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Already Dead (Joe Pitt #1)

3.79  ·  Rating Details  ·  8,234 Ratings  ·  633 Reviews
Those stories you hear? The ones about things that only come out at night? Things that feed on blood, feed on us? Got news for you: they're true. Only it's not like the movies or old man Stoker's storybook. It's worse. Especially if you happen to be one of them. Just ask Joe Pitt.

There's a shambler on the loose. Some fool who got himself infected with a flesh-eating bacte
Paperback, 288 pages
Published February 2007 by Orbit (first published December 27th 2005)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jun 11, 2012 Carol. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of UF detective noir
I have a special fondness in my heart for NYC. The Met. The Chinese food. The Strand. The people zoo. Especially the people zoo--every time I go, I'm reminded of Whoopie Goldberg in Jumpin' Jack Flash saying, "There's some funky lookin' people in New York." I don't often see the NY Huston writes about. It's there, in the skinny dude doing junkie tai chi on the corner, and in the random clothing nests I might see stashed under a bench. I've been to the kiddie parks with kiddies in tow, but I conf ...more
Feb 22, 2009 brian rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to brian by: donald
1977. NYC. CBGBs. ramones on stage. some suit offers simon twenty bucks to let him suck his dick. sure: a mouth’s a mouth. simon pops off, and takes another twenty to give the guy a handjob. guy pushes his face into simon’s neck, bares his fangs, and – bam! – instavamp.

let that scene serve as a microcosm of this sloppy pulpy drunken joyride of a book: it’s kinda absurd having all this happen at the place in the year seeing the band... but it’s also kinda so fucked up and fun we ignore the autho
Sep 08, 2012 Marvin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
Already Dead is a rollicking, no-holds-barred film noir vampire pastiche. Main protagonist Joe Pitt is a Mike Hammer with fangs and no suntan. As low vamp on the totem pole, Pitt gets it from all sides of the undead crime underground. Picking no side and forced to do favors here and there for the various vampire factions just to survive, he is pushed into a job to find a missing girl which develops into a complex scheme that would make Phillip Marlow's head spin. The combination of vampire and g ...more
Feb 20, 2008 Felicia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: vampire fans
Shelves: urban-paranormal
I liked this book. It was a refreshing change of pace from the "female protagonist/romance" vampire thing that has become a cliche of the vampire novel. It was gritty and real, like a hard-boiled detective story from the 30's.
Erin ☕ *Proud Book Hoarder*
I hate to say it, but I'm abandoning at 47%. I've tried, I really have, but this book and writing style just isn't for me. I was excited to read it for awhile too - love gritty, dark urban stories, enjoy hard-boiled detectives, anything with vampires - but the writing style has no chemistry with me. It's present tense, chopping, and a little dry. Dialogue has no quotations. The main character is completely unsympathetic - perhaps he does things for the 'right' reasons but he doesn't seem to care ...more
This was really fun! I like these genre-twisting books. This one is about a guy who works for the Vampyre clans of NYC. These clans are usually competing groups who control the paranormal interests of Manhattan and greater NYC. One clan, The Coalition, controls the area above 14th street, up past Central Park, to around 116th street. Another clan, The Society, runs the area below 14th with other pockets of smaller clans, as well, through out Manhattan and the outer Burroughs. These clans are com ...more
Anna  (Bananas!)
The best way to describe this book-violent and hilarious vampire noir.

A bunch of rival vampire clans fight over NYC like (literally) blood-hungry gangs. Each clan has its own shady agenda, and Joe Pitt is a free agent who frequently finds himself tangled up in their drama. He takes on odd jobs with the clans to keep the cash and blood flowing in, but only runs into more trouble at every turn. This book focuses on Joe looking for a lost girl and also the origin of a bunch of zombies (shamblers,
Richard Derus
Rating: 3.5* of five

What a ride...really, noir for the new millennium is a fair description of the book, the character, the setting and set-up for the series.

Hyper-violent, and not for the squeamish. Lots of yech-ptui sexual deviance. Plenty of "Reservoir Dogs"-style torture and cruelty.

In the end, I think it's got something fresh to say about the evergreen plot device of hardboiled dick with a heart of gold, a strong girlfriend whose very existence causes him joy, and clients he not only can't
Jul 10, 2014 Carly rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of seriously dark, gritty, violent noir who won't mind the style
Recommended to Carly by: apparent similarities with Felix Castor
**edited 11/28/13

There's a certain stereotype about the streets of New York City. To non-City-dwellers, the phrase can conjure a claustrophobic skyline blocked with lowering buildings and blinding lights, anonymous figures studiously avoiding eye contact as they rush past each other on the sidewalks, seething masses of pedestrians pouring onto the streets at random to the furious honks of stultified drivers, and snobby natives glaring at gaping tourists. Basically, the stereotyped New York is a
Apr 13, 2013 Alex rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Cover: 3/5
Story: 4.5/5
Action: 5/5
Writing: 3/5
Favorite character(s): Evie, Phil
Most annoying character(s): Tom, Marilee

Meet vampyre Brad Pitt.
Hosted by
Hosted by

Oops, I meant JOE Pitt. :D This is his chosen vampyre name, his actual name is Simon (Pitt??). What was he thinking?

The writing wasn't extraordinary, but the story was gory, with lots of violence, blood and you don't even want to know what else! You need to have a strong stomach to read this stuff.

I liked it.

4 stars
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Wil Wheaton
May 20, 2009 Wil Wheaton rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dark-fantasy, noir, horror
Huston brings his signature noir style to a dark, urban fantasy Manhattan where the protagonist is a vampire.

I liked the first half of the book better than the second, mostly because I found one of the characters (a teenage girl) speaking in a voice that didn't sound as authentic as the rest of Huston's characters. Everything else in the book is so well-crafted and so interesting, it was very jarring to me.

I wasn't surprised very often, maybe because I read so much Huston I can sense when things
colleen the fabulous fabulaphile

This pretty much hits all the hard-boiled detective checkmarks, with the sole point of variation being the vampire thing, but that didn't seem to add all that much to the story 'cause the different vampire clans and groups could just be mob or gang groups, and you'd get the same schtick.

The best part was the one group of vampires with hippies and radicals. Also sort of interesting was the way the blood lust was portrayed like a drug addiction.

Other than that, Joe spends a lot of time getting
Jamie Collins
Feb 23, 2008 Jamie Collins rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jamie by: Donald Powell
This was my first Charlie Huston novel, and I really enjoyed it despite a few serious flaws. It's grittier than my usual thing, but I liked the take on vampirism and the writing is very good. Thanks for the rec, Donald!

The flaws:
1. I've seen the plot a dozen times: a low-life detective is sent to find a rich girl who went slumming and got in over her head.
2. Not once, but twice the bad guys tell their secret plan to the protagonist since they're about to kill him anyway.
3. The author spells it "
Dec 19, 2008 CD rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: film noir, dark, gritty mysteries
I listened to the audiobook version, which was more of a nuanced reading than a fully voiced reading. It is definitely vampire noir, a dark, gritty read that is uncomfortable and violent and often inexplicable. Still, it is fascinating and leaves questions to be answered that the next book in the series should follow up on. There is a bit of a romance, which leavens it a tiny bit, but only a tiny bit and saves it from being truly depressing in the final chapter. The main character Joe Pitt is ve ...more
Feb 12, 2016 Ladiibbug rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Urban Fantasy Fans
#1 Joe Pitt series - Vampire/UF (Library Book)

This is a reread, as I wanted to refresh my memory before continuing with this series.

Already Dead is a gritty, violent, hard-boiled "noir" mystery, featuring Joe Pitt, PI and vampire. Joe is going it alone by refusing to join any of the various Manhattan vampire coalitions, clans or cult-like groups. He keeps an uneasy peace with the various factions, "uneasy" being the key word.

In Book 1, there's a shambler (zombie) on the loose in Manhattan, and J
Suyash  Gupta
Jun 06, 2016 Suyash Gupta rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Noir Fans who can take in a lot of gore
I am still not sure if i should rate it 3 or 4 stars. It's a very different book from what i have been reading for a while.Lot of Gore.Lot of Sex.I actually wanted to get out of my comfort zone and try something different, so decided to give this one a try.

Well, all in all it was fun ride.There is no moment of dullness, the constant twists and turns keep you on the edge.But this book is definitely not for the faint-hearted, it's filled with so many grotesque and grossed-out scenes, which are so
Well, I finished Sandman Slim and said I wanted something lighter and ended up with another noir, this time with a vampire protagonist named Joe Pitt who has to find a missing rich girl and track down the source of a mysterious and deadly zombie virus carrier all while in the middle of a clan turf war.

I hesitate to give this a 3 because I feel that I'm being unfair, comparing it to Sandman Slim since I read the 2 so closely, but altogether I think that Sandman Slim was a much more ambitious nov
Brainycat's 5 "B"s:
blood: 5
boobs: 2
bombs: 1
bondage: 3
blasphemy: 2
Bechdel Test: FAIL
Deggan's Rule: FAIL
Gay Bechdel Test: FAIL

This book kept showing up in results from the Goodreads autorecommendation tool. I put it on my TBR, and then I found an excerpt at the back of another book I finished. Initially, I wasn't excited about the book because the writing was very staccato and didn't use a very expansive vocabulary - it looked like a candidate for my small words and short sentences shelf, which is
Jane Stewart
Ok as a mystery, but some parts were confusing. I didn’t like Joe getting beat up all the time – too much of a victim.

Joe is a vampyre living in New York City. His vampyrism requires him to drink blood which he usually purchases but sometimes takes directly from humans without killing them. He also drinks and eats human food. The vampyres have divided Manhattan Island into several geographical areas. The vampyres north of 14th street belong to the gang called Coalition – ruled by Pre
Mar 27, 2013 Ami marked it as dnf  ·  review of another edition
I'm abandoning ship ...

I was intrigued during the first few chapters. A Vampyre private eye who is a lone wolf? Well, that is a character that I think I might like. But then as the story progress, I feel like the characterization is flat. I cannot grasp the story because I feel that it is rambling, and the whole concept of the clans (Enclaves, Coalition, Society ... and I stopped when I encountere something about Wraith?!?!) just confused me. I also didn't feel any emotional connection or the ne
Jayaprakash Satyamurthy
More like 2.5 stars. The sub-Hemingway tough guy laconicism gets grating at times, and the occasional lapses into a more elaborate voice are jarring. The setting feels like the usual post-Buffy urban vampirica, but it's fast-paced and easy to read. Fast food reading.
Jul 20, 2007 Jack rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Let's see, shall we catalogue? I've read vampirism-as-viral-disease, vampires in tragic romance, modern-day wizard hunting vampires in Chicago, slapstick vampire love story, vampires helping defend London against the Blitz, vampire hunter who falls in love with a vampire and also a werewolf and starts screwing everything in sight so that while the first book was shelved in horror or maybe mystery, the more recent books in the series are shelved next to the Harlequin romances...

This one was vampi
Apr 19, 2015 Pamela rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
An irritatingly bad attempt to combine noir, vampires, zombies, and some incredibly stupid "normal" people. There was, however, one thing that bothered me more than the tissue-thin characters, the predictable plot, the amateurish twists and red herrings, and the buckets of badly-written gore.

Many great writers use non-standard punctuation to add rhythm, energy, and extra dimensions to their words. Mr. Huston is not a great writer. His use of em dashes at the beginning--and ONLY the beginning--o
Mar 12, 2014 Estibaliz79 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Charlie Huston yo le conocía por "La Ley de las Balas", una novela tan brutal como divertida: Don Winslow con un toque de frescura, un extra de chispa y bastante más gracia... sin que los admiradores del susodicho se me ofendan, que a éste también le reconozco sus méritos cuando toca. Pero no por nada le dí en su día cinco estrellas a esa novela de Huston, del mismo modo que la de hoy roza el cuatro y medio (4 1/2).

La gracia del asunto está en que en este caso nos encontramos ante una novela "
Feb 10, 2014 Cameron rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There's an upfront simplicity to Charlie Huston's pulp that I can't help adoring. He doesn't bother with silly little things like quotation marks, political correctness, or getting buried in elaborate details. Instead, he tells you a story - and usually a damned good one at that.

Huston's greatest strength has always been in his character interactions. You'd think having no quotation marks, no dialogue-centric verbs like "said," or names as to who is talking at any given moment would get confusi
Jan 10, 2009 Morgan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dark, gritty, Joe Pitt is like noir PI mysteries... only Joe is a Vampyre (and low on the totem pole, at that). Unconventional, Huston weaves a compelling story that both satisfies and leaves you wanting more.
Brittany Picardi Ruiz
Jul 01, 2015 Brittany Picardi Ruiz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Charlie Huston has delivered a slice of hardboiled detective fiction perfectly paired with vampire myth. Right from the start of the book the story explodes into bloody violence that fans of either genre should enjoy.
I think this mixture works well because the cause of the vampirism is scientific rather that mystical in origin. The vampyres are all infected by the Vyrus, which feeds on fresh blood. It is the vyrus that gives them their predatory abilities and compels them to drink blood in order
Sep 14, 2010 Susan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I stumbled on this series by total accident. One chapter in and I was hooked. I'm not sure I can even tell you exactly why, but I was.

This is one of those series that I think most people will either really like, or really loathe, without a whole lot in between. The plot, and the world in general, is complicated and sometimes hard to follow. The characters aren't always, or even often, likable, including the main character, and there are twists, turns, and mounds of frustration around every corne
Apr 18, 2011 Barend rated it it was amazing
How often does it happen that a book grips you so hard that you stay up late, get up early or skip other activities just to make time to get back to the book. Sadly, for me at least, it does not happen often. This has, in fact, not happened since the release of the fourth Harry Potter novel quite a few years ago...until now.

At first glance this novel reads like any noir detective story, it uses a first person narrator and is very gritty. You soon realize that the narrator, Joe Pitt, is a vampir
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Urban Fantasy Afi...: Already Dead - Rachael's Choice 24 49 Jan 29, 2013 08:27AM  
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Charlie Huston is an American author of Noircrime fiction. However, according to a recent interview with Paradigm, he prefers to be classified as a writer of Pulp, due to how he writes.
More about Charlie Huston...

Other Books in the Series

Joe Pitt (5 books)
  • No Dominion (Joe Pitt, #2)
  • Half the Blood of Brooklyn (Joe Pitt, #3)
  • Every Last Drop (Joe Pitt, #4)
  • My Dead Body (Joe Pitt, #5)

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“One day, when I am a braver man, I will tell her these things, and then I will look her in the eye tell her I love her and ask her to be only mine. But until that day, we're just friends.” 1050 likes
“Not that I have any little kids running around I need to keep away from the guns. I had any kids I'd get rid of the guns. Nothing more dangerous to the life of a child than a house full of firearms. Nothing more dangerous except maybe a parent.” 3 likes
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