Suppose there really were vampires. Dark, stalking, destroying. They’d have to be killed, wouldn’t they? Of course they would. But what kind of fools would try to make a living at it?
In best-selling author John Steakley's vampire classic, one tightly knit band of brothers devotes itself to hunting down the monsters that infest the modern world—for a price. An exciting blend of horror and western genres, Vampire$ is a twenty-first-century Ghostbusters with an edge.
©1990 John Steakley (P)2010 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
“This is exciting and surprising stuff….a real genre-bender that keeps the best elements of both.” (Locus)
“Gives a closer, longer look at violent vampire-hunting than anything else to date, often at a breathtaking pace.” (Vampire's Closet)
Steakley's other major book, Armour, was always one of my favorites for it's gritty, relentless depiction of a man fighting his own terror as he fights an unknowable enemy.
Vampire$ is almost two different books. For the first half, you have again this incredible relentlessness of enemy matched by a pace of action and writing that is just as relentless. The second half shifts character focus and is just as brutal but not as relentlessly active -- more classic vampire in and less reminiscent of Armour. I don't want to give the end away, other than to say I was about 80% suckered by it (in a good way). That too, reminded me of Armour.
One thing I realized when I take this book together with what I remember from Armour -- is that that Mr. Steakley understands the fear a man feels when he fights his way through doing what he must no matter how much his brain screams that he should panic and run. I didn't understand that as well back when I read Armour, but I've since become a firefighter and I recognize that feeling (multiplied a thousand fold by Mr. Steakley in his books).
1. Thank you, Mr. Steakley, for giving us back brutal vampires that are truly evil -- a relief after the Laural K. Hamilton and Stephenie Meyer teenage softporn style.
2. All the good stuff you remember from Armour. The brutally relentless battles and the understanding of fear in a much more real and immediate way than even Stephen King can claim.
3. My one criticism is that I think this was two, or maybe three different books -- each an attempt to take on the genre from a different angle, that were merged to make a single novel. It was done fairly well, but the switch mid-way was noticeable.
I very muched enjoyed this John Steakley "Vampires Inc." story narrated by Tom Weiner. The other book "Armor" by the same author and same narrator is one of my all time favorite books and audio books, and Vampire$ brought back that same kind of excitement (perhaps only 90% as much as Armor, but 90% of best is still better than almost everything else).
I was particularly grateful to John Steakley for bringing to life another incarnation of his Jack Crow and Felix characters. I view them much like the Champion Eternal characters of Michael Moorcock where Moorcock made several incarnations of the same anti-heroes (Elric, Corwin, Hawkmoon, etc.). Vampires is basically a new incarnation of the same wonderful anti-heroes that Armor had but in our world instead of the future.
At first I thought, "Gosh this sounds a lot like John Carpenter's Vampires" but with much more character development. I looked up imdb and saw that Steakley wrote John Carpenter's Vampires. But as I progressed in this book I was grateful to learn that this is not only more complex, it's a totally different story (and way better). For one thing, John Carpenter's movie doesn't even have the Felix character, and for another thing the this book takes advantage of Steakley's strength which is character develpment and battles with ones self rather than with evil.
This book kept me on the edge of my seat. It's not your gooey romance style Vamp book. Instead it's gritty,grisly and action packed.
...As blood sucking fiends, who can only fake human sexuality to feed and control. John Steakley is one of my favoite writers and story tellers. I am glad audible released his two books to date.
Gritty, emotional, a great train ride...
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From the sappy Twilight franchise, but as a previous reviewer said, reminiscent of John Carpenter's Vampires, was not a big fan of the film but this book was OK, a bit too much about the hunters, not enough about the vampires.... better yet...try Interview with a Vampire or Salem's Lot.
Hard to say. I originally read the book more than 20 years ago and it made a big impression. Enough so that I have been meaning to re-read it ever since but just never got around to it. This was the perfect way to revisit the story. So, take your pick.
Having said that, Tom Weiner does a spectacular job. He has the perfect growling, gravelly voice for the tough-guy characters and really sells some of Steakley's more floridly 'macho' dialogue, which could easily have have sounded ludicrous coming from a less accomplished performer. I can't imagine anyone else doing a better job.
Cherry Cat, because I always identify with the smart-ass in any group.
Yes, I have also listened to Weiner's renditions of THE TOURIST by Olen Steinhauer and THE THREE STIGMATA OF PALMER ELDRITCH by Philip K. Dick. Both were of the same high calibre. You can't go wrong with Tom Weiner. Dude knows what he's doing.
Definitely. It's a crying shame John Steakley only wrote two novels because both of them are bonafide classics. FYI: The other is ARMOR, perhaps the best military science fiction novel ever written (and, not coincidentally, also performed by Tom Weiner, so I'll be getting that one soonest, as well).
One of the great vampire horror novels. No glittering Euro-trash fashion victims mooning over sulky emo jailbait here. The monsters in this sucker are pure black demonic evil with a capital "E", as they should be. The only things they want are domination, degradation and slaughter. This is strong stuff and very well written with absorbing, surprisingly deep and insightful characterizations and a ton of really terrific action and suspense. One of my all-time favorites.
Crazy, Driven, tuff as nails.
The jail break.
if you loved the ride in Armored then get ready.
Love the story read it many time in print but I am on a computer all day and it's nice to give my eyes the rest and just listen to my favourite stories.
I love Felix, I think he's a great character.
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Love the book. Steakley did a great job with this book. The narration was easy to listen to and he did a good job keeping the pace going. Have listened to it twice since I downloaded it.
Avid audiobook listener since 2007. I've enjoyed thousands of hours while jogging, driving, and working around the house.
The book was solid, developing believable characters in an unbelievable setting -- the world of vampire hunters.
I enjoyed getting to know the characters as they careened through the story and, when one or another died, I understood how it fit in the story but wished they were still around, you know?
The narration and voices by Tom Weiner were excellent and it was easy to tell characters apart.
Interesting note: the #2 main character in Vampires is named Felix...just like the #1 character in Armor. The #1 main character in Vampires? Jack Crow...just like the #2 main character in Armor.
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