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The Travelling Vampire Show | [Richard Laymon]

The Travelling Vampire Show

It's a hot August morning in 1963. All over the rural town of Grandville—tacked to power poles and trees, taped to store windows—flyers have appeared announcing the one night only performance of The Traveling Vampire Show. The promised highlight of the show is the gorgeous Valeria, the only living vampire in captivity. For three local teenagers, two boys and a girl, this is a show they can't miss, but they find much more than they expected!
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Publisher's Summary

It's a hot August morning in 1963. All over the rural town of Grandville—tacked to power poles and trees, taped to store windows—flyers have appeared, announcing the one-night-only performance of The Traveling Vampire Show. The promised highlight of the show is the gorgeous Valeria, the only living vampire in captivity. For three local teenagers, two boys and a girl, this is a show they can't miss, but they find much more than they expected!

©2000 Richard Laymon (P)2009 Audio Realms, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"[A] horror tale that's not only emotionally true but also scary and, above all, fun." (Publishers Weekly)

"Although the protagonists are high school age, this novel is so replete with graphic sexual situations and violence that it would not be suitable for young adult collections. It is, however, a well-written story that will appeal to fans of horror fiction." (Library Journal)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (42 )
5 star
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Overall
3.9 (21 )
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4.1 (22 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Dave Whittier, CA 10-06-11
    Dave Whittier, CA 10-06-11 Member Since 2010

    I'm a big fan of SF/F/Horror, and all things in between and out.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    ratings
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    74
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    "A Teenage Boy's Wet Dream"

    Due to the comparisons to King's "The Body" (aka: Stand by Me) and Bradbury's "Something Wicked This Way Comes," I was expecting a coming of age story with elements of horror. What I got instead was a frustrating plot with flimsy characters - it's about as classy and well-thought out as a made-for DVD horror sequel. Three high school friends hear about a traveling vampire show coming to their town for one night only and scheme to see it. Sounded promising to me.

    Worst off - the book isn't scary in the least. There are two scenes that border on creepy - but they're both flashbacks, and have little-to-no impact on the main plot of this story. And the stuff driving the main plot that's supposed to be scary becomes so over-the-top it would be funny if it wasn't so ridiculous.

    The story and the characters disappoint. This is most obvious with the female characters, most of who are pure male wish-fullfilment - gorgeous breasts (often bouncing), who all fawn of our young teenage hero. The exception is the protagonist's best friend's sister, who is chubby and creepy (though she fawns too). The other characters have just as little dimension and depth. None of them really feel like individuals - they only exist to go through the motions of the patch-work plot.

    I will give credit to Bob Barnes' reading. He kept me listening no matter how much I rolled my eyes at the story.

    To paraphrase the protagonist: "If a traveling vampire show ever shows up in your audible library, for God's sake don't listen to it!"

    Can't really recommend this to anyone.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eivind New York, New York 01-30-11
    Eivind New York, New York 01-30-11 Member Since 2009

    Tell us about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    ""Breasts""

    Three ???normal??? teenagers, none of them vampires, and the problems they get into when they try to sneak up and take a look at the circus that has come to town. If you can get past the fact that the word ???Breasts??? seem to be used in every other sentence this is a quite decent horror story. As it is also a story about three teenagers I guess that it could be seen as quite natural, at least for someone who hasn???t been 16 in a very long time. Anyway, breasts aside, it is a decent horror story, not a vampire story, but more of a suspense thriller with a Tarantinoesque ending. It is a bit slow at times, but it is very well read.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    grik 12-10-10
    grik 12-10-10
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    "For Horror Fans worth a Listen"

    This was a decent listen if you get get past all of the pimply-faced sexuality that the story is steeped in. It was suspenseful and kept my interest. This is not a story about Vampires.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    eileen hamlin southold, ny United States 02-05-12
    eileen hamlin southold, ny United States 02-05-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great book for teenage boys."

    This book was awful. Full of narrative of teenage boys wet dreams. The authors description of Dwights encounters with Slim and Lee were painfully and excruciatingly detailed, from each button that was opened. Good Lord. Skipped to near the end to see if anything really interesting happened at the show and once again disappointed.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    jonathan atlanta, GA, United States 12-10-10
    jonathan atlanta, GA, United States 12-10-10 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "a fantastic book"

    this was a great story, it had me from the begining so i had to see how it was going to end. but it was more than just a story about seeing vampires but the lives of these 3 teens. a really great book i recommend it highly

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    michael hernandez 06-19-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "One of my Favorites of all time."

    I constantly tell people to read this novel. It was fun listening to it, for a change. Seriously great story. Great characters and surprisingly heartfelt.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-6 of 6 results
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  • janien
    hampshire, UK
    9/14/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "One of the best Laymon novels"
    Where does The Travelling Vampire Show rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    It's amongst the best. Easy to listen too, great narration and voices for the characters.


    What did you like best about this story?

    This is a coming of age story of a group of friends who will stop at nothing to get to the travelling vampire show arriving in town that night. It's an edge of the seat read from start to finish.


    Have you listened to any of Bob Barnes’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    Cannot comment other than to say this is a great performance.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Kurt Farrar
    Widnes, UK
    10/4/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A different structure to some of Laymon's stories"
    Would you listen to The Travelling Vampire Show again? Why?

    Yes, it was a very interesting story. First time around, I was waiting for Laymon's typical writing style trying to guess where it was going, second time around, I think I'll enjoy the story more.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Dwight Thompson - Although the main character he strikes a good balance between hero and innocent teenage boy that has a lot to learn about life and people around him. Almost naive at times, he gets himself into bother easily, but half of this is because he cares too much about the people around him.


    What three words best describe Bob Barnes’s voice?

    Very broad american


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes!


    Any additional comments?

    I usually describe Laymon's stories as having multiple perspectives, and waiting for the point where they come together, but this story doesn't have that style, and that was very refreshing for a Richard Laymon story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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