Saturday, May 12, 2012

On Karma: A Review of A Good Man by Vanessa Morgan

This is a slightly odd one. When the author of A Good Man asked me to do a review, I was intrigued. The story sounded compelling, and even though is is a screenplay and not a novel (way outside my comfort zone) I really wanted to read it. So I did. But reviewing it is hard because it's so wildly different from my usual experiences that I have nothing to compare it to. Forgive a little rambling?

This is, in fact, the English translation of a French screenplay that I understand will be made into a film soon. The story is of Louis, a vampire who was turned at the age of 55. Being older, her suffers from things like arthritis and wrinkles--none of the usual advantages of being a vampire. Still, he tries to be a good guy. He makes friends and helps people. He feeds the homeless and is a vegetarian. But does that make up for the people he murders in his vampiric thirst?

Positive Comments

Taken as a whole, this is an undeniably chilling story. It asks us to empathize and pity a killer, and it succeeded in a lot of ways. I felt sorry for Louis, who's life was so entirely miserable. I wanted him to find a way to do the right thing, whatever that means, and my heart sunk when I realized that he couldn't or wouldn't.

The story is well paced, giving us exactly enough information to understand the story without overwhelming us with details.

Critical Comments

Well...hmm. Here's the thing. My number one criticism would normally be "awkward dialogue", but the fact that this was a translation leads me to believe that the translation process, not the writing, is what made it awkward. So...the dialogue is bad, at times, but I don't think that's the author's fault.

In all honesty I must admit that I really didn't like this story. Not because it's poorly written, but based purely on personal taste and gut reaction. The theme of the story is trying to overcome one's nature in order to be good. But what does "good" really mean? Instead of answering this question, the story shows a lot of irony and bad luck and bad judgement, topped off with the most depressing ending possible. Again, it's clever, it's well executed, but it's not to my liking.


If you are comfortable with reading a screenplay, and one that has clearly been translated, and if you like dark horror stories, go for it. I personally would not recommend this one to readers who share my taste. But there is nothing wrong with it to make me warn you off of it, either. 2.5 stars.

Buy from Amazon: A Good Man


  1. Sounds like there are some interesting points in the screenplay, going beyond the usual ideas in vampire fiction. Not sure I could cope with reading a screenplay, though. And I agree some of the problem could be that it's a translation, which always changes things.

    1. I would be interested to see the resulting film, because as you said, it has some interesting points.

  2. I'm intrigued by the idea of an arthritic vampire. May have to see the movie if it ever gets made...

    1. I'm intrigued by the film as well, though I'm not sure how widely available it will be in the U.S.


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