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The Traveling Vampire Show

Narrated by: Bob Barnes
Length: 11 hrs and 39 mins
4 out of 5 stars (101 ratings)
Regular price: $6.99
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Publisher's Summary

When the one-night-only Traveling Vampire Show arrives in town, promising the only living vampire in captivity, beautiful Valeria, three local teenagers venture where they do not belong, and discover much more than they bargained for.

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

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  • 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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Slow, But Intense

A majority of the story is the wind up to the climax. The story is well done and character development is thorough. Awesome read!

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

horriblw

This book was terrible it took forever to get to the vampire show and on top of that once there it went even more down hill not scary most of this book is about a leave it to Beaver like relationship between the main character and his not so secret crush horror definitely not

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Near Perfect

If you’re a fan of Laymon’s read this book. His books are hits or misses for me and this was a hit. The characters were well developed and there was just enough suspense to keep me interested in turning the pages. Also, has a coming of age subplot that is relevant and interesting to the main plot.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Wonderfully entertaining

This is nothing like the other Laymon books I’ve read. That could be a good thing for some readers who may not be able to stomach some of his “creativity” in his hard core horror. This one however, could be read by so many. It borderlines on a young adult novel just pushing the envelope enough to get an NC-17 rating. I was engrossed the entire time waiting expectantly for chapter after chapter. Great book!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    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
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    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
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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Meh...

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

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    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
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    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)