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Publisher's Summary

The rural town of Grandville is to host The Travelling Vampire Show, featuring the only known vampire in captivity. Janks Field, where the show will take place, has been declared off-limits because of its sinister history, but there are three local teenagers who don't want to miss the performance.

©2000 Richard Laymon (P)2009 Audio Realms, Inc., all rights reserved. Produced by Audible, Inc. and distributed by Audible, Inc. and Brilliance Audio.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

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Performance

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

If you loved IT, this book is for you.

I love this story, and the characters (outside of Rusty and his obnoxious sister), and the audiobook brings it all to life. The narrator is fantastic, reading with the passion you'd expect to hear from the books own author.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

good production

I read this book first about 12 years ago & loved it. I can't been a fan of this style of writing, bir enjoyed it for what ever reason at the time. not much of a fan now, but I saw this offered on kindle unlimited w the audio & thought "why not?". I remembered much of the story & still laugh ed in the same places, the audio production was much better than i would have expected for this style & age of book. but the writing wasn't 'right' for audio, for me.
still, our was interesting to revisit this book in a new way & filled some time.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Not really about Vampires. Great title though.

I am trying to find a way to rate this book with out coming off as a complete prude. For me this was almost a DNF a couple of times due to intense dislike of certain characters. Which itself could be a compliment to the vivid richness of Layton's writing. This is not really a horror novel, it does have some suspense, mildly scary scenes with a few gory descriptions.
It is more, a really seamy coming of age novel about 3 small town teens who develop a fascination and obsession with the Traveling Vampire show and its entourage which includes the mysterious vampire Valeria. The traveling vampire show is a traveling side show that turns out to be a showcase for Valeria in a sort of wrestling cage match forum.
There is Dwight, who is obsessive about sex, his bestie, teen tomboy Slim, AND his pretty sister in law Lee. Dwight spends pretty much every waking moment having sexual thoughts and fantasies about both females. And some of his fantasies are somewhat disturbing and didn't strike me as normal, veering off into strange bondage murder porn. Umm weird.
Even though for the most part Dwight was an ok kid, I never did develop much liking for his character.
There is Slim, who is the best character in the story, an awesome tomboy, pretty, super smart, well read with lots of practical street saavy as well. There are hints that Slim has been abused or molested, but no actual revelation.
Then there is Rusty who is the third member of the trio. I don't think I have every hated anyone who was just a fictional character on a page before, as much as I hated this guy and his gross whiney sister Bitsy.
There are not enough adjective in the dictionary to describe this nasty, lewd, indecent boy. My gut reaction to him was stomach roiling hatred. I hated him so much that a couple of times I actually almost stopped listening to this audiobook.
At the end, ole Rusty got what he deserved. And I could never, ever understand why Dwight or Slim would want to be friends with this crude, rude awful person.
All in all, this coming of age story did evoke strong emotion, just not sure it was the emotion that the theme and plot of the story intended. There was some interesting elements of suspense surrounding the traveling troop, and their possible nefarious actions that were intriging, but the mystery of the story wasn't strong enough for me to be fully captivated.
I did end up listening to the entire audiobook, and the final few minutes were pretty good, and I was happy that the "bad guys" mostly got their just desserts. I am left saying I am not sure if I liked this story or really hated it. I don't know if I can discern the difference. Good writing, strange peculiar story.
Bob Barnes narration was excellent. He brought this story and characters to brilliant colorful life.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Meh...

The girls had boobs...the boys had boners. Story good if that's all you want. #toomuchunderagesexfantasynotenoughhorror

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent story, Fantastic narration!

This is a fantastic coming-of-age horror story in the vein of Robert R. McCammon's _A_Boy's_Life_, Ray Bradbury's _Something_Wicked_This_Way_Comes_, Dan Simmon's _Summer_of_Night_, and Stephen King's _It_ and _The_Body_. It's funny, frightening, and wrenching, and Bob Barnes brings the characters to vivid life. I am adding Richard Laymon's other work to my to read list, and will be watching for more narrations by Bob Barnes.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

What a great tale to keep you guessing..

Most of the Richard Laymon books ive read are horror/gore/wince inducing stories of terror.This was a pleasant break from the usual "wth" bloodfests, and actually had me engrossed in the mystery of a fairground with a dark past.The fairground ties in several terrible moments in the small town, and the main trio of young adults are well aware of the dangers.The insanity of the true intentions of the evil is too unbelievable but also a real type of threat among certain groups of mentally ill believers.Im hoping for an additional book/sequel to this concerning the 'present day' status of certain characters or even how the fairgrounds have changed or drawn more evils to it.This is NOT for the weak of heart and you might as well toss your prudish preferences out the window before beginning.Ill recommended this many but not family because= upbringing (lol)

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Richard Laymon at his finest.

Is there anything you would change about this book?

The narrator. The narration of this book did not work for me. I realized about 1/2 way into it why. The cadence and voice reminded me of the movie Christmas Story.

What other book might you compare The Traveling Vampire Show to and why?

Hell Hollow by Ronald Kelly.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

Absolutely.

Any additional comments?

I had read this novel when it first came out and am happy to say that it is just as good today.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great coming of age horror

Don't listen to these negative reviews, I've listen to this book twice it's funny, suspenseful, sexual coming of age.Fun listen

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Hmmm

Read all of Layman's books long ago and loved them......hated that this narrator gave a 14 year old boy the accent of a 50 year old Brooklyn cabbie...audible is great done well and ruins a book when not thought through.....Love the author hate the narrator...

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

A Book for Horny teenagers!

Every chapter, it seemed, was about a boy getting layed. I was very disappointed reading this book. I read another by thus author and thought I'd branch out, but I will not be getting anymore. I tried..

1 of 4 people found this review helpful