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The Book of Common Dread Paperback – September, 1994


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 328 pages
  • Publisher: St Martins Mass Market Paper; Reprint edition (September 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312953593
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312953591
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.9 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,754,756 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A young rare-books curator confronts a vampire posing as a Princeton professor.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews

A vampire at Princeton! Do you long for a horror novel full of bookish but lively, intelligent people (no thuggish middlebrows!), and a piano-playing, 500-year-old vampire whose great earthly love is for Bach and a classically beautiful (let's say ideally erotic) woman--a vampire who is himself only semimortal (a once-a-week bloodsucker who nonetheless fearlessly wolfs down richly marbled cheeseburgers with deep-fat fried potatoes drowned in ketchup while pitying the early death of others seated about him in an arterially disastrous restaurant), yes, a gent with a gusto for dead languages whose great herbal remedies knock out flu viruses and open your nasal passages so you can float into a good night's sleep and who doesn't believe in talking with the dead, though he fakes it expertly for a living, and so on? Well, after a slippery, slightly banal opening, Monahan (DeathBite, 1979--not reviewed) finds his footing and goes the distance like a seasoned aerialist. Under orders from Below, Vincent DeVilbiss's mission is to take out peacemakers and folks who might lessen the hell of earthly life. What better place than the Princeton think-tank? He sets himself up there as a psychic in residence, since even a superstrong vampire who can bound like a leopard has to earn his bread. When Frederika Vanderveen, a beautiful man-eater who lives alone in her late father's big house, comes to DeVilbiss for help in making peace with dad, DeVilbiss pretends that it can be done but that she'll have to pay him by getting him access to an ancient leather manuscript in the highly protected Rare Manuscripts room. The manuscript has dangerous necromancy written on it that the Bad Guy wants burnt. Luckily, Frederika has just taken in young Simon Penn, a rare-books curator, and goes to work on him. But Simon has a brain of his own and seeks her release from psychic disorder while Vincent prepares her for...hmm, long life. Enrapting! -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Brent teaches Novel and Screenwriting at Rutgers University. His fiction falls into the Supernatural Thriller and Historical Murder Mystery sub-genres. see www.brentmonahan.com for detailed information and for contact.

Customer Reviews

The characters are varied and great.
Calix Vincent
I appreciate the fact that you said it was a used copy and the cover torn yadda yadda yadda.... It was actually better than I expected it to be.
ferfer1
This book is one of the most original vampire novels that I've read in a long time.
Francesca Sanders

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By "gordonis" on February 8, 2001
Format: Paperback
I have to disagree with some of the other reviewrs of this book who may have found it less than pleasing. Monahan gives us a fresh view on the common vampiric myth and brings it up to a modern level. I found it to be more light-hearted than the Anne Rice series with less voluminous expounding on virtue, feelings and setting. Monahan has delivered a work that tantilizes with just enough background to make it interesting and believable yet leave the reader wanting more (which can be found in the sequel).
This book is not for those seeking the lengthy ramblings of Anne Rice whom I found boring at many times. It is more action oriented and focuses on mystery.
The plot has to do with demonic forces wishing to destroy a certain set of ancient scrolls which could be their undoing. The vehicle of these forces is a vampire. The main character (Simon) is set to stop the destruction of the scrolls and kill the vampire, until....
You'll just have to read it yourself to find out what goes on!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Minh D. on November 15, 2002
Format: Paperback
I absolutely recommend the book THE BOOK OF COMMON DREAD by Brent Monahan. This book was very exciting and it kept me engrossed in the plot up until the very last page. The book was well written and the concepts were amazing. Overall, the book was very enjoyable. On a scale of 1 to 10, I would rate this book a 9. The author, Brent Monahan, thought of things that most people would never think of. The concept of the book is not new, but he gives the authors of the vampire genre something to strive for. Brent Monahan has "raised the bar" on the vampire novel. The characters were both appealing and intriguing, and the plot really sucks you in. For example, in the prologue alone, a number of people suffer extremely violent deaths. Before the end of the book several more people are violently murdered. For the history buffs out there, there is also a bit of history intertwined into the story line. For example, the main character, Vincent DeVilbiss, was born in 1464 in Europe. If you like mysteries and new twists every couple of chapters you will enjoy reading THE BOOK OF COMMON DREAD by Brent Monahan.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Gray on August 12, 2000
Format: Paperback
I had not planned to write a review of this book, but I noticed that the posted reviews from other readers were very negative. What can I say? I liked it. I don't mind vampires who can take sunlight. I don't mind sexual content. I don't mind vampires who don't fit the traditional mold. I found this book enjoyable.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Voracious on June 13, 2005
Format: Paperback
Can you really believe in the classic vampire, the creature who lives only to extract blood and perhaps, in the sexy vampire novels, to inject a bit of his own fluids? Who would want to live for eternity in a coffin filled with dirt, able to rise only when the sun is down? And was Rice's explanation of the origin of vampires unsatisfactory?

Try Monahan's take on it, in The Book of Common Dread. It is quite a novel novel in the supernatural thriller genre. Other than his highly original vampire, his characters are the usual stock ones, but the action rolls on and on, the situations are uniquely believable, and he even manages to inject dry humor. This would make a heck of a motion picture. So would its sequel.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Calix Vincent on August 28, 2005
Format: Paperback
I loved this book and its sequel, The Blood of the Covenant. It plays like a film in your mind, and is not your average, stereotypical vampire novel. If you want that, go with Anne Rice. If not, pick this book up and give it a read.

The characters are varied and great. The story stays on target, and is a lot more than your everyday vampire tale. All I can say is that it's a terrific contemporary vampire novel, and will remain one of my favorites.

Once again, I have to thank Monahan for giving readers something rare: an original vampire novel!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Minh D. on November 15, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I absolutely recommend the book THE BOOK OF COMMON DREAD by Brent Monahan. This book was very exciting and it kept me engrossed in the plot up until the very last page. The book was well written and the concepts were amazing. Overall, the book was very enjoyable. On a scale of 1 to 10, I would rate this book a 9. The author, Brent Monahan, thought of things that most people would never think of. The concept of the book is not new, but he gives the authors of the vampire genre something to strive for. Brent Monahan has "raised the bar" on the vampire novel. The characters were both appealing and intriguing, and the plot really sucks you in. For example, in the prologue alone, a number of people suffer extremely violent deaths. Before the end of the book several more people are violently murdered. For the history buffs out there, there is also a bit of history intertwined into the story line. For example, the main character, Vincent DeVilbiss, was born in 1464 in Europe. If you like mysteries and new twists every couple of chapters you will enjoy reading THE BOOK OF COMMON DREAD by Brent Monahan.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Francesca Sanders VINE VOICE on April 4, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is one of the most original vampire novels that I've read in a long time. It's spooky but told in a way that makes it almost believable. I loved the academic setting of Princeton, and I even grew to like the vampire, Vincent DeVibliss. I actually think that he was the most developed character by the end of the story.

Some of the explanation of how vampires came into existence was simplistic, but the book was still great. I couldn't put it down.
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