‘Vampires in the Lemon Grove’: Review of novel by Karen Russell


Contributing Writer

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When I found out that the title of Karen Russell’s new collection of short stories was “Vampires in the Lemon Grove,” the first thing that I thought was, “Oh no…not you too!” 

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I am ready for a new form of mythical creature to take over. 

There have to be other things out there. 

Regardless, when I walked by the bookshop and saw it there, I picked up a copy. 

I should have known that I was going to be in good hands. 

Karen Russell’s vampires are not teenagers in love. 

In fact, they are quite different from any characters I have read in the genre. 

They are old and cranky and thoroughly enjoyable. 

Fans of her novel “Swamplandia!” know that Russell has the ability to build a world that will draw you in and keep you entertained. 

The book is full of strange little tales that you keep reading, forgetting all other responsibilities. 

I still haven’t done my laundry.

They are stories of scarecrows, magic teenagers, massage therapists and tales of the American west. 

But the other thing that is so great about these tales is that in them, Russell addresses themes that are important to think over. 

They are not just stories about mythical creatures, but then again are stories ever? 

These are stories that make you think about life in interesting ways. 

Russell is a writer that we should all be paying attention to because she is just getting started, and I think that she has a lot that she can teach us in quite fascinating ways. 

The collection just came out, so it should be available in local bookstores. 

So go pick up a copy and get to reading. 

You will not regret it.