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Walter Mosley, ‘Juvenal Nyx’ (2010)
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Another vampire story, but unfortunately one that’s not as successful as Roddy Doyle’s. Mosley’s protagonist is a student radical in the 1970s, when he is seduced by a woman who turns him into something like a vampire and dubs him ‘Juvenal Nyx’ – ‘child of the night’. Thirty years later, Nyx falls in love, sets himself up as a professional ‘problem solver’, and takes on a rather mysterious client.

‘Juvenal Nyx’ is constructed from several different elements, which may be fine in and of themselves – for example, Mosley is particularly good at evoking the uncomfortable desire caused by the vampirism – but they sit awkwardly together. For instance, into the midst of a tale which portrays its subject matter in an otherwise ‘realistic’ fashion, walks Nyx’s client, who is every bit the stereotype of a supernatural femme fatale; she just doesn’t seem to fit, and there isn’t room in the story to indicate her place in the wider scheme of Mosley’s fictional world. In the end, ‘Juvenal Nyx’ is too fragmentary to truly satisfy as a complete piece.

Rating: ***

Elsewhere
Walter Mosley’s website

This post is part of a series on the anthology Stories; click here to read the rest.


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