Vineyard Dregs

A Novel

Fiction - Crime
139 Pages
Reviewed on 11/05/2020
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Anthony Carinhas is an award-winning author with a knack for staying unusually busy. Whether that's being a paralegal from the University of Texas at Austin, teaching creative writing workshops via Airbnb Experiences or clinching a certificate in the Science of Well-Being from Yale University on Coursera, there isn't a challenge he's not willing to confront. He loves cult films, dystopian stories, abstract art, industrial music, and boating whenever possible. He believes sunshine is the best medicine on long road trips because all journeys ease the deepest tensions. His deep love for naturopathic alternatives in health, staying away from television and drinking unfiltered ciders are all activities he's willing to lobby for. Fitness and nutrition are also staples in his everyday life just as much as writing is. As an open-minded individual, he loves unique adventure, all things nostalgic even when trendy, and fierce candid conversation in the hopes of enlightening peoples' lives.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Jamie Michele for Readers' Favorite

The Vineyard Dregs by Anthony Carinhas is the story of Claus Berliner, a young man in 1938 Germany. After a house fire rips through too quickly to be extinguished, Claus' brother, Radulf, and a female companion who had accompanied him are killed in the inferno. Radulf had a secret that, as far as Claus could surmise, nobody knew about. But that wasn't entirely true. Claus understood his brother's fetish, erotophonophilia, otherwise known as lust murder. It isn't long before Claus himself finds that he too desires sexual gratification from violent intercourse that leads to death...and a deep spiral downward in the relinquishing of Claus' sanity is divulged in a first-person narrative.

This is the second novel I've read by Anthony Carinhas, who is proving to be immensely skilled in the art of writing his main characters in a stream of consciousness, allowing the reader access into the mind of a sociopath. Even more impressive, Carinhas is actually able to humanize Claus to the point where - and forgive me, but this is a rather embarrassing admission - I actually liked him. The descriptive elements are sublime, with prose such as "The sound of water from the fountain trickled as the lights beneath the surface tinted the streams like blood." The Vineyard Dregs provides the perfect platform for an excellent novel of horror and suspense, delivered in equal measure with dark humor and satire. I'd recommend this book to anyone who enjoys the likes of Bret Easton Ellis, Jeff Lindsay, and Poppy Z. Brite.

K.C. Finn

The Vineyard Dregs is a crime/thriller novel by author Anthony Carinhas, set in the noir-ish dark glamour of Germany during the late 1930s. The central character is Claus Berliner, about to turn twenty-two, whose life of socializing and philosophizing is interrupted by the mysterious death of his brother, Radulf. At first we see Claus in a detached, debauched life, where he resides at his grandfather’s vineyard and lives a decadent life of casual sex, alcohol and some extreme violence. When one such night goes horribly wrong, things only get worse and worse for Claus. Against the backdrop of Germany on the very edge of war, the promiscuous and detached lifestyles of Claus and his friends display how easily one can be turned mad by grief and alienation.

Anthony Carinhas writes in a speedy, stream-of-consciousness style which often produces very quick scene changes, so there’s a lot of action packed into every single chapter of this novel. I’ll admit that I often found the writing style jarring, but I would still encourage readers to persist with The Vineyard Dregs if they enjoy exploring a dark criminal psychology and appreciate the fine line between the glamour and reality of the macabre. The atmosphere of the novel is authentically German, smacking of Cabaret, John Van Druten and Christopher Isherwood. The sex and violence are supremely graphic in many places, almost unbelievably so at some points, but the winding plot and Claus’s painful psychological journey kept me holding on and fascinated by every page. Not for everyone, but definitely worth trying.