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3.7 out of 5 stars
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Showing 1-10 of 10 reviews(3 star). See all 102 reviews
on September 15, 2002
Laymon did a great job building up the suspense. I thought the character development was great, Dwight, Rusty and Slim were so well developed that by the end of the book you feel as if you had known them forever. This book will certainly remind you of the awkwardness experienced in your teenage years.
The only problem I had with this book was the ending. It wasn't that I didnt agree with the ending it was just that it felt like Laymon just wrote a few pages to wrap up the loose ends as if he wanted the story to end quickly. After the climax it was if the book was already over and the characters just disappeared into short non-personal summaries of what happened in the aftermath. Another small thing that bugged me about the ending, something happens to a particular person at the end who played a crucial role in the story but seemed to just be modified as if the character were not important, it felt like a cop-out but I could be too critical (people who read the book know who I am talking about).
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on September 9, 2001
The Traveling Vampire Show is an interesting novel to discuss and review. Not much occurs, as far as plot goes, for the first half of the novel. Instead, the author tries to create suspense with mysterious discoveries and flashbacks that have nothing to do with the main plot of the story. And, even though these subplots are quite scary, they do not exactly fit in with the rest of the novel. When the real action gets going, towards the end, the violence is heavy and the plot delivers all the scares a reader could want.
The main problem with the novel is that it is too far fetched to be believable. Characters' actions are not explained and sometimes they do extremely stupid things.
On the other hand, the author had a way of taking me back to my early teenage years, when little, insignificant things would scare me and my imagination would go wild. His descriptions are aided by colorful use of words, and devices such as similes, metaphors, and allusions that refer to different films and novels in the horror genre during the sixties.
Overall, this novel is fair. The author wrote it meaning to, first of all, scare the reader (he succeeds doing so, if you can look past the unrealistic aspects of the plot) and also to bring to mind those years of adolescence when everything was an adventure and there was always something sinister or suspenseful going on. I'd recommend this novel to a reader who enjoys vampire horror novels and, more importantly, is not too critical.
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on May 13, 2001
I would strongly disagree with the publisher that this is a horror novel. Soft porn -- yes, Suspense -- yes. Horror -- NO! Laymon did have me reading nonstop to see what would happen, but ultimately most of the surprises were not -- they were very predictable. I did get way too much of a teenage boy's sexual escapades and frankly those moments that happened to the main character were so unlikely I skipped over them just to find the horror/scare that Publisher's Weekly had promised on the front cover of the paperback edition.
It's too bad this title, premise and even cover art were wasted on this book. If you want a mindless read and don't want to be caught reading a romance novel, this book is for you. The only sleep you'll lose is actual reading time. There's nothing scary here!
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on October 18, 2003
A good, original vampire yarn is hard to come by these days, but LAYMON pulls it off well with this story about innocence lost and terror found. THE TRAVELLING VAMPIRE SHOW is a punchy, swift read filled with good characters and some visually harrowing scenes. There are some short descriptive lulls, and a fair amount of eroticism that slows the momentum, making the novel a bit less intense than it coould've been. Almost all vampire stories have to add the flavor of sexuality, which I understand is part of the vampire mythos, however takes away from the creepy factor of a being who drinks human blood to live (undead, of course). This book elevates above most bloodsucking sagas I've read, but not above some of the better horror lurking out there.
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on April 6, 2002
It's almost like the author said to himself "Egads! I'm almost to page 500 I better end this soon!" During the last 50 or so pages of the book the plot changes, the characters change, and we're hastily shown the "This way to the Egress" sign. But then, during the whole book the characters are pulling 180's "I'm so worried about [insert name here], they could be in GRAVE danger!", 2 minutes later, "Let's go to the diner to get lunch!" The main characters act like they're the 16 years old they're written as, right up until it's not convenient for them to be teenagers. This book leads off great but finally dissolves into a confusing mess that left this reader disappointed.
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on October 25, 2001
In some novels the prose is a joy to read and great detail gives realism. In some novels, less is more. This is a novel that would certainly benefit from some severe editing. While it has a great premise and the plot line is also good; the unending descriptions of totally boring and useless action make you wish you could cut to the chase. Most readers probably do just that and go to the end to read the last page, and therefore end their suffering. The sexuall scenes come off as totally unnecessary explotation and are forced sounding. It is also one of the most blatent Stephen King (...) I have ever read.In short, it has been done better, by better writers, many other times.
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on June 25, 2004
Ever seen the film _From Dusk Til Dawn_? In that so-called "vampire" movie, vampires don't enter the picture until the middlish-end, when, from out of nowhere, a hoard of a vampires storm into the plot and attack the characters. That's sort of what _The Traveling Vampire Show_ is like. It's not really a "vampire" book. It's more like _Stand By Me_, except with a girl and a love-sick adolescent main character. The vampire doesn't appear until the very end, and if you're the type of reader who likes suave, romantic Draculas, you will be very disappointed.
As far the writing goes, it's alright. It's not boring. It's just not a vampire book.
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on October 29, 2001
Possibly the greatest flaw with "The Travelling Vampire Show" is that the actual vampire (and horror) element of the book is condensed towards the end, and the rest of the story concerns the attraction of the main character towards his female companion and his sister-in-law. Hidden in there is a coming of age story.
If you're looking for blood-thirsty horror, look elsewhere, because there's not much of it in this (what I believe is Laymon's last) novel. The book still manages to entertain even if it doesn't live up to the genre its mustered under or the promises made on the cover.
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on September 12, 2003
The three main characters were extremely well developed, perhaps a tad OVER-developed with too many insignificant scenes. Unfortunately, there were several unresolved questions that made me feel cheated at the end. And the explanation that Bitsy "simply disappeared" was a total cop-out. And just how did teenage Slim (a girl) kill all those men with a small knife? It seems she is Wonder Woman's daughter. Beyond that, it seemed the author was simply playing out his sexual fantasies on paper. It bordered on perversion.
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on July 18, 2004
If your expecting to read a good vampire book, this one is not for you. If your already a RL fan than I recommend this book.
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