Not the stylized sexy vampire noir we've seen before, but a more gritty urban vampire who's not afraid to get his hands dirty. Not my favorite narrator, but even Scott Brick is tollerable in this case
This fast-paced entry into the detective noir genre had all the elements: Big City, Dark Nights, a Femme Fatale, warring Big Bad Crime Bosses, and the hard-nosed but soft-on-the-inside Truth Seeker. Who happens to be a Vampire. Oh, and there was also a Mad Scientist and some Zombies (not enough zombies, IMHO). The main character, Joe Pitt, is not really a detective but he fills that spot on the playbill. He is nicely drawn, with conflicting loyalties, rich emotions, a—shall we say “interesting” sex life, a very laconic affect and Dark Sense of Humor. Very Dark. I laughed frequently at Joe’s inner dialog, for instance, when he makes himself resist the urge to let a zombie he is escorting kill a nearby jogger. His lack of an external speech filter produces most of the other laugh lines in the book, as when he tells a bartender his badly burned face (the result of being exposed to the sun—he’s a vampire, remember?) is from a tanning bed: “Those things are dangerous.”
Danger is this novel’s raison d’etre. There’s a lot of kidnapping, slugging, shooting, knifing, biting, and general gore that almost made me rate the book with just three stars. Joe’s nemeses are the various vampire clans who battle for Manhattan turf. One is a Big Business sort of outfit, one is a biker gang, another is a bunch of hippy vampires left over from the sixties who are trying to form a vamp collective, and the fourth is . . . well, that’s where things got interesting.
I wouldn’t have given this book four stars were it not for the Enclave. Huston’s creation of this group of vampires who live like ascetic yogis was sheer genius. The group is purposely kept very shadowy and vaguely defined, but the reader is given to understand that their adherents are basically starving themselves to death, but ever . . . so . . . slowly . . . by drinking the absolute minimum amount of blood needed to stay barely “alive.”
Understandably, it’s an experiment not many are willing to be a part of, but apparently there is some payoff or why would anyone do it? Therein lies the most interesting part of the book. Huston lets us in on some of the Enclave’s secrets using some really terrific writing that kept me on the edge of my seat.
I listened to this as an audiobook and I’ve got to give mad props to reader Scott Brick who gave Joe just the right New York accent without going overboard, not to mention great personifications of all the other characters both major and minor.
Yes. The reading of this book by Scott Brick made a huge difference for me. I have the text version of this book and it is confusing the way it is printed with no quotations and no he said of she said at the end of dialog. Just a dash to separate the dialog between character. And the dialog is one of the best ever written. Scott Brick brings every character alive and you know exactly which character is speaking all through the audio book.
Loved the characters. The homeless druggie Leprosy and his love for his dog Gristle was touching and sad.
Brick brings out the gritty nature of the characters. Love the energy in his voice. The sarcasm, and wit and wisdom just pops from the audiobook. So brilliant you can see the scenes, feel the pain.
How Joe Pitt becomes a vampyre. He did not have a chance. Also how much he loves Evie. Every character has lived a hard life, abused and beaten down but they keep on living.
This book is not for everyone but if hard core detective noir is your style, you will love this one. Tough gritty and the vampyre aspect is just in the background. Not anything like that Twilight teenage dribble. This book will rock you to your core. Make you laugh out loud and at times cringe. Wonderful series. Highly recommended.
This is an excellent story! Joe Pitt is a streetwise New Yorker, a vampyre, and a guy trying to hold on to his identity and independence despite coersive power plays by Manhattan's competing vamyire factions. But don't be fooled. This is no formula vampire story. Author Charlie Huston artfully gives us a glimpse into the sout of Joe Pitt, NYC, and the human condition, served up in a gritty noire style. Pitt is a credible, well-crafted character, as are the people in his world, both living and dead. Narrator Scott Brick hits the New York dialects and social styles spot on, to the point where I found myself saying, "Hey, I know that guy!" - more than once, Forget blood, I am addicted to Pitt. Between Huston's brilliant writing, and Brick's amazing portrayals, Already Dead is an vivid listen and an incredible ride.
I should have read the actual novel. Scott Brick does a poor New York accent, he is just too classy and nerdy for the characters in this book. But the story is very good, and still worth a credit.
Really should be 3 1/2 stars as Huston is not a writer of great literature. But he gets 4 because there are no half-stars and he is a great writer of this spare, noir-ish style that recalls writers like Raymond Chandler only with a very edgy modern sensibility. I really enjoyed this whole Joe Pitt series and Scott Brick does a great job with the narration. He is perfect for Huston's style of writing.
Having a vampire detective is a new twist and Huston does it well; what is remarkable over the series is that Pitt, his main character, takes so long to learn any lessons from his experiences. But without his bull-headed single-mindedness we would lose what drives much of the action. Huston's style will not appeal to everyone--it can be pretty harsh and violent, but I loved it. It was great fun and am looking forward to going back and reading his Hank Thompson series, but I guess I will have to go for the paperbacks, as Audible doesn't have them. Too bad--have really gotten into being read to.
I am glad I decided to take a chance on this one! I love the new take on the whole vampire thing. I loved all the anne rice vampire books but I dont think they really got me like this one did.
Finally a book I could "sink my teeth" into. Pun definitely intended! A lot of books have great reviews and a lot of recognition, but this one actually lives up to the limited hype it has received. Great character development (I actually "know" this guy!), excellent dialogue, captivating storyline, and the fact that the backdrop is New York City makes this book a winner. I'm not sure how well known the author is, but don't be afraid to give this book a listen. This is one author who should be on everyone's radar. I've already downloaded the second installment, 'No Dominion', and it is just as good as this one.