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Suckers Hardcover – Oct 1993


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 312 pages
  • Publisher: Simon and Schuster (October 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 068912189X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0689121890
  • Product Dimensions: 16 x 3 x 24 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 612 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Yet another would-be satire of London's media swarm, this debut novel--which inexplicably caused Billson to be named among Britain's best young novelists earlier this year--is a tediously arch farrago whose less-than-inspired central conceit quickly wears thin. Magazine consultant Dora Vale and her erstwhile lover Duncan Fender have a creepy feeling that the vampire, Violet Westron, whom they had chopped into small pieces 13 years before, has returned as head of a multinational media conglomerate with designs on world domination. Of course it's true, and soon Dora finds herself alone against evil forces. Related in glib journalese, Billson's trite observations on contemporary pop culture are never toothsome or original enough to animate her moribund plot. Since Dracula and his ilk have always served as quite self-conscious symbols of cultural anxiety, the end-of-the-millennium-psychosis-blues that Suckers aspires to remain obdurately flat. Nasty and tasteless without being particularly shocking, silly without being very funny, the novel is--sharpened stakes and fangs notwithstanding--pointless and suprisingly lacking in bite; Suckers stands in sore need of a transfusion.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

This British first novel tells the story of a very modern, very hip vampire hunter: Dora Vale, a cynical creative consultant who has managed to maintain a hopeful friendship with the love of her life, Duncan, despite his marriage to air-brained model Lulu and his infatuation with a 300-year-old beauty called Violet. Thirteen years ago, Dora and Duncan drove a stake through Violet's heart, but now she has returned, with an entire vampire network behind her. Weary of persecution, the bloodsuckers have decided to make England "a haven where they can live and hunt in safety... just a smoothly run economy and specialized catering facilities." Hard-boiled Dora smart-mouths her way through one dangerous confrontation after another as she tries to save England and rescue the unworthy Duncan from a seduction for which he seems all too eager. Deliciously skewering the art and business scenes as well as the yuppies who are the vampires' prime targets, this surprisingly down-to-earth supernatural romp is highly recommended.
- A.M.B. Amantia, Population Action International, Washington, D.C.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Hardcover
Yuppiea as vampires in thrall to a multi-national corporation,gradually taking over London from their Docklands base.They wear black,drink blood from their local hostelry and supplement it by exsanguinating passing tourists in messy fashion.
While not short of the odd visceral shock with vividly rendered dismemberings the prevailing mood is dark comedy with a wit as black as pitch.
The narrator is Dora,a "Creative Consulatant" for advertising agencies(meaning she invents survey results and doctors the findings--something I suspect,indeed know, is done all the time).When she and her friend Duncan ,for whom she has long nursed a wholly unrequited passion where menaced some years earlier by an opera loving vampire named Violet they killes her and scattered the dismembered body to all parts of London.They are somewhat taken aback to discover that Violet has not only returned from the netherworld but is now the head of a multinational conglomerate which is taking over the advertising and media industries
Can Dora stop the tide of the designer nosferatu or will the whole land be taken over by people resembling extras from a Robert Palmer video?
Tghe real delight of the book is Dora and we see through her eyes aspects of metropolitan life that helped make the 1980's the worst post war decade by a country mile-yuppies,penniless and pretentious art students,self centredness on an Olympian scale,the growth of the century's most pernicious practices -marketing and saturation advertising.(The devil does not look like Liz Hurley in Bedazzled;the spawn of Satan being an ad man or woman with no language other than jargon)
The vampire code is efficiency and humanity must battle the accountants and number crunchers to maintain a toehold on the mountain of society.
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By A Customer on May 10 2002
Format: Hardcover
Okay, so while Suckers isn't the most inspired vampyre novel out there, it can hold its own. But i was especially disappointed in it, because while the auther didn't bring out the magificence of the vampyres, rather she made them look shallow and stupid. I've read a lot of better vampyre novels, but this is a pretty good flick, if you're bored. ...
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 6 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Bridget Jones, Vampire Hunter June 12 2000
By Robert Beveridge - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I picked this one up figuring it'd be a quick, superflouous read that would help me increase the hit rate this year and not spend too much time floating around in my skull. And that's exactly what I got, though I didn't expect it to be quite so good. Billson is a writer of the McInerney/Ellis/Janowitz stripe, and must have gotten this MS. in just before the cutoff for eighties-style fiction guillotined across the publishing landscape. However, Billson keeps the greed-is-good atmosphere to just that-- an atmosphere. When she needs to drop names, she makes them up rather than sounding like an overworked Sharper Image catalog, as most of her contemporaries do.

The story centers around Duncan and Dora, a not-quite-couple who, thirteen years ago, were part of a love triangle with a vampire. The vampire was found out, staked, dismembered, and scattered. Probalem is... she seems to be back, under another name and with a whole lot more power, as the head of a publishing empire. What's worse, the publishing empire happens to run a major fashion magazine... and so everyone starts dressing, looking, sounding, and otherwise behaving like vampires. It's comedy, but it's black comedy of the blackest stripe. Billson's publishers were going for the heavy-lit crowd, and so the blurbs on the jacket are from writers like Salman Rushdie instead of Stpehen King. And, oddly, despite this being a comedy/horror novel with a decidedly eighties bent... it might not be too out of place in the heavy-lit world. Billson's writing is crisp, while of that same easy-to-read stripe that distinguishes less heavily-marketed horror novels. Her satire, both of the vampire-novel genre and of the time, is spot-on.

If you like vampires, hey, it's worth a couple of days. ***
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Vampirism = consumerism writ large May 25 2002
By F. J. Harvey - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Yuppiea as vampires in thrall to a multi-national corporation,gradually taking over London from their Docklands base.They wear black,drink blood from their local hostelry and supplement it by exsanguinating passing tourists in messy fashion.
While not short of the odd visceral shock with vividly rendered dismemberings the prevailing mood is dark comedy with a wit as black as pitch.
The narrator is Dora,a "Creative Consulatant" for advertising agencies(meaning she invents survey results and doctors the findings--something I suspect,indeed know, is done all the time).When she and her friend Duncan ,for whom she has long nursed a wholly unrequited passion where menaced some years earlier by an opera loving vampire named Violet they killes her and scattered the dismembered body to all parts of London.They are somewhat taken aback to discover that Violet has not only returned from the netherworld but is now the head of a multinational conglomerate which is taking over the advertising and media industries
Can Dora stop the tide of the designer nosferatu or will the whole land be taken over by people resembling extras from a Robert Palmer video?
Tghe real delight of the book is Dora and we see through her eyes aspects of metropolitan life that helped make the 1980's the worst post war decade by a country mile-yuppies,penniless and pretentious art students,self centredness on an Olympian scale,the growth of the century's most pernicious practices -marketing and saturation advertising.(The devil does not look like Liz Hurley in Bedazzled;the spawn of Satan being an ad man or woman with no language other than jargon)
The vampire code is efficiency and humanity must battle the accountants and number crunchers to maintain a toehold on the mountain of society.
Yes Dora is a real heroine.Cynical.Amoral.Dishonest.But with a spark of decency and brio.Van Helsing meets Cindi Lauper.
It is not a comfortable book and adherents of the traditional vampire fare may well not agree but I like its spirit and mordaunt edge.....
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
It's a great vampire book! Jan. 23 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This is definitely one of those vampire books for the Dr. Van Helsings and romantics of the world. The atmosphere is very dark as it should be. The characters, Dora, Duncan Fender, Violet, and Lulu are a few of those who can be found in a warped love triangle, mortals vs. vampires. Who will win Duncan"s heart? Let's not forget Multigolm Corp. as it seems to be the center of this whole thing. So follow the vampire hunter in London on an adventure of love, power, and beautiful vampires.
I vant to suck your blood.... Nov. 8 2013
By D3Jr - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I really did love this book, folks. Initially, that is. And mostly, as well. But I
won't lie. I do think the book is a bit disjointed in some parts, and what really
sent me over the edge is when Dora compared the vampires to Jews and
the "nips" (human vampire food) to the Palestinians on pg. 226. In the words of Willy Wonka,
strike that, reverse it. There's nobody on the face of the planet who wants peace more than Israel,
but guess what Dora, err, I mean Anne, err, I mean Dora, when you're surrounded
by barbarians it's pretty bloody difficult to play nice. No wonder Ruth Weinstein blew
her top when Dora let this gem fly. I side with Ruth.

Aside from the mistakes made in Billson's first novel, I have to say she did a pretty
brilliant job. I was chuckling all the way through the book, and I was also in awe of
Billson's writing style. Very impressive in certain parts of the book, and it made reading
this novel a real joy. I love the genre, and I think if done right this book would
make a fantastic movie.

This gem was written in 1993. Twenty years ago! That's actually pretty scary. I kind
of wish Violet would sire this aging dude, so I could go on reading great books like
Billson's "Suckers." Anne, good job all around. Thanks for writing a thoroughly
entertaining read. Keep up the good work.....
1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
I was not impressed March 20 2000
By Savrielle de Valois - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This book's saving grace was its incredibly witty sense of humor and internal dialogue. Dora is a twentieth century heroine, but that's all the good I can say about this book.
As a reader of many, many vampire novels, I was extremely disappointed in the way Billson made vampire existence out to be: shallow, carping, and empty with none of the rich and captivating drama that Anne Rice or L.J. Smith portrays.
Dora's whole existence seems to stem from her fruitless chase of a man completely unworthy of notice whom any woman with half a brain cell would have long since discarded. Her vampires are too caught up with their businesses, their "nips," and their petty day-to-day problems to come across as anything besides pathetic. Violet is made up to be a vampire Barbie doll, and just about as intelligent.
For a good read, try "Queen of the Damned" by Anne Rice. Best vampire book ever written.

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