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.
"[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)
I'm a big fan of SF/F/Horror, and all things in between and out.
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.
Tell us about yourself!
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
"One of the best Laymon novels"
It's amongst the best. Easy to listen too, great narration and voices for the characters.
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.
Cannot comment other than to say this is a great performance.
"A different structure to some of Laymon's stories"
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.
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.
Very broad american
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.
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