18 September 2010

Books: Fat Vampire by Adam Rex (2010)

There is much to like in Fat Vampire - a tale about Doug Lee who is attacked by a desperate vampire, and finds himself cursed with being fat and fifteen forever. When he has no luck finding some goth chick with a vampire fetish, he resorts to sucking the blood of cows under cover of the night.

But sadly, after the this set up, the book becomes dull and rather pointless. Author Adam Rex had a great chance to create a thought-provoking tale that takes on teen angst, sexuality, identity, love, and undead, but the premise sinks under very unlikable characters, including its lead, Doug. There is a point at which having an antihero the center of the story becomes more of bad thing, you know.

And it could have been a great parody on the whole vampire genre that has gone through the young adult section since Twilight. And given its great cover, you sort of expect it was. But its really a mess, and misleading. And what’s with the gay villain? And why does another teen vampire in the novel, Victor, need to concoct the story that the vampire who created him was a female and not a male?

As I said, there is not one redeeming good thing about Doug, and you can’t help but think he is one big douche bag. If that was the point of Rex’s novel, to say all teenagers are that way, then I missed the point. At little over 300 pages, Fat Vampire is a tortuous read.

I don’t hate the novel, but I clearly see a missed opportunity to create a fairly decent parody on the trendy vampire genre of late. Clearly, even his publishers saw the flaw of the novel, by creating a fairly unique cover.

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