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Brideshead Revisited (movie, 2008)
'The Quick' taps a tired vampire vein in gothic lit
'The Quick' taps a tired vampire vein in gothic lit

Vampires have become so prevalent in fiction and film that it's increasingly difficult to wring any new changes on such a hoary supernatural trope. A few recent writers have successfully risen to the challenge — among them the Swedish novelist John Ajvide Lindqvist with "Let the Right One In" and Glen Hirshberg, whose "Motherless Child" is one of the most original and striking vampire tales of recent years. First-time novelist Lauren Owen plays it much safer with her debut, "The Quick," which might have been assembled from a kit for aspiring writers of the supernatural gothic. Victorian London setting? Check. Decadent antiquarian atmosphere? Check. Attractively ruined, remote stately...