sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

November 18, 2010

into the stacks: fat vampire
posted by soe 1:17 am

Fat Vampire by Adam Rex

From the jacket: “Doug Lee is undead quite by accident — attacked by a desperate vampire, he finds himself cursed with being fat and fifteen forever. When he has no luck finding some goth chick with a vampire fetish, he resorts to sucking the blood of cows under cover of the night. But it’s just not the same. Then he meets the new Indian exchange student and falls for her — hard. Yeah, he wants to bite her, but he also wants to prove himself to her. But like the laws of life, love, and high school, the laws of vampire existence are complicated — it’s not as easy as studying Dracula. Especially when the star of Vampire Hunters is hot on your trail in an attempt to boost ratings….”

My take: I do not, as a rule, read vampire novels. I am not drawn to the Transylvanian bloodsuckers nor to their sparkly, modern counterparts. That said, when I saw two reviews of this book describing it as hilarious and laugh-out-loud funny, I thought I’d give it a chance.

The premise of the book and the character set up is great. A pudgy, self-doubting Comic Con attendee is accidentally turned into a vampire one summer evening. He and his computer programming best friend, Jay, set out to figure out what of the vampire traits he suffers from besides a desire for blood and a sensitivity to light. When he goes back to school in the fall, he meets and falls for the new exchange student from India, a girl who is hiding from her new schoolmates that she suffers from the Google (a mysterious disease that includes an addiction to the internet, an obsession with updating your online profiles, and the eventual dehumanizing of all those with whom you have contact).

Unfortunately, it seemed to me that the author got confused about where he was taking the story. The last chapter so confused me that I read it a second time the next morning, convinced I must have missed the real ending to the novel. Maybe the vampire thing is symbolic of something else, I thought. It’d be a reasonable guess since that’s often the case. But then I don’t know what to do with the reality tv show host, desperate to keep Vampire Hunters on the air, who is hunting Doug down

Even now, more than a week after finishing the book, I find myself sputtering with frustration about the way this story ends. I usually put down and return to the library books that I’m clearly not going to enjoy. Life is too short, after all, to fit in all the good books I want to read, let alone the ones I don’t. But, then, what to do with the novel that you realize you’re not going to like the ending two pages from the conclusion?

I liked the premise and the set-up, but just couldn’t stomach the eventual execution. Too bad!

Pages: 324

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