Bite Mass Market Paperback – May 8 1997
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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 an alternate 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.
Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.
That's how he writes.
No kidding.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Laymon has written some very good books....this is definitely NOT one of them. It is so boring that I use it to put me back to sleep if I can't. Read morePublished on May 24 2004 by Soundman
I agree with Emeric1's review. The tedious dialogue continued throughout the book, and the two main characters were not very intelligent. Read morePublished on Nov. 28 2003 by Mark
Bite is the first book I've read by Richard Laymon and Laymon has
been a favorite ever since. This is a must read that sucks you in and doesn't let go until you hit the last... Read more
I've read two of Laymond's books. He seems a bit preoccupied with sex, though this book didn't have as much of that in it as "Night In the Lonesome October. Read morePublished on March 10 2003 by Jeffery A. Davis
compared to many of his other books, 'Bite' has a story line that is a little bit of a let down. the two main characters go through a grusome adventure, while trying to figure out... Read morePublished on Jan. 14 2003 by marvin
"Bite" is so thoroughly bad, it's astounding. One doggedly and masochistically continues to turn (and skim) the pages, unwilling to believe the book can continue to be so numbingly... Read morePublished on Nov. 7 2002 by Brian Kiernan
Laymon decideds to tackle the issue on vampires and like The Stake writes an interesting read.
His plot is centered around Sam, a 26-year old man, who is visited by former... Read more
A friend of mine introduced me to Laymon, and I'm really glad she did. Laymon is a fantastic storyteller. Read morePublished on April 13 2002