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Gil's All Fright Diner [Mass Market Paperback]

A. Lee Martinez
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
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Book Description

June 27 2006
Bloodier than Fried Green Tomatoes!
Funnier than The Texas Chainsaw Massacre!

Welcome to Gil's All Night Diner, where zombie attacks are a regular occurrence and you never know what might be lurking in the freezer. . . .

Duke and Earl are just passing through Rockwood county in their pick-up truck when they stop at the diner for a quick bite to eat. They aren't planning to stick around--until Loretta, the eatery's owner, offers them one hundred dollars to take care of her zombie problem. Given that Duke is a werewolf and Earl's a vampire, this looks right up their alley.

But the shambling dead are just the tip of a particularly spiky iceberg. Seems someone's out to drive Loretta from the diner, and more than willing to raise a little hell on earth if that's what it takes. Before Duke and Earl get to the bottom of the diner's troubles, they'll run into such otherworldly complications as undead cattle, an amorous ghost, a jailbait sorceress, and the terrifying occult power of pig Latin.

And maybe--just maybe--the End of the World, too.

Gory, sexy, and flat-out hilarious, Gil's All Fright Diner will tickle your funny bone--before ripping it out of its socket!

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From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Something Evil (that's with a capital E) is stalking Gil's All Night Diner in Martinez's terrific debut, a comic horror-fantasy novel. Heading the delightfully eccentric cast are buddies Earl (aka the Earl of Vampires) and Duke (aka the Duke of Werewolves), who are looking for a place to eat as they drive through Rockwood, a small desert community besieged by cosmically weird stuff. Soon after stopping at Gil's Diner, the pair help Loretta, the formidable owner-operator, fend off a zombie attack. Determined to do the right thing, the two supernatural misfits take on further challenges, such as trying to prevent Tammy (aka Mistress Lilith, Queen of the Night) and her loyal but dumb boyfriend, Chad, from ending the world. The fast-paced plot is full of memorable incidents (e.g., a ghost and a vampire fall in love; a Magic 8-Ball becomes a message vehicle for trapped spirits) and such wonderful observations as "this whole undead stuff sounds good on paper, but it ain't all it's cracked up to be." Fans of Douglas Adams and Joe R. Lansdale, who supplies a blurb, will happily sink their teeth into this combo platter of raunchy laughs and ectoplasmic ecstasy. (May 11)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From School Library Journal

Adult/High School–Two friends–Earl (as in the Earl of Vampires) and Duke (as in the Duke of Werewolves)–are driving along one evening when their truck runs out of gas. They wind up at an all-night diner in Rockwood, a small desert town that has a bit of a zombie problem. They help Loretta, the diner's owner/cook, fend off the zombies that are drawn to her eatery. Impressed, she asks the two to stay on and help her take care of some other supernatural problems in the town and to learn who is raising the ghouls. Duke and Earl discover that Tammy (also known as Mistress Lilith, Queen of the Night) and her loyal but dumb boyfriend are plotting to end the world in order to resurrect the old gods. Similar in style and humor to the work of Douglas Adams and Joe R. Lansdale, and Shaun of the Dead, this comic horror-fantasy is packed with warped humor and action. The characters are likable, three-dimensional, and quirky. The story is fast paced, interesting, and unpredictable. Martinez carves out a nice little bit of entertainment with surprising depth.–Erin Dennington, Fairfax County Public Library, Chantilly, VA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, fun read Nov. 1 2012
Format:Paperback
I have a hard time trying to find easy reads that interest me. This book is a lot of fun and I really couldn't stop reading it (it was almost a shame to finish it). If you are looking for a fun and light read, this is good book. I ripped through this book pretty quick and am waiting for 3 more of his books I just ordered because of how much I enjoyed "Gil's All Fright Diner". Good times!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great book. July 20 2007
By Niolani
Format:Paperback
I enjoyed every sentences of that book. I really liked the storyline and the characters. Since I am a B-movies and others horror movies lover, this book was quite fine for me. When I've seen the cover at a book shop and read the summary, I know that I would love that book. English isn't my native language (I am French) but, I must say that the book is very easy to read for someone who have average English. I highly recommend this book for the lover of comedic zombies and monsters stories.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy this book! Aug. 13 2006
By Robyn
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is one of the most hilarious scifi/fantasy/horror books I have ever read. I would recommend this book to anyone (and have in fact already forced some of my friends to read it!)

You've got a vampire and a werewolf (both of them rednecks no less) going up against a slutty teenaged sorceress out to bring about armaggeddon.

Throw in a ghost, zombie cows, theatrically inclined ghouls, and a Magic 8-ball that swears... not to mention an ectoplasmic dog... I mean, what more could you ask for.

I know, I'm gushing... but this is the most exciting new author I've found in years, and I'm really looking forward to whatever A. Lee Martinez comes up with next.

Go. Uy-bey is-they ook-bey.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Wicked and Weird. March 19 2007
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I can't remember where I first heard of this book but I do remember being so intrigued by the blurb that I just had to read it. Fortunatly it was coming to paperback and I was able to get a copy. The book is about Duke (a werewolf) and Earl (a vampire) who are driving in the south when they come upon a small town diner Gil's. I'm not going to give the plot away but there are zombies, ghosts, and an teenage sorceress. Basically the town Gil's is located in is a magnet for the macabre. The writing is easy to follow and quite enjoyable. The story at times is funny and at others creepy and the book is so fast paced anyone could read it in a couple sittings. Martinez has an interesting way of writing and I am eager to find out what he'll do next.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  137 reviews
50 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Relentlessly entertaining. April 30 2005
By Dymon Enlow - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I'm not even sure where to begin. I picked up this book in the bookstore cause I liked the cover, opened it up and next thing I know I'm still STANDING in the aisle and I'm three chapters in. I buy the book, go home and read it straight through! I've never done that in my life (besides "The Giving Tree"), but I couldn't put it down. Who is this A. Lee Martinez? Does he have any other books?

The story is simple: two kinda friends - one a vampire, one a werewolf - agree to help the owner of an all-night diner with her zombie problem. Yea, that sounds simple, but somehow Martinez has crammed more imagination, originality, action, smiles and endearing characters in 272 pages than most writers would in 10 books or their whole career. I am truly impressed.
28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Warped and funny, with greasy food Oct. 1 2005
By R. Kelly Wagner - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Earl is a vampire who wears overalls; Duke the werewolf wears jeans and a leather jacket but no underwear. Duke used to be a truck driver, till he ran over a werewolf. So these are not your debonaire, suave, bow-tied and caped supernaturals. They do not drink... wine - but they sure do drink beer. In a pick-up truck.

There are so many funny bits in the book that I was constantly reading a line here, a paragraph there, aloud to my spouse.

We have old gods with far more consonants in their names than Cthulhu (and possibly even more tentacles), not only ghosts but a ghost Scottie, and of course, the zombies. We have cows and chickens, and we also have the latest edition of the Necronomicon, which includes a spell for getting a three-picture deal with any major studio.

There is despair in this diner, but it's not Edward Hopper's despair, that's for sure. Late nights in this diner are downright lively, or at least, undead-ly (though occasionally deadly - which contrast certainly points out some of the weaknesses of the English language.)

Speaking of language, I do have one nit to pick: the author almost randomly uses "you're" for "your" and vice versa; sometimes he's right, sometimes not. A good copy editor would have caught this. Either our publisher needs to hire a copy editor, or our writer needs to brush up on some grammar, because I find it very distracting, and un-funny, to bump into mistakes like this so often.

That said, I have two more words for y'all: Pig Latin.

Optional family reading alert: scattered showers of four-letter words, casual teenage sex (not graphic) and blood and gore (sometimes graphic). They're all very funny, but some parents might not want their teenagers dipping into this, even though it's a light and funny read overall. Personally I had heard and read lots worse by the time I was 15, but it might be a little mature for a 13-year old. So call it a PG-13 book. As vampire books go, that's quite light!

The plot is somewhat reminiscent of Tanya Huff's "Summoner" series, and I think people who enjoy Huff's fantasy would like this book. Likewise, if you read this and are then looking for something else to read, you might check Huff out. There seem to be some odd similarities between Huff's urban Canada and Martinez' rural desert south!
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Funny, Up to a Point May 12 2006
By John Sears - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Gil's All Fright Diner... what can I say about this book? I know when I first cracked the covers and started wading into the introduction, I found myself reeling with the folksy dialogue and abrasively Texan characters. The book is just overflowing with what I suppose could be characterized as 'Southern Charm', but until your brain adjusts it can be pretty headache-inducing.

I'm glad I stuck with it though, as there are some genuinely interesting characters and ideas contained in this novel. As the cover-plugs indicate, this is the story of a werewolf and a vampire, traveling companions through the deeply weird American Southwest, who are eventually called upon to fight the undead hordes and apocalyptic plans of a teenage cultist determined to bring the oldest of the old gods back to the world, plunge the human race into perpetual hellish darkness, so on and so forth.

If that sounds both overly complicated and overly simple at the same time, you're getting the idea. This book is meant as a satire, as a laugh-out-loud parody of the burgeoning horror genre, a Douglas Adams for the nuevo-Lovecraftian set. You won't find a lot of actual chuckles here, though, and at times things the author thinks are clearly very witty are in fact dull and repetitive. You never get a very good look at the world these characters inhabit, and you never feel completely immersed in that world, the way you would in a Douglas Adams book, or Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman, et al. Few people can write in that league of course.

If you can get past the shallow world and sparse setting, however, you'll find some interesting characters half-hidden by the author. No one in this book is quite as boring or as simple as they appear at first, and there are some genuinely thoughtful portrayals, of people who are caught up in a world that's quite strange and dangerous, and find that their seemingly enviable immortality might in fact just mean an endless life of alienation and abnormality. In spite of that, there's happiness and friendship, and enough of a start to hope for a better fleshed out sequel or two.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A hilarious, twisted read June 20 2005
By Britta M. Coleman - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
First, a disclaimer: I do not typically read books with red, one-eyed monsters on the front cover, however artistically rendered. In fact, I might not have read this one if my husband hadn't raced through it in two days, laughing all the way.

A. Lee Martinez has concocted a wild, ghoul-ridden ride involving teenage mistresses of the night named Tammy, a balding vampire and his best werewolf friend, and a ghost dog with the best personality since Old Yeller.

I loved it. There, I said it. I laughed out loud, shuddered through the squishy parts, and thought back to my childhood Magic 8 ball with a new sense of wonder. Read it, and you'll find out why.

One of my favorite bits: Wacky Willie's Deluxe Goofy Golf, and wacky Willie's paramount struggle to rid the thirteenth hole of bats. It's one of those pages where, still giggling, you grab a friend and say, "You have to listen to this."
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Light & funny May 2 2005
By Anna Hope - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Take 2 friends, one am insecure vampire who didn't inherit the most fantastic powers or killer looks, and the other just your average sarcastically close mouthed redneck werewolf. Strand them near penniless at a bizarre but conveniantly nocturnal diner in the middle of the desert and watch them battle ancient gods, horny teenagers, and the abnormally creepy crawly.

Earl & Duke just want to make an easy $100 plus all the pie that Duke can shove in his mouth. But ofcourse like attracts like and since our main charcters aren't the most average joes on the block...they battle rotten corpses, a herd of hungry zombie dairy cows, fall in love with a stranded ghost, fend of a group of inept yet polite gouls, play 18 holes of mini golf, save the world from the before mentioned horny teens who are set on making themselves gods, and still end up getting the girl and her little dog too.

Seriously, this book was well worth reading and definitely a laugh a minute. It's a light read but for anyone who enjoys a "Sean of the Dead" type comedy with lots of warped humor and some zombie guts thrown in on the side this is a winner.
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