Vampyrrhic Paperback – 2004
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Top Customer Reviews
A number of good setpieces are occasionally offset by sudden shifts into what I can only describe as Evil Dead 2 territory, the most glaringly offputting of which is a lengthy battle in a tunnel system beneath a small British town, a battle complete with chainsaw-wielding heroes and hordes of hungry vampires that resembles nothing so much as an Evil Dead battle waged in the steam tunnels of Doom 2.
But there are also a lot of pleasures here -- the opening chapter is a doozy, and is filmic in a good way, and many of Clark's ideas about vampires are a refreshing change from the Ann Rice school of sexy dead people. Clark's sexy vampires are nonetheless, objectively speaking, somewhat disgusting -- it's their powers that make them sexy, which isn't a far cry from the standard Eastern European vampire who avoided mirrors not because vampires didn't appear in them, but because a vampire's true, rotting, corpse-like form was revealed in those mirrors for all to see -- and fear.
David Leppington is the doctor, returning to the town of the same name, where he learns of a bargain once made by Thor with his family in exchange for the destruction of Christendom at the hands of an undead army. Together with Bernice Mochardi, Electra Charnwood and Maximillian Hart he finds himself confronted with the remnants of that ancient bargain - vampire-like creatures that are even harder to kill than the creatures they are modeled on.
The story is told in the dark halls and cellars of the Station Hotel, and in the web of caves that underlay Leppington. It is a claustrophobic story, with no great arched rooms for ceremonies. Nor are the vampires noble creatures of the night. They only pause in their diet of animal blood from the town's slaughterhouses to vary their diet with human victims. Just a black hunger waiting to spread itself across the landscape.
Simon Clarke applies a great deal of imagination to the challenge of creating a 'different' vampire tale and almost succeeds completely. Norse vampires of any sort are a rarity, and the legends and reality that Leppington struggles with are a far cry from the foes of Buffy or Van Helsing. The plot moves a bit slowly, some repeated violence beyond what is needed, but is mechanically sound.
For some reason that is hard to pin down, it never achieves the magnetic quality of great horror.Read more ›
When David refuses to lead the vampire army, all hell literally breaks loose. Local townspeople begins to mysteriously disappear at night and soon the vampires turn their sights on eliminating David and new band of friends. One of these friends, Jack Black, is one of the more novel characters that I've seen in recent years. He is portrayed as a psychopath with a heart of gold. And, while it's a little more than confusing as to why he changes his "stripes" in mid-book to become a hero, he is nonetheless an interesting part of the novel.
A warning should be prominently displayed to the reader at this point in the review: If you are the squeamish-type, you may want to avoid this book!...Don't say that you haven't been warned.
I continue to be impressed with the writing of Simon Clark! He's created a memorable novel in "Vampyrrhic". And evidently, he liked the work as well because a sequel to this book is in the works. If you liked "Salem's Lot" then you'll love "Vampyrrhic". Just make sure that you've got a lot of garlic around when you read it!!
Most recent customer reviews
This book was stolen from me when I was younger and I had a hard time finding it locally. I was so happy I was able to purchase this book from Amazon.Published on Oct. 22 2013 by Sarah
Simon Clark's spin on vampires is amazingly original, taking the monster that's been dumbed down to a sexual fetish and turning it back into the snarling, frightening beast it once... Read morePublished on June 24 2004 by Ryan Costantino
This is the first book I've read of Simon Clark's, and I was thirsty for more! What a fun and creepy read! It's an interesting take on the well-worn theme of vampires. Read morePublished on May 19 2004 by Minda Powers Douglas
The best vampire book is 'Dracula'. Peter Straub did not write any book on vampire or warewolf; not that he can not; he is one of the best there and he can WRITE but I think he... Read morePublished on Jan. 27 2003
Vampyrrhic struck me as a little ponderous and wordy, but still a really good read. The book is clearly 'English' in style and tone, and lacks the relentless pulp drive of... Read morePublished on Nov. 25 2002
Vampyrrhic struck me as a little ponderous and wordy, but still a really good read. The book is clearly 'English' in style and tone, and lacks the relentless pulp drive of... Read morePublished on Nov. 25 2002 by Reader/author
Now that Stephen King has announced his retirement, Clark is all set to take over as the new "grand-master of horror. Read morePublished on Nov. 25 2002 by Darren Jacks
I really enjoyed Vampyrrhic. It's one of those that it is probably best not to over-analyze, due to things like the insertion of Norse gods into the plot and the sociopath with a... Read morePublished on Oct. 26 2002 by ZombiKitty