Mike (the Paladin)'s Reviews > Vampire$

Vampire$ by John Steakley
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Jun 26, 12

it was ok
bookshelves: urban-fantasy, horror

My first take here is to say...This is a great idea, maybe someday someone will write a book about it. Of course, Monster Hunter International is already out there.

I've said a couple of things I'm going to say here before, about other books. This one makes me sad. As I've said before, I really wanted to like this book. And also as I've said before, the book is a mixed bag. There are some very good parts then again there are some parts that I found so stultifyingly slow I could have screamed. When it was over, I was really ready for it to be over. Sad.

The book sets out to tell the story of Jack Crow and his team of vampire slayers. They do it for money and because it has to be done. I never saw the movie based on this book, but I'm told after the opening scene that the two bear almost no resemblance. As I said the book is very much a mixed bag. It has areas or parts of almost brilliant writing interspersed between long dull background filler and plot exposition. The book reads to me like an overly long climax tale, as if it's the climax of a much longer work. And I don't mean longer in sheer length but longer in the sense that we would have profited from more of a "before story" instead of trying to bring us in where the writer did and then trying to fill us in with background stories ("interludes"), conversations and shots of mental struggles.

The story is rife with emotional strain and all the people are already almost to the breaking point when we join them. The angst is so thick that you can cut it with a knife all through the novel and we're told it's all because of their never ending struggle, "what went before."

Steakley also wrote Armor and that was my introduction to him. It's also why I bought this book. Wish I'd gotten the library edition as I doubt I'll ever go back to it. I've read some reviews from people who love this book and at least one from a reader who says they have worn out several copies. I'm glad they like it, it shows the difference in taste. I suppose that if you can get involved with the emotional struggles going on here it will help.

But I never did. Felix got on my nerves, Jack was broken from the time we met him and for both of them we spent most of the book putting together their emotional baggage and the horrors that made of them what they are. The other characters have less depth (and actually Jack and Felix aren't really painted in full three dimensions).

All in all somewhat okay, not really great and I can't get behind it and/or recommend it. Everyone will need to decide on this one themselves. Some good writing mixed in with some very slow story telling. Not great but not horrible. A borderline 2 stars.
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Comments (showing 1-12 of 12) (12 new)

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message 1: by Armand (new)

Armand sounds like a fun read.

Mike (the Paladin) I'm maybe a third of the way through...still don't know what my final take on it will be.

message 3: by MrsJoseph (new)

My first take here is to say...This is a great idea, maybe someday someone will write a book about it. Of course, Monster Hunter International is already out there.


Mike (the Paladin) It's a gift. :)

message 5: by Deb (new)

Deb "John Carpenter's Vampires" movie is based on this book, watch it sometime just for the opening scene. ;)

Mike (the Paladin) My son and daughter (both grown) were both in their early 20s when the movie came out. They know how I feel about certain movies. My daughter told me that when they went to see this movie they looked at each other and said:

"Dad must never see this movie."

LOL :)

spikeINflorida I'm also about halfway through the book and am really loving it. I don't have a problem with the characters emotional baggage. I love the authors other SF book Armor. But Mike, you make a good point. In the book beginning the crew is waiting for prostitutes, which never arrive because they are killed by vampires. In the movie the prostitutes show up for a gratuitous amounts of nudity. Its total bullshit and I would certainly be uncomfortable watching that kind of crap with my kids. It's really a shame that Hollywood has ruined countless great books with this kind of BS!

The Black Hat Writer I've been ready for it to be over for the last 100+ pages. Despite the ideas or whatever, I can't get passed the grade-school level writing. It reads like a child wrote most of it with an adult glancing over it and throwing in a grown-up word here-and-there. You mentioned never seeing the movie. I recommend not seeing it because it ultimately sucks outside of James Woods being completely awesome. But, as bad as the movie is, it's a masterpiece compared to this shockingly bad novel.

Mike (the Paladin) Yeah, Woods is a good actor, but I've not liked all his "stuff". Quite often he seems to suffer from "bad writers". I liked the idea behind the short lived TV show he was in a few years ago but the stories killed (at least I think so).

By the way..I just reread my review and think i may rewrite it. Some awkward sentence structure. I must have been in a hurry.

My kids (grown now) went to see the movie of this book and told me that during the film they looked at each other and said, "dad must never see this movie." LOL.

The Black Hat Writer It tends to happen to a lot of the great actors towards the end of their careers, being in crap films. Look at De Niro and Pacino. Two of the greatest actors of their generation and possibly all time and the latter third of their careers have been spent doing schlock.

I believe that old Woods show was called, "Shark." I might be wrong.

You can just say, in defense of any awkward sentence structure, that you were simply getting into the spirit of the book. LOL

I was a teenager when I saw that movie with a few of my girlfriends, and I liked it. I watched it again a few years ago and was like, Why? I think the company at the time is what made it good for me. LOL

Mike (the Paladin) Happens. Yeah. Shark that was it.

Another story about my kids. They and some friends were watching the Halloween movies on some TV station that was running that back to back. The original ended and the second came on. It starts with a "lot of splattered blood scene"...my son looked over to the others and said, "welcome to the eighties".

Friends so make a difference. LOL

The Black Hat Writer LOL Yes--true. That second Halloween we could have done without. LOL

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