Vampire$ PDF/EPUB ´ Paperback
- 368 pages
- John Steakley
- 27 September 2017 John Steakley
Seriously This is my all time favorite book I've had to buy it three times because I read it over and over and eventually the binding wears out and the pages fall out.It's not a great literary find It is not going to change the world It's about vampire hunters But I loved every character, I loved the story the author told, and I cared what happened It could be that it was my age when I read it I was a teenager Whatever I love Team Crow And I still do. This is bestselling author John Steakley's vampire classic: Vampires infest the modern world and a group of brave peopleprofessional vampire killersdevote their lives to hunting them downThe cult classic is back for fans who like their vampire hunters hardboiled You don't just kill vampires for the money, you do it for the satisfaction You do it because somebody has to You do it no matter what it does to you And you drink'a lot Some jobs just suck This one bitesBut nobody does it better than Jack Crow, the leader of VAMPIRE$ Inc His crack team of hunters takes down the blood suckers with a lethal combination of cojones and crossbowsAfter members of Jack's team are ambushed and slaughtered; however, the survivors need to rethink their strategy With a new recruit from the Vatican? A priest who's not afraid to wield a stake'and a sharpshooter loaded up with silver bullets, it's payback time The only problem is that the vampires have no intention of going down easy They have their own hit list, and Jack Crow's name is scrawled in blood right at the top 3.5 stars Don't start this book looking for adetailed version of the John Carpenter film Except for the opening scene which is fairly similar in both the book and the movie, the book is completely different (and much better) Nothing high brow here, Jack Crow (and later his buddy Felix) are hard drinking, foul talking, illmannered western type tough guys who track and kill vampires for a living This is pretty typical action hero type stuff (I was reminded of Nick Nolte in 48 hours and James Woods in the movie Cop), but the author does it fairly well What I thought was interesting was the portrayal of the vampires which I thought was a unique blend of the pure evil monster vampire that used to be the standard and the hollywood sexy killer vampire made famous by Anne Rice in her Complete Vampire Chronicles The main vampires in this book are portrayed on the surface as fairly handsome and successful men who have the ability to mesmerize and hypnotize people into doing whatever they want them to What is unique is that what the vampires want to do is subject their victims to the most CRUEL AND SADISTIC rituals in which they are degraded, humiliated, sexually violated (often in front of their loved ones who are helpless to stop it) all for the sick pleasure of the vampire before they are ultimately and brutally killed This was shocking (and at times difficult to read) but I did think it was a unique take on the vampire so I given the author points for that Well the bad good guys and the very bad vampires resolve their differences in a series of very bloody fights that leads to a nonhollywood ending that is still satisfying Overall, a decent book for those looking for a fairly unique take on the vampire along with a shoot um up action story. My first take here is to sayThis is a great idea, maybe someday someone will write a book about it Of course, Monster Hunter International is already out there.I've said a couple of things I'm going to say here before, about other books This one makes me sad As I've said before, I really wanted to like this book And also as I've said before, the book is a mixed bag There are some very good parts then again there are some parts that I found so stultifyingly slow I could have screamed When it was over, I was really ready for it to be over Sad.The book sets out to tell the story of Jack Crow and his team of vampire slayers They do it for money and because it has to be done I never saw the movie based on this book, but I'm told after the opening scene that the two bear almost no resemblance As I said the book is very much a mixed bag It has areas or parts of almost brilliant writing interspersed between long dull background filler and plot exposition The book reads to me like an overly long climax tale, as if it's the climax of a much longer work And I don't mean longer in sheer length but longer in the sense that we would have profited fromof a before story instead of trying to bring us in where the writer did and then trying to fill us in with background stories (interludes), conversations and shots of mental struggles The story is rife with emotional strain and all the people are already almost to the breaking point when we join them The angst is so thick that you can cut it with a knife all through the novel and we're told it's all because of their never ending struggle, what went before.Steakley also wrote Armor and that was my introduction to him It's also why I bought this book Wish I'd gotten the library edition as I doubt I'll ever go back to it I've read some reviews from people who love this book and at least one from a reader who says they have worn out several copies I'm glad they like it, it shows the difference in taste I suppose that if you can get involved with the emotional struggles going on here it will help.But I never did Felix got on my nerves, Jack was broken from the time we met him and for both of them we spent most of the book putting together their emotional baggage and the horrors that made of them what they are The other characters have less depth (and actually Jack and Felix aren't really painted in full three dimensions).All in all somewhat okay, not really great and I can't get behind it and/or recommend it Everyone will need to decide on this one themselves Some good writing mixed in with some very slow story telling Not great but not horrible A borderline 2 stars. Not a perfect book, and it's not like I'm wellread when it comes to Vampire novels, but I highly recommend this one Don't bother with that Twilight stuff, here's the real blood and guts (and spines and viscera and)So what's so great about the book?1) The creatures There are various levels of vampires, and all of them are bloodthirsty fiends They start as goons (basically shambling zombies), then graduate up to vampire status, and finally master vampire Superbly chilling monsters they can control a human's will and are beautiful, but this is not your romantic she fell in love with a vampire by any means These creatures want to slit your throat and bathe in your blood.2) The team There was just something fascinating about the devilmaycare harddrinking foulmouthed group of vampire hunters They don't really know all there is to know about vampires, but they're the best there is and they make it up as they go along (I actually felt the book lost stride when it focused on the master vampires too much I liked the mystery and the cavalier attitude it fostered in Team Crow).3) The characters Admittedly similar to #2 above, but the way the team acted still doesn't give enough credit to the individual characters themselves, so I wanted to give special mention here.4) The writing style Steakley didn't strive to make this a literary masterpiece But he did perfect the rough and offhand conversational style that kept the book moving along briskly and fit in perfectly with the type of testosteronecharged heroes he was writing about Could not have been done better in any other style of narrative!What were the drawbacks? Sometime the pacing would drag (especially when Jack Crow was recounting his first encounters with Felix, and when the damsel in distress was giving the details about the master vampire) But I have to admit that these were important, so I'm not sure how else Steakley might have found ways to solve this For the most part, the plot was chillingly tight, and events moved quickly.I did cringe a bit when it was revealed that vampires don't like rock'n'roll It kind of made it ironic that Jack Crow always spurred his team into action by saying rock'n'roll (even though he didn't know it at the time) The author needed vampires to like opera, but I found this a bit contrived.If you're interested in the gritty details of how to fight vampires (and what can go wrong if the fiends get a split second to rip through the humans bold enough to think they can slay these mighty beings), then look no farther.After reading this, try the novella I Am Legend for yet another vampire tale that is truly original and avoids any Twilight factor Vampire$ is the second book by John Steakley If the character names are familiar, it's because they are recycled from his previous novel, Armor Jack Crow, instead of being a famous space pirate, is now the leader of a group that hunts and kills vampires for profit Felix, rather than being an expert antkiller, is now a gunman.The Plot:Jack Crow leads a Vaticansubsidized band of mercenaries whose sole purpose is to kill vampires Usually, vampires invade a small town and then sort of spread to take it over, like a disease The townships hire the vampire hunters to come in and kill the vampires before that happens They do this using a brute force approach consisting of destroying the house they inhabit, and then pulling apart the wreckage to expose them to the sun.On the latest job, they successfully kill all of the vampires in an afflicted town Afterwards, they are celebrating in a local hotel at night when a vampire master breaks up the party and kills almost everyone in the mercenary group The twist is, the master vampire knows Jack Crow's name and who he is Jack Crow has to get together a new band of hunters; one of whom is Felix, a gunman Steakley defines a Felix as a gunman, which is an individual whose prowess with guns is so great, they become an extension of his body, rather than a handheld tool or weapon.The rest of the book is Jack Crow and company being hunted by vampires by night, and hunting the vampires coming after them by day.The Good:I liked the way vampires were portrayed in Vampire$ They are portrayed as godlike, impossibly beautiful monsters who possess the strength to rip a man in half as if he were made of tissue paperand they do Steakley made vampires scary for me again, and that hasn't happened for me since Stephen King's 'Salem's Lot or Robert McCammon's They Thirst Absent here are the romantic bisexual heroes of Anne Rice's novels That is not to say that there is no sexuality to the vampires in this novel; there is However, it'sof a humiliation/nonconsensual kind of eroticism: a rape of the soul Steakley does a good job of reigning it in, though, before it metamorphoses into hardcore pornography That's a good thing, because it just wouldn't fit into the story like it would in an Anita Blake or Anne Rice novel.The characters are compelling, and Steakley does a good job of depicting their reactions to their encounters with the vampires: their shock at realizing that vampires actually exist, their awe at the strength and speed at which the vampires move, and their posttraumatic stress at surviving an encounter with a little god.The Bad:Some of the characters are a little onedimensional There's a damselindistress character that, I feel, could have been fleshed out a littleAlso, even though Steakley does go into the psyches of his characters, it's not quite as compelling as his portrayals in Armor, his first novel.He does go into the perspective of the vampires a little bit, but his vampires are wholly evil They aren't people who need blood to survive; they are evil beings who kill and cause suffering out of a desire to do so I kind of wish that the vampires were a littleamoral rather than immoral However, for the purposes of the story, I guess they HAD to be as evil as they were depicted.My Rating:It's the best vampire novel I've read in a long time It was not just a horror novel; it's a thrill ride If you're someone who wants to read about vampires as purely evil demonic beings, this will be your cup of tea If you're a fan of Anita Blake or Anne Rice, you'll either be disappointed that their kind of vampires are absent, or interested in reading a different perspective.I say give it a shot for the fresh perspective alone I don't know of many vampire novels that depict vampire hunters, other than the Anita Blake series.It's definitely a good read. The Good The vampires: The vampires of John Steakley’s Vampires are TOUGH! At night they are nearly unstoppable killing machines, and even during the day, as long as they avoid direct sunlight, these SOBs are hard to kill At one point, a master vampire has two arbalest bolts in him and falls 20 stories but still manages to walk away It’s not hard to understand why these vampires would be at the top of the undead food chain.The mental trauma: Steakley is at his best writing about the mental torture and damage vampire hunting does Team Crow lives in a near constant state of combat; a perpetual freefire zone The author is very good at making you feel the terror, stress and confusion of the hunters as they face down their prey The Bad (or,charitably, the not very good) The story: Meh I’ve read it before and, outside of the traumatic passages, the writing is just OK.The characters: Steakley has a problem with women At least, he has a serious problem depicting believable female characters Annabelle is an impossibly good mother figure (view spoiler)[whose eventual selfsacrifice is meant to be emotionally wrenching but falls flat (hide spoiler)] When James Woods asked John Carpenter for a copy of the script to the movie based on this novel, the director should have just handed him the book Written with such a visual style and with such suspense, it could have been the best vampire movie ever made As it stands, this is simply the best vampire book ever written. It is a pity that one can not give negative stars on Good Reads Actually it is possibly an abomination even writing about this book on a site called Good Reads Well, I am just too lazy to surf the web looking for: www.ohgodwhydidIwasteprecioushoursofm thiswhenIcouldhavebeendoingsomethingbetterlikecryingandmasturbating.com This is one of those rare instances where one can say whole heartedly that the movie was better than the book The movie was crap, but it had its pluses It only took 108 minuets to get through, and had James Woods in it The book on the other hand has no redeeming qualities, other than it might be useful to prop up a dresser, or some such other piece of furniture It might have an incredible over the top ending that would put it in the running for the great American novel, but I would never know because I never was able to finish it It was that bad. A little on the fence with this book and not sure I can put my finger on what was wrong with it Parts of it were rousing adventure/horror; other parts not so much I grew tired fast with all the tears and uber testosterone weepfests that occured after every vampire encounter And I found vast chunks of the book as weirdly sentimental as Beth's death in Little Women Also the style of writing is a little florid Don't get me wrong, the writing is a cut above most books like this, but poorly edited or something Multiple times I had to skip back a page to figure out what happened Author also really likes italics But one point in its favor is how Catholic Church is represented A stuffy but enthusiastic force for good in the secret war against vampires So I appreciated that the pope wasn't the archNosferatu I'll have to see the movie based on the book (which I keep hearing raves about) to see if Hollywood keeps that theme in.