Trin's Reviews > Fat Vampire: A Never Coming of Age Story

Fat Vampire by Adam Rex
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's review
Feb 23, 2010

liked it
bookshelves: american-lit, fantasy, ya
Read in February, 2010

Ugh. I have not been looking forward to writing this review. My feelings about this book are deeply conflicted. Let me try to break it down.

1. I don’t like this book as much as Rex’s previous novel, The True Meaning of Smekday, which is clever and funny and just...very near perfect. That’s hard to follow, and it was perhaps smart of Rex to try something completely different. However...

2. Goddamn, is this book dark. It’s still funny, because Rex is a funny writer, but for a book that could easily be mistaken for a satirical young adult vampire romp, this baby is pretty fucking bleak. I (think I) get where Rex was trying to go with the narrative, what he was trying to say about redemption coming too late, but it didn’t sit comfortably with me. My sort of gah! reaction inspires me to sort of warily admire the book, not actually like it.

3. The meta Rex employs is also sort of a double-edged sword. I like meta, generally, but it can turn on you very easily, and despite how they ultimately connected, the Sandman references seemed sort of weird in this context, and I honestly think that Fat Vampire would have been a stronger book if Rex had found a way to make those same points on his own, without relying on metatextuality. The best meta is like sprinkles on a sundae; it’s not the scoop of double fudge without which the whole thing falls down.

Okay, now I seem to be talking myself into liking this book less and less, and also I want ice cream. Um. Perhaps, to awkwardly switch metaphors, this book is best regarded as an experiment that didn’t entirely work. The process was interesting, and you can appreciate its contribution to science, but you really hope the slightly charred guy in the lab coat can do better next time. Maybe next time he’ll land that Nobel Prize.
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Reading Progress

02/23/2010 page 166
51.23% "New Adam Rex novel! My day is saved from total suckage. (No pun intended.)"

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