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The Traveling Vampire Show

3.84 of 5 stars 3.84  ·  rating details  ·  4,706 ratings  ·  255 reviews
Though gloomy with clouds, it is a hot, August morning in the summer of 1963. All over the rural town of Grandville, tacked to power poles and trees, taped to store windows, blowing along the sidewalks, fliers have appeared announcing the mysterious one-night-only performance of The Traveling Vampire Show.

The show will feature Valeria, the only known vampire in captivity.
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Paperback, 391 pages
Published March 1st 2001 by Leisure Books (first published 2000)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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♍ichael Ƒierce
Sep 30, 2014 ♍ichael Ƒierce rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fans of Stephen King, Something Wicked This Way Comes, Dark Carnival horror
Recommended to ♍ichael Ƒierce by: the ghost of Ray Bradbury
 description

So you know, I've been a Richard Laymon fan for 30 + yrs now, having gotten into him while searching for a list of books recommended by Stephen King while visiting The Dark Carnival, in Berkeley, CA, my favorite bookstore.

The handful of books I have by Mr. Laymon, I've read several times and thought they were good, some frighteningly good ~ with the exception of The Stake which I have tried to read a few times and it just never bit me hard enough to keep me craving for more.

So far, my favorite
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Chandra
This. Book. Sucked.
Okay, first the plus side: Slim is awesome.
And that's about it for the plus side.
On the minus side: We have to see the awesome character Slim through the eyes of this annoying teenage boy who spends nearly ever scene she's in describing her butt.
Also on the minus side: Pretty much all the other characters were downright annoying. I was very disappointed they didn't ALL (except Slim) die horrible deaths at the end.
Once again on the minus side: This book was painfully BORING an
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Bark's Book Nonsense
I've read a few Laymon novels with varying levels of enjoyment. Resurrection Dreams I enjoyed for its gory over-the-top fun but I just couldn't get into Flesh or Funland .

Despite its title this book is not about vampires. It's about three 16 year old friends and their fascination with visiting the upcoming vampire show. It has moments of gore but mainly it's a coming of age tale focusing on these young kids. The lusty thoughts which I've come to expect from a Laymon book, and which usually c
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Audrey
I was totally disappointed in this book. I was expecting a chiller, and instead got a book about teenagers killing time. Halfway through the book we watched the protagonists do laundry, LAUNDRY! We don't even get to the Vampire Show until after page 400, and then the whole plot goes inexplicably bonkers. There were all sorts of loose ends left throughout the book that I was waiting to be resolved, but just left me with a bitter 'wtf' flavor in my mouth.
Mary
This is the first Richard Laymon book that I read and the last he wrote before he died. It is an amazing book and won him posthumously the Stoker award of 2001. Though Laymon is not for everyone, his writing is filled with graphic nudity and often quite disturbing violence and images, many of his stories have a coming of age aura to them, and every book of his that I have read I was literally unable to put down until I finished it. He has definitely become one of my favorites. And I cannot recom ...more
Edward Lorn
This is, by far, Laymon's best work. I have read EVERYTHING the man ever wrote before he died in 2001. Next to Stephen King, no one has played a bigger role in molding me into the writer I have become. Laymon is not for everyone. He's a minimalist, never verbose, and can drum up a shock a minute while still developing characters. He has a penchant for borderline porn. If you're a prude, do not pick Laymon up. If blood and gore aren't your thing, STAY AWAY!

What I love about The Traveling Vampire
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Amy
This book is much different from other Richard Laymon books I have read, lacks the sex and gore typical of his books, and moves at a much slower, suspense-building pace. I absolutely loved it! It is hot, the summer of 1963, and three teenagers, Dwight, Rusty, and Slim, are anxious to see the one-night-only performance of The Traveling Vampire Show, which claims to have the only living vampire in captivity, Valeria, at the legendary Janks Field. As soon as they head out to Janks Field to get a sn ...more
Oscar
Estamos en una calurosa mañana del año 1963, en un pueblecito norteamericano llamado Grandville, donde conocemos a una pandilla de amigos de dieciséis años, Dwight, Rusty y Slim, siendo esta última una chica cuyo verdadero nombre es Frances, aunque nunca los usa. Será Rusty quien ponga en antecedentes a sus amigos sobre una gran noticia: El espectáculo ambulante del vampiro llegará esta noche al pueblo para dar una única función en el llano Janks. El interés de dicho espectáculo radica en Valeri ...more
Kaisersoze
It's time to admit an unpleasant truth.

Richard Laymon Novels and I are no longer an item.

For a good decade beginning in my teens, Richard Laymon was my go-to horror author. I scoured my local library reading anything and everything by him I could get my hands on. My Dad even joined in the fun. We'd take turns reading his newest and then share our perspectives on what we enjoyed or felt missed the mark. This continued right up until my Dad moved out of home to live with his new partner but I stil
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Victoria
Wow! I REALLY enjoyed this book. So much so, that I stayed up WAY too late to finish it because it was just so suspenseful. I seriously could not put it down for even one second! I really liked the writing style, not to mention the very-charming characters. And while not everything was explained, it somehow didn't bother me as much as it normally would... everything just worked. And the author is from Illinois!! I will DEFINITELY be keeping an eye out for other books by him! What an exciting thi ...more
Rade
May 17, 2015 Rade rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Rade by: Edward Lorn
Shelves: reviewed
Laymon was a pervert. I understand teenagers tend to be high on some kind of hormone that makes them extremely horny but this was ridiculous. For most of the book (I am talking about 70% or maybe even 80% mark) all the characters do is...dick around, eat burgers, make dumb jokes, make out, DO LAUNDRY FOR F*CK"S SAKE and recall things that happened in the past. There was no vampires up until this point (to be honest, (view spoiler) ...more
Kristen
I didn't have high hopes for this book after having read the Beasthouse Series, which although not bad, was fairly bland for my tastes. I was pleasantly surprised by this story, which was far more heartfelt and character driven. The entire story takes place in less than 24 hours, though a few flashbacks add into the depth of the tale. The story revolves around 3 friends - Dwight (who is the voice of the book), Rusty, and Slim (who changes her name depending on her favorite book at the moment). M ...more
Adam Light

I liked the concept, and the execution was nearly spot-on; the story is set in the early sixties and was rich with details from that era. The characters were very life-like. There was a lot of the author's trademark off-beat humor infused into the narrative, as well.
This story was suspenseful, and built to a pretty satisfying conclusion, and it was almost perfectly paced. I bought it for my Kindle Fire, and have to point out that there were many typos and the author's name popped up in the middl
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 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja)
I must say this is the most unusual coming of age story I've ever read. It's also a different twist on vampires, and one of those books where you're never quite sure what actually was going on. This one is pretty gory, but enjoyable. Although the main characters are all kids, this one is not a good book for a very young reader (less than 16 years of age).
Natalie
Do you know the whole frog in boiling water scenario? You start the poor little froggie in cold water and as it heats up, he doesn't realize that it's about to boil him to death.

Reading horror is a bit like that.

I don't typically read "horror". I avoid Stephen King and Dean Koontz and as much as I love the epic Neil Gaiman, the first Sandman book scared me to death...I just don't like it. Spooky is good. Mysterious is good. Horror...nope and nope.


Things were going great with Richard Laymon. It
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Gregor Xane
I found this bland and unconvincing.

Quitting at the 25% mark.

Lily Author
My deepest respect to the late Richard Laymon and his surviving family. I mean no disrepect to his memory.

*takes deep breath* Okay, here I go...

I like to go on book binges, at the library or a used bookstore and just randomly get 5 - 10 titles. I read The Traveling Vampire Show during one of these binges. I can't even remember the ending, because I found the story absurd.

Fast forward about 7 years, I was trying to remember the title of THAT DAMN BOOK so I could add it to GoodReads. Alas, when it
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Justin
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Katy
Most of Laymon's books, as I read them, I ask myself "what is WRONG with me? I must be SICK to enjoy this stuff!!!" But this was a (relatively) lighter fare - sort of a coming of age fable, in a way. And, well, I enjoy anything having to do with vampires - as long as the vampires don't (completely) lose . . . :-)= That said, this, like any Laymon work, isn't for the faint of heart, nor for those who are looking for a happily-ever-after ending. Laymon wrote TRUE horror, which is becoming increasi ...more
Terence
Coming down from reading All Men Are Mortal, I needed a brain breather and Laymon's The Traveling Vampire Show nicely fitted the bill.

Laymon does two things very well: (1) He powerfully invokes the "horror" of being a teen-age boy. If you're a man and not squirming at being reminded of all the awkwardness of that age, you were raised by wolves. (2) He keeps you on the edge of your seat. You really don't know what's going on or what's going to happen next for much of the novel.

There are parts of
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Steve
It's got some padding in it (like all Laymon books), but it's never boring like it is in King's books,and the pages fly by. Laymon's teenagers are among the very best in Horror Lit. They have one thing in mind: SEX. Outrageous, insane, but fun. A crazy ass dog, a traveling vampire show that recalls Bradbury's Something Wicked, but with horny teenagers and nude wrestling. Even some Lovecraftian weirdness at the end. Probably the best Laymon I've read.
Layton
Slim is awesome
Rusty is nasty and crude
Richard Laymon was a fucking pervert
I'm pretty sure about that too
Ryne Barber
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rusty
It started out with some potential, but quickly switched gears to stupid and worthless. Richard Laymon took his "sexy scenes" straight out of 60's porn. They were ridiculous, and lacked any originality. The main character was supposedly (kind of ) narrating this story from the modern day. He would interject (taking the reader completely out of the crappy story) to explain the most mundane and uninteresting things about life in the 1950's, like the fact that there weren't huge recycling centers b ...more
Jeremy Bates
Stephen King said it best: “If you’ve missed Laymon, you’ve missed a treat.”

I came across The Traveling Vampire Show by Richard Laymon by fluke. But as soon as I finished it, I read another four or five Laymon books in a row. He is somewhat hit or miss, but The Traveling Vampire Show was a bullseye. Moreover, it is the last book he wrote before he died, and it won him the Bram Stoker award (posthumously) in 2001.

Like many of Laymon’s work, this is a great coming of age story involving a bunch of
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Alondra
3 Stars

It was okay, or just more than okay. It was pretty good; I just think I expected more. This is nothing remotely close to Something Wicked This Way Comes, so don't even compare. Most of the story is about 2 immature boys, their hormones and the fact that they want to go to the Traveling Vampire Show. A few odd things happen along the way, and it is not the fault of the carnies either. The oddities occur at the hands of one of their own, which is a lot creepier than a vamp doing it, which y
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Olethros
-Atractiva serie B.-

Género. Narrativa Fantástica.

Lo que nos cuenta. El espectáculo ambulante del vampiro ha llegado a la ciudad de Grandville, una pequeña localidad estadounidense como tantas otras de comienzos de los años sesenta, por lo que tres amigos adolescentes, Rusty, Slim y Dwight, buscan la manera de poder ver a Valeria, la única vampira en cautividad que se conoce, a pesar de que el espectáculo no permita la entrada a menores de edad. Va a ser un día como nunca esperaron que sería.

¿Qui
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Janie Johnson
Ever been to a "one night only" Traveling Vampire show? Can you see how a group of teenage kids "not allowed" would wanna go see what it was about? So they try their best and they hide out on the top of a traveling camper.

There friendships grow along with their courage as they see the "one night only" show unfold before their eyes. They end up getting more than they bargained for in the end. This is also a great book for a "reread".

Laymon tells a great tale with this one. One that keeps the page
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Жанна Пояркова
Это один из худших романов, что я читала. При этом удивительно, но он получил премию Брэма Стокера. Мистики, которую рисует воображение, здесь нет. Больше похоже на плохо сработанный эро-фанфик для тринадцатилетних пацанов - длинный, написанный с нулевой изобретательностью и переполненный бессмысленными диалогами. Вампирша появляется на 1215 странице (смартфон) из 1500, а до этого скучные парни пялятся на упругие сосцы своей подруги и вместо того, чтобы ей помогать, выручая из беды, представляют ...more
Alejandra
entretenido,inverosímil,
y tineiyer.mucha escena de sexo y calentura random.
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Richard Laymon was born in Chicago and grew up in California. He earned a BA in English Literature from Willamette University, Oregon and an MA from Loyola University, Los Angeles. He worked as a schoolteacher, a librarian, and a report writer for a law firm, and was the author of more than thirty acclaimed novels.

He also published more than sixty short stories in magazines such as Ellery Queen,
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