Rhoda is a 41-year-old Jewish journalist, who gets picked up by a Jeff Goldblum lookalike who wants her to write his life story. The lookalike turns out to be a Jewish rabbi who has been turned into a vampire. Rhoda dubs the vampire Sheldon, after her ex-husband “who was a bloodsucker if ever there was one” and the two of them begin an outrageous relationship filled with ups and downs. As if that wasn’t outlandish enough, throw in an 81-year-old mother who lives in Florida and loves her new lease on life and a few of her elderly girlfriends who love to party, elements of a Groucho Marx sketch, with the Jewish stereotypes, wise cracking remarks, self deprecation, loads of Yiddish and you’ve got total mishegas (insanity).
INTERVIEW is a thoroughly irreverent and often hilarious parody of the characters in novels such as Anne Rice’s Interview with a Vampire, or Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight. Though Sheldon has chutzpah, he attends B.A. (Bloodaholics Anonymous) to control his taste for human blood and tries to live a quiet life as a Hasid while earning his keep as a diamond cutter. He also shops at Walmart. Rhoda is far from the stereotypical elegant and slender beauties chosen to be vampires’ vamps. A recent divorcee, she has yet to meet her match because she is overweight. But sparks fly when the unlikely duo meet and try to cross the cultural bridges between humans and vampires to make their relationship work. Fanny is your stereotypical Jewish mother who has had quadruple bypass but is once again in failing health. Rather than lose her mother, Rhoda will consider any option to keep her alive.
The banter and dry delivery between larger than life characters is funny and though at times, one might be compelled to cry out, “Oy, veh!” at the sheer outrageousness of the plot, there is a real humanity and sweetness about the characters that makes them compelling and appealing. The plot is at many points heavily dialogue driven which can get overwhelming at time, especially when it’s riddled with Yiddish. Some general editing is required to remedy some confusing moments when the dialogue and actions of different characters run into one another, due to grammatical error or funky line spacing.
In addition to the Yiddish that might throw some off, there are numerous cultural references to people, novels, and television shows, such as: JDate, Sasha Baron Cohen, Charlton Heston, Meyer Lansky, Anne Rice, Blood Ties, Twilight, Ghost Hunters that will test the reader’s knowledge of pop culture from the past and present.
INTERVIEW WITH A JEWISH VAMPIRE is a funny, unorthodox and eccentric vampire love story, especially appealing to those who lovingly embrace the humor of Jewish stereotypes and Yiddish.
Reviewed by Maya Fleischmann for IndieReader
Interview with a Jewish Vampire