Wow! I loved this book! Let me tell you why.
I always have had a respect and love for older horror stories. I find it fun to read them and then speculate on what modern tales might be based upon these older works. In this case, I can see an even older story (Dracula) within. But what this book does is turn that classic tale upside down. In fact, I don't even consider this to be a true horror story.
This short book, originally written in 1956, is told mostly through letters back and forth between an overworked Army psychiatrist, (Doctor Phil!), and his superior. The letters discuss one "George Smith" who was arrested and thrown into the psych ward for punching an Army officer in the face after the officer questioned him about a letter he mailed. No one knows exactly why because that officer is now dead and no one knows what happened to the letter. Unfortunately, George is forgotten for about three months and now Dr. Phil's boss wants him to be released before anyone finds out about the Army's neglect.
Doctor Phil needs to find out a little something about the patient before releasing him, so he begins by having him write out a bio in the third person. This is where things get very interesting. The patient uses the name George Smith in his bio which consists of not only horrible grammar, but also horrible tales from George's past. From there this story takes off in a completely different direction.
That's all I'm going to say about the plot. However, I will make a few observations here, that you can take or leave at will. First off, there is a lot of humor in the letters between Dr. Phil and his superior. I think their discussions were very subtle, but added a lot to the tale. Some readers might get bored with their exchanges; I did not.
Second -A lot of readers call this a vampire story. I don't believe it is. I think it's a story of a sociopath in the making. There are several clues to which I could point to support my theory. Of course, there are lots of clues pointing to the vampire theory as well. (George's real name is Bela, for one.) Which theory do you support? I would love to find out after you've read this fantastic story. Look me up and we'll talk about it. :)