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Bite Paperback – May 8 1997

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Headline; New edition (May 8 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0747251010
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747251019
  • Product Dimensions: 10.9 x 2.8 x 16.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 200 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #934,085 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

One of the benefits of Dorchester's ambitious horror line--the only such line from a major American publisher--is the return of Laymon to domestic mass market. Laymon's vigorous, daring tales were popular here in the 1980s, but recently he has been overlooked by mainstream American houses (though he sells well in Britain and is published here by specialty houses, e.g., Cemetery Dance, The Midnight Tour, 1998). It's a shame, then, that his reentry to our paperback racks comes with this novel (published in Britain in 1996), not one of his best. A kind of sequel to The Stake (1991), the story opens as Santa Monica narrator Sam, 26, is visited by old flame Cat: she wants him to kill Elliot, an unwelcome nightly visitor whom she claims is a vampire. Sam agrees, slaying Elliot with a stake in a scene that, typical for Laymon, is bloody, tinged with eroticism and unfolds a whisker away from black humor. The remainder of the novel details Sam and Cat's violent misadventures, including run-ins with homicidal drifters, as they try to dispose of the body. There's some thematic play about the vampire in us all, and Laymon's writing is as crisp and gleefully malevolent as ever, but the characters are thin and the plotting is too linear, incident piled upon incident, dissipating suspense. Still, Laymon fans won't want to miss this one. (June)

Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

About the Author

Richard Laymon was born in Chicago in 1947 and grew up in California. Four of his books have been shortlisted for the Bram Stoker Award, which he won in 2001 with THE TRAVELLING VAMPIRE SHOW. Among his many acclaimed works of horror and suspense are THE STAKE, SAVAGE, AFTER MIDNIGHT and the four novels in the Beast House Chronicles: THE CELLAR, THE BEAST HOUSE, THE MIDNIGHT TOUR and FRIDAY NIGHT IN BEAST HOUSE. He died in February 2001.

Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Andrew Murley on June 28 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book had an OK beginning and a good ending. Everything in between was pretty bad. I've read a few novels by Laymon now and this is the first one that I thought was really bad. The dialogue (as other people have said) is terrible. Some of the conversations between the main characters are redundant and unrealistic. The plot of the novel isn't terrible but it isn't great either. I wouldn't recommend this novel. It was not an enjoyable read. It just goes to show that you really can't judge a book by its cover.
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By Lonnie E. Holder on Nov. 8 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
It's been a while since I've read a "vampire" story. I've read several of Anne Rice's excellent books, and of course everything Stephen King has written set in Salem's Lot. Given the excellence of the aforementioned books any author trying to write a vampire story has much to measure up to. Unfortunately this tongue-in-cheek effort by Richard Laymon makes little effort to be excellent, and is instead a weird combination of coincidences with a fair amount of sex and more than a little perversion. I was intrigued by the story line, and kept thinking the author was going to really turn this story into something, but instead the bulk of the story is a running chase between a psycho by the ironic name of Snow White and the two principal characters, Sam and Cat (Catherine).
There is a knock on Sam's door one night, and there is the girl he has loved his whole life standing in the door in a robe asking for him to come with her. Sam quickly finds he has landed in his own version of "Blue Velvet," standing in a closet waiting for a vampire with the fearsome name of Elliot to show up. Elliot is staked reasonably quickly and our murderers now have to dispose of him. I say him because he's a vampire, and as we all know, vampires may not be dead even when you think they are. Sam and Cat make a mess of getting Elliot into Cat's car, spending a fair amount of time on the details of how messy they got and cleaning everything up. In a way, all this action is still background for the story.
Sam and Cat then take off into the desert to go find a place to get rid of Elliot. Coincidence number one happens when they have a blowout, which may have been a gunshot, and run into a big guy by the name of Snow White. White states that he was forced off the highway by a gunshot.
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By D Talada on Aug. 19 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is the first Richard Laymon book I have read; I could never be bored enough to pick up another one.
Laymon in this book has created an unbelievably dense "hero" whose high school sweetheart shows up at his door after not seeing him for ten years. "You look well," she says. "Help me kill a guy."
"Okay," he says
"He's a vampire," she says.
"No problem," he says.
Do they worry at all about being caught when they take off to bury the body? Nope. Not even nervous. Are they committed to this cause? No...the "hero" guy, Sam, and his damsel-in-distress Cat, develop an unspoken agreement at some point that the guy isn't really a vampire. This reappraisal appears to be inconsequential to them.
What is spoken is line after line, ad infinitum, of repetitive dialogue between the two recapping everything that happens in the previous paragraph (despite having been spoken the first time around) and responses from one character of "good idea", "wouldn't want that", "sounds good", etc. to every immaterial and superfluous line of dialogue spoken by the other character: "I'm going to close the car door." - "Sounds good."
"I'll turn my lighter off now so as not to waste lighter fluid." - "Good idea."
Every few pages or so of exposition on Cat's life between Sam eras, Laymon apparently decides to throw in more brutal examples of Cat's suffering. By the time she gets to "oh yeah, and I met the vampire while being raped by three guys," Sam doesn't even have a reaction. He must've been as sick of it by that point as I was!
The novel is crammed with sentence fragment paragraphs.
Like this.
That's how he writes.
No kidding.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Love, it manifests in many a odd right, sometimes capturing those consumed by its presence in the most volatile and yet wondrous of manners. Here, it takes on different meanings depending on the audience, sometimes meaning that you don't have to say your sorry and sometimes demanding to be spoken with passions that defy the worlds that emotions weave. From Sam, these dreamlands of the heart have been something he has lived with for a seeming forever, always dreaming of Cat and always hoping that she would come back to him because she was the only woman he had ever loved. Then, in the midst of an unsuspecting night, the knock on the door came and she, the object of all his desires, did appear. Scantly clad and looking like an older version of the euphoria he remembered, she walked into his life and he, a lover loving, wanted to do anything he could to help her. Still, what does one do when love means something outside of the proverbial box, like being asked to come over, hide in a closet, and stake a vampire that has been assailing that perfect vision for well over a year?
Within this book, there are many ideas that seem to work out so well, like the way the vampire, a joke in our society, is approached and brought "to light." Under a veil of shadows, it isn't really explained or rationalized all that heavily, leaving the reader open to the thoughts of whether the characters are planning a murder or if they are removing some supernatural blight from the world. This approach adds something to the mix, a feeling of perpetual horror that looming in the background, and that births an atmosphere of forbearance and gloom.
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