence
The Finno-Ugrian Vampire is set in Hungary and focuses on Jerne, a young woman who has just found a job in a small publishing company. Her 200-year-old grandmother is disappointed – she wanted Jerne to abandon her modern ways and become a fully-fledged vampire. I accepted this book for review because I was looking for a spooky Halloween read and was interested in how an East European would re-invent the traditional vampire story. Unfortunately this book contained a lot of Hungarian satire that went over my head, but that is due to my inadequate knowledge of the country rather than a fault of the author.
The book was light and easy to read with many sections that made me smile.
The black comedy continued with a string bizarre scenes, including one in which Grandpa is put through a meat mincer.
Unfortunately things went downhill and I found myself increasingly unable to understand the jokes. There were a lot of references to aspects of Hungarian society I knew nothing about (eg. Magyars & Komi) and even when I did recognise something (eg an artist or composer) I didn’t feel I knew enough to appreciate the humor.
If you are familiar with Hungary and its culture I think you’ll love this book, but I’m afraid it wasn’t for me.