Title: The Traveling Vampire Show
Author: Richard Laymon
Page Length: 391 pages
Synopsis: Though gloomy with clouds, it is a hot, August morning in the summer of 1963. All over the rural town of Grandville, tacked to power poles and trees, taped to store windows, blowing along the sidewalks, fliers have appeared announcing the mysterious one-night-only performance of The Traveling Vampire Show.
The show will feature Valeria, the only known vampire in captivity. According to the fliers, she is a gorgeous, stunning beauty. In the course of the performance, she will stalk volunteers from the audience, sink her teeth into their necks and drink their blood!
For three local teenagers who see the fliers, this is a show they don’t want to miss. But they may have to.
Though they can probably scrape up the price of admission, other obstacles stand in the way. One problem, nobody under 18 years of age is allowed into the show. Dwight, Rusty, and Slim are only 16. Another problem, the show begins at midnight and the three teens always have to be home by then. If that weren’t bad enough, the show is to take place at Janks Field — a desolate patch of ground with a nasty history — that has been declared off limits by their parents.
The situation appears hopeless.
Though Dwight and his friends fear they won’t be able to attend the actual performance of the Traveling Vampire Show, they do have the entire day to themselves. Why not hike out to Janks Field and take a look around? With any luck, they might be able to watch the crew make preparations for tonight’s performance. If they’re really lucky, maybe they’ll get a peek at Valeria, the gorgeous vampire.
And so the three friends set off on foot for Janks Field…
Dwight is a solid, honest kid, long on common sense and loyalty to his friends. He always tries to do what’s right.
Rusty is a husky guy who relishes trouble.
Slim, their long-time pal, is the brains of the outfit, a voracious reader of novels, an aspiring writer, and a girl. Also, she is sometimes too brave for her own good.
The Traveling Vampire Show is the tale, told in Dwight’s own words, of what happened to him, Rusty and Slim on that hot summer day they hiked to Janks Field. It’s the story of their friendship and love, their temptations, their betrayals, and their courage as they went where they shouldn’t go, did what they shouldn’t do…and ran into big trouble.
Why did I chose this book?
When I was a a few years younger than these kids’ age, I read this book and I honestly had the time of my life. This was one of those late night, under the cover reads at midnight when you’re supposed to be sleeping so you can wake up for school the next morning type of books.
I haven’t read it since then, but I can always remember fondness when I think of the title. As always, I never really read anything that was… “age appropriate” — still, apparently, don’t — but I would definitely say the book is geared towards teens/young adults, something along those lines. I don’t know how well it would win over an adult audience, but I know for the age group it is designated for, it will be a hit!
What I love/like about it:
- The… atmosphere of the book. I don’t remember all the details per se, but I remember the book’s atmosphere was something that had me saying, “Just one more page! Just one more page!” right into the morning. 😄
- The characters. I don’t know if there was anything about them that I didn’t like, but I do remember liking them.
- The seductive nature of the writing. Especially for the age I was when reading this book, it was quite taboo, and that made it all the better. As I said, for an adult audience, I don’t know how big the “wow” factor will be, but if you can suspend your expectations a bit, you might find yourself liking it quite a bit! 😉
Warnings or Triggers
Some disturbing content matter. Some cussin’. Some sexual situations. Y’know. The usual.
Oh yeah, and lots of blood and horror and overall RUN FOR YOUR LIFE!!!! horror moments.
ALTERNATIVE TITLES FOR THE DAY
I’ve got some series for you today! Click on the images below and they’ll take you to the series page:
And this would be my only “adult” title for the day. (M/M Romance with some… intriguing themes. Be forewarned. Some may be offended by this material. I almost was. Then I got over it. :P)