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Already Dead (A Joe Pitt Novel) Paperback – December 27, 2005

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Del Rey (December 27, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 034547824X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345478245
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (187 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #165,223 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. After two hard-boiled hits, Caught Stealing and Six Bad Things, Huston does an irresistible and fiendishly original take on the vampire myth. Manhattan is teeming with the undead, the island divided into often-warring vampire clans such as the Society, the Hood and the Enclave. The most powerful is the Coalition, whose goal is to protect its members from public scrutiny and persecution. Rogue PI Joe Pitt (aka Simon), who like all vampires is infected with a virus that requires him to drink blood regularly, is hired by Marilee Horde, a prominent New York socialite, to locate her runaway teenage daughter, Amanda, who may be slumming with homeless goth kids in the East Village. Meanwhile, a "carrier" is on the loose, infecting its victims with a bacterium that turns them into brain-eating zombies. The Coalition wants Pitt to find and destroy the carrier, since the carnage the zombies are causing brings unwanted attention to the undead community. Huston has fun playing with the conventions of the genre, creating his own hip update that will appeal to fans of Quentin Tarantino and Buffy the Vampire Slayer alike. (Dec.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Bookmarks Magazine

Already Dead is not for the squeamish. Even so, it surprised even critics who had never thought themselves fans of Count Dracula. Huston portrays a noirish, gritty, alter-Manhattan world, with political rivalries comprised of all sorts of vampires, even "revolutionary" gay and lesbian ones. The terse, hard-boiled prose and characters contain shades of Raymond Chandler, Hunter S. Thompson, and Quentin Tarantino, but are wholly original. Despite the novel’s sophistication, it’s not for everyone. "Huston deserves hardcover publication and will get it soon enough, but it’s probably true that this book’s core audience is among the young, the cool, the hip, and the unshockable" (Washington Post).

Copyright © 2004 Phillips & Nelson Media, Inc.

More About the Author

Charlie Huston is the author of the bestsellers The Mystic Arts of Erasing All Signs of Death and The Shotgun Rule, as well as the Henry Thompson trilogy, the Joe Pitt casebooks, and several titles for Marvel Comics. He lives with his family in Los Angeles.

Customer Reviews

I read this book in one sitting.
Author Charlie Huston creates a powerful blend of hardboiled detective story and vampire urban fantasy.
Fun, Interesting, Great Characters, Great Story.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

87 of 94 people found the following review helpful By Gary Griffiths VINE VOICE on January 1, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
That Charlie Huston is on the edge was evident in his debut, the unconventional "Caught Stealing" and its equally offbeat sequel, "Six Bad Things". In both, Huston writes with a hip and irreverent flair that is all his own, brutal tales of the seamy underbelly of life that are at the same time darkly and cynically humorous.

In "Already Dead", Huston applies his uncommon talents to a very common but wholly unexpected theme: vampires. The result could be described as the abominable offspring of a marriage of JR Tolkien and Quentin Tarrantino, a bizarre but refreshingly unique tale of the undead set in contemporary New York City. This is no Bram Stoker. Huston's vampires, or "vampyres", have neither fangs nor Transylvanian accents, and sleep in Manhattan apartments rather than coffins. Huston's ghouls are victims of the vampyre "vyrus", an infection that instills an irresistible craving for new blood, while at the same time cleansing the blood of all impurities. Thus explaining the legendary strength and immortally of the Vampire myth.

Joe Pitt is one that is "already dead", a forty-five year old New Yorker who looks twenty-five. Pitt and his ilk live, work, eat, and play among us, a virtual parallel universe of vampyre cults and clans that mirror New York's more conventional society. There is the "Coalition", the largest clan, corporate and business-like, suit-and-tie vampires ruling midtown from north of 14th Street up to Harlem. The "Society" inhabits the East Village. Progressive liberals, they are committed to diversity and the day when vampires are accepted in society - simply another minority like gays or the disabled.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By David Hurwitz on February 16, 2007
Format: Paperback
I met Charlie Huston while participating in a Comic-Con panel discussion about using monsters as protagonists. Charlie claimed that he had begun by writing a normal pulp novel, but that his main character got beaten up so badly and so frequently that he shouldn't even be walking, let alone getting into new scrapes. (This has been a perennial problem in pulps. Philip Marlowe gets knocked out or drugged at least twice a novel, but it never seems to bother him much.) How did Charlie solve the problem? By creating a whole new genre, vampire noir.

Joe Pitt is a vampire in a Manhattan secretly infested with vampires. Joe's Problem? He has several, actually. First, there's that zombie roaming his neighborhood. Then there's the grief he's catching from his girlfriend, Evie. Finally, someone has stolen his blood stash, someone who can walk through walls.

Part of Huston's genius lies in his ability to take classic fang-lit premises and run them to their logical conclusions. Take the notion that vampires live among us as a wealthy elite secretly controlling society, a thematic staple of the Blade comix and movies. Huston's embellishment? Yes, there's a vampire group that behaves like a corporation. But there are other groups, too. Vampire bikers. Vampire monks. Vampire mafia. He even gives us a collection of leftist vampire radicals, who provide some of book's funniest scenes and dialog. Or take Richard Matheson's notion that vampirism is caused by a virus. Matheson never speculated about whether this virus could be transmitted in ways other than biting. Huston does, and his answer is the cause of Joe's lady trouble.

But all of this is trivia for horror nuts like me.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By R. Boisclair on January 22, 2006
Format: Paperback
I have long held a theory that the more a book makes me think, the better and more satisfying it is to me the reader. We all have favorite books, characters and stories. As I have grown older my tastes have changed drastically in most parts of my life. I have drifted to the left politically, become more sentimental, traveled the world and learned to love foods I wouldn't have fed my dog in past times. One of the things that doesn't seem to change for some reason is that books I liked and thought about and read and reread are still among my favorites. This book is destined to be one of these.

The characters are as real as any I have read before and drive the reader to "feeling" for them. Either hate or love, dislike or empathy, fear or loathing it seems that the important thing is that the reader feels for the characters and has some understanding of them. As this is a novel of Vampyrs I think it is a testament to Mr. Huston's skills as a writer. He makes the extraordinary believable and, more than that, he makes you think about the characters and story and draw parallels to life as we know it in the real world. It is a vampire novel, a hardboiled mystery and a political thriller all wrapped up in a treatise on life as a human being. Longing for the love you don't have, of dreams faded and gone, and of how our mortality has such an effect on our morality, in both positive and negative ways. He does it not by beating you over the head but by drawing out a story filled with people, who like people we know, deal with situations which polarize fellings and make us gather in cliques and gangs to avoid being alone. I look forward to more from Mr. Huston and the characters I have come to know so well.
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