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Bride of the Fat White Vampire Paperback – August 3, 2004


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books (August 3, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345464087
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345464088
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #488,736 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

After vampire Jules Duchon, hero of Fat White Vampire Blues [BKL Ap 15 03], lost the love of his afterlife, Maureen, he transformed himself into 187 white rats, hoping to escape his pain. Now his old cohort, Doodlebug, who desperately needs Jules' help, has tracked down and reassembled all but one rat, and the missing one contains a crucial piece of equipment. The leader of the High Krewe of Vlad Tepes, New Orleans' most exclusive vampire group, has ordered Doodlebug to track down the person responsible for maiming several younger High Krewe vampires. Motivated in part by Doodlebug's promise to try to resurrect Maureen, Jules does agree to help. The case intensifies when Jules discovers a link to the black vampire group he previously butted heads with. But the black vampires are upset by the deaths of several pastors, and it appears that someone may be targeting both groups of vampires. Fox follows up Jules' first adventure with more laugh-out-loud vampire exploits and fun. Kristine Huntley
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

ONE Rory “Doodlebug” Richelieu shivered as he walked up the dark gravel path toward the fifteen-foot-high walls surrounding the High Krewe’s compound. A vampire shouldn’t be afraid of the dark, he told himself. Yet the short walk from where a cab had let him off on Metairie Road through these gloomy woods, barely lit by a weak moon, had seriously creeped him out. He wished he’d worn a shawl. His lightweight linen dress and lace hosiery were fine for the Quarter, but here they left him feeling chilled. And the heels of his pumps sank into the gravel, nearly causing him to twist an ankle several times.

When he was ten feet from the gate, something scurried near his feet. He saw something run into the underbrush, a mouse or squirrel or maybe a small rat. Doodlebug smiled a wistful smile. The tiny mammal had made him think of Jules. As he had innumerable times during the past eight months, Doodlebug wondered how the Fates had been treating his vanished friend. He hoped with all his heart that Jules had found happiness.

The iron gates towered before him like the entrance to one of Dante’s inner circles of Hell. Doodlebug pressed the cold steel button that protruded from the marble gatepost. A disguised panel slid open, revealing a video screen. A dignified, somewhat haughty face appeared; a computer-generated image, Doodlebug realized, since the butler was himself a vampire and could not be photographed. Above him, at the top of the entrance archway, a small camera tracked his movements. All it would reveal to the viewer on the other end was a knee-length black dress, pale ivory lace hosiery, sensible black pumps, earrings, and lipstick of a modest shade of red.

“I’m Rory Richelieu,” Doodlebug said. It felt odd to call himself by his birth name; normally he went by Debbie, and whenever he’d returned to New Orleans to see Jules or Maureen, he’d always slipped back into his childhood nickname, Doodlebug. “I flew out from California. Georges Besthoff asked me to come.” Asked was too pale a word; demanded was more like it.

The face on screen appeared to be examining a list. “Yes. Mr. Richelieu. I’ve been told to expect you. Master Besthoff is awaiting you in the library.”

The massive iron gate swung open as smoothly and silently as silk on silk. The scent of pomegranates reached him on a cool breeze. Blood apples. High above, at the center of a cloud-dimpled sky, a half-moon illuminated stately groves and manicured gardens, all of which would appear quite at home surrounding the ancient fortress-estates of Moravia or Romania. Doodlebug had not set foot within the gates of the compound of the High Krewe of Vlad Tepes in decades. Not since 1968, just after he’d completed his thirteen years of study in Tibet, when he’d been planning to leave New Orleans for California to establish his Institute of Higher Alpha-Consciousness.

As grand and beautiful as this walled assemblage of mansions and gardens was, he’d never felt any fondness for this place. Most of the vampires here were far older than he was, immigrants from Eastern Europe, one of the cultural hearts of world vampirism, and had amassed their impressive fortunes over hundreds of years. The wisdom of their collective centuries had not brought them enlightenment, as it had to Doodlebug’s Tibetan monk teachers; instead, it had taught them to pursue their own narrow interests with scientific precision. As a fledgling vampire, he’d considered himself a catfish among tiger sharks in his dealings with the masters of this place. He’d always suspected they’d granted their support to his California project only because they’d judged him to be an interesting, potentially useful freak.

Doodlebug hadn’t heard a peep from the High Krewe’s masters in a quarter century. What did they want with him now? Besthoff certainly hadn’t ordered him to fly across the continent for a social call. He had been infuriatingly evasive in his communiqués, as he always was. But he’d left no doubt that he was willing to pound the stake through Doodlebug’s most precious aspirations if Doodlebug failed to comply.

Doodlebug walked briskly past fountains illuminated with beams of green, red, and white, the colors of the old Hungarian monarchy. He sensed an unfamiliar dampness under his smooth arms, despite the chill in the air; he was thankful that he’d chosen to wear black. Apprehensive as he was about the nature of his mysterious task, he was eager to get the undoubtedly sordid business over with as quickly as possible.

He climbed the broad marble stairs that led to the compound’s central building, an Italianate mansion easily twice as large as the grandest home on St. Charles Avenue. Twin twelve-foot-high doors opened soundlessly before he could knock.

“Mr. Richelieu. Welcome. It is a pleasure to see you again after all these years.”

The sentiment sounded as sincere as a local politician’s promises to fix the potholes. Doodlebug stared up at the long, sallow face of Straussman the butler. He was even haughtier and more austere than his computer-generated image; Doodlebug, an avid fan of the films of the forties, thought Straussman made Erich von Stroheim look like Lou Costello. Nevertheless, he smiled and answered Straussman’s stiff bow with a polite curtsy.

“Thank you, Straussman. The years have been good to you.”

“You are too kind, sir.”

Straussman closed the doors, polished oak eight-inches thick, with little discernible effort. “Please allow me to escort you to the library.”

They left the entrance foyer and entered a tall, wide hallway decorated with tapestries large enough to cloak elephants. Doodlebug remembered these tapestries well. Each depicted a victory of King Vlad Tepes over the marauding Turks, who were portrayed as beasts with barely human features. The largest of the tapestries showed Vlad Tepes holding court in front of a panorama of severed Turkish heads impaled on tall wooden spikes.

Just before they reached the library, Straussman paused and turned back toward Doodlebug. “We have been experiencing unsettled times within our household,” he said in a low voice, almost a whisper. Doodlebug detected a slight change in his normally imperturbable face, a hint of what might almost pass for concern. “The young masters . . .” His voice trailed off. It was fascinating and unsettling to watch Straussman struggle for words. “I do hope, sir, that you will be able to assist Master Besthoff in bringing certain matters to a satisfactory close. Bringing certain . . . foul parties to the justice they richly deserve.”

Then he turned away again, and Doodlebug watched him straighten his neck and torso to their habitual lacquered stiffness before he opened the doors of the library. “Master Besthoff,” he said, “if you would kindly forgive the intrusion, I have the pleasure of presenting Mr. Rory Richelieu.”

“Thank you, Straussman,” a deep, fine-grained voice, tinged slightly with a Rumanian accent, answered. “You may show him in.”

Doodlebug hurriedly smoothed the wrinkles from his dress and entered the library. Of all the compound’s hundreds of rooms, this was the one that had always fascinated him the most. He was greeted by a seductive perfume of polished teak and aged paper. His mouth fell open as he craned his neck to take in the thousands of volumes, most of them more than a century old. The inhabitants of this compound had millions of empty hours to fill, particularly since they had “advanced beyond the primitive hunting and gathering stage,” to use Besthoff’s memorable phrase. What better place to spend some of those millions of hours than this cathedral of literature, open all night long?

However, apart from Doodlebug and Straussman, who hovered near the entrance in readiness for additional tasks, the library held only one occupant. Georges Besthoff sat in a high-backed, gilded Queen Anne chair beside a tall Tiffany lamp and a coffee table decorated with the wings and clawed feet of a gryphon. He was as tall as Straussman, but far broader through the chest. Untold centuries in age, he didn’t appear any older than his midforties, with only an occasional strand of silver flashing within the midnight blackness of his immaculately groomed hair. His eyes were coals that had been compressed by unnatural gravity into onyx diamonds, glowering with negative light.

Doodlebug frowned slightly as he remembered how Besthoff and the others had built their fortunes in Europe. Among the oldest of that region’s vampires, they had gradually seduced many of the neighboring noble families into the blood-sucking fraternity, convincing them to leave one aristocracy for another; then they had taken advantage of the nouveau vampires’ junior status to appropriate portions of their holdings. If it hadn’t been for the antiroyal revolutions of 1848, Besthoff, Katz, and Krauss would never have left the enriching embrace of their ancestral lands for New Orleans.

Besthoff’s smile was well rehearsed, the practiced smile of a diplomat from the age of dynastic empires. “Mr. Richelieu,” he said, gesturing for him to sit in the chair on the far side of the gryphon table, “I believe the last time you visited us, that Texan excrescence, Lyndon Johnson, was still in the White House. It has been too long.” He looked Doodlebug over with a coolly appraising glance, his eyes lingering on the swellings of his guest’s hips and bustline. “I see that you have honed your talents considerably since the last time we met. Were I ignorant of your natural sex, I would be most aroused by your display of lush, young femininity.”

Doodlebug felt hot blood rush into his face. It wasn’t a sensation h...

More About the Author

Andrew Fox was born in Miami Beach in 1964. His first novel, Fat White Vampire Blues, published by Ballantine Books in 2003, was widely described as "Anne Rice meets A Confederacy of Dunces." It won the Ruthven Award for Best Vampire Fiction of 2003. Its sequel, Bride of the Fat White Vampire, was published in 2004. His third novel, The Good Humor Man, or, Calorie 3501, was published by Tachyon Publications in April, 2009. It was selected by Booklist as one of the Ten Best SF/Fantasy Novels of the Year and was first runner up for the Darrell Award, presented for best SF or fantasy novel written by a Mid-South author or set in the Mid-South. In 2006, he was one of the three winners of the Moment Magazine-Karma Foundation Short Fiction Award for his story, "Raoul Wallenberg in Space."

His newest book is Fire on Iron (Book One of Midnight's Inferno: the August Micholson Chronicles), a steampunk dark fantasy novel set aboard ironclad gunboats during the Civil War. It is published by MonstraCity Press.

Other recent projects (all soon to be available from MonstraCity Press) include: The Bad Luck Spirits' Social Aid and Pleasure Club, a fantasy novel which intertwines a supernatural secret history of New Orleans with the events of the Hurricane Katrina disaster and its aftermath; Ghostlands, an alternate history science-fantasy novel set in a world where the past refuses to remain buried; and The End of Daze, a theological/political fantasy-satire about the return of the Old Testament God to Earth.

Andrew's earliest exposure to the fantastic was watching the epic Japanese horror flick Destroy All Monsters at the age of three in the back of his parents' convertible at a drive-in. In 1994, he joined award-winning science fiction author George Alec Effinger's monthly writing workshop group in New Orleans. In 2003, Andrew married Dara Levinson; they now have three sons, Levi, Asher, and Judah. In 2009, he relocated his family to Northern Virginia so that he could take a job with the Department of Homeland Security, after having worked many years for the Louisiana Office of Public Health and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. He has also worked for Sagamore Children's Psychiatric Center in Long Island, taught musical theater and improv to children, overseen student programming at the New Orleans Hillel Foundation, and sold Saturn cars and trucks.

Andrew Fox's website and blog can be found at:
www.fantasticalandrewfox.com

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Henry W. Wagner VINE VOICE on October 22, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Revisiting the locale and characters that made his first novel, FAT WHITE VAMPIRE BLUES so memorable, Andrew Fox conjures an even more intriguing adventure for his corpulent bloodsucker, Jules Duchon. This time out, Jules is bullied by the vampire elders of New Orleans (known as the "High Krewe of Vlad Tepes") into investigating a series of attacks against their clan, serial dismemberings that have left the unfortunate immortals comatose, sans various appendages. To expose this new evil, Jules must team with long time allies (Doodlebug Richelieu, his transsexual protégé), bitter enemies (Preston, a member of his nemesis' Malice X's posse), and new friends (rat expert and transplanted Californian, Daphne Petruko). Complicating matters, Jules continues to seek a way to resurrect Maureen, his murdered vampiric paramour, even as he pursues his unorthodox investigation.

Fox trods familiar territory in BRIDE; indeed, much of what powered the first novel (mainly Fox's sense of place, and his affection for his cast) drives the second. But in BRIDE, readers find themselves in the hands of a more experienced, more confident storyteller, one who writes with considerably more assurance and panache. Striking a delicate balance between horror, humor, and pathos, Fox takes his fat white vampire on a rollicking, frightening adventure, all the while honoring, updating, and poking sly fun at the hoariest of horror movie and mystery novel clichés. Readers will find themselves alternately laughing and shuddering, sympathizing with even the oddest of motivations Fox provides for his quirky cast. He also expertly toys with his audience's expectations.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By L. Smith on August 3, 2004
Format: Paperback
Jules Duchon, the 450 pound vampire who went ratty at the end of "Fat White Vampire Blues," pulls himself together (mostly) for a new set of hilarious adventures in this book. Sherlock Holmes he ain't, but in this novel he does start to resemble Columbo and Clouseau rolled into one.

Will Jules be able to figure out who is mutilating the younger members of the High Krewe? Will he be able to avoid the black vampires who gave him so much trouble in the first book? Will Jules ever find another car he can fit into comfortably? Will Doodlebug be able to help Jules resurrect his lost love, Maureen? Will Jules be reunited with his missing body part in time for the wedding night (if there is one)?

Those questions, and many more, are answered in this multi-layered and highly amusing story. Fox has really outdone himself this time. I hope we'll be seeing more of Jules in the future.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By KatPanama on October 19, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm a nobody but I loved this book and Fox's earlier tome. This one's a mighty tasty outre novel about contemporary vampires in New Orleans. And, thank whatever gods may be, there's nothing Anne Rice about them. Delicious and savory but be warned this is a sequel and you absolutely first must read Fox' Fat White Vampire Blues.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on August 3, 2004
Format: Paperback
In New Orleans, the High Krewe of Vlad Tepes commands Doodlebug Richelieu to appear before them. They stun him when they show him two comatose female vampires; one without her arms and the other without her legs. The Krewe wants the killer stopped so they order Doodlebug to find vampire Jules Duchon who has the ability to locate and kill the rogue. The only problem is that Doodlebug knows that Jules was transformed at his own request into 187 rats because he wanted to forget that his beloved Maureen was staked.

With the help of his human assistant Daphne and 186 rats, Doodlebug transforms the rodents into Jules minus the sex organs (something had to give). Daphne searches for the head rat while Doodlebug tries to convert the ashes of Maureen back into a vampire. Jules agrees top assist the Krewe in finding a bloodthirsty killer.

The undead of BRIDE OF THE FAT WHITE VAMPIRE have little in common with the typical creature of the night that frequent horror movies and novels as this Krewe is campy and frequently withdraw from blood banks. The mystery is terrific as the vampires lack sleuthing skills and need Jules' expertise. Still this tale belongs to the quarter ton Jules, whose lack of sex organs apparently cost much of his vampiric skills so he bluffs human and bloodsucker alike. Andrew Fox brings cyberpunk to his cutting edge horror who-done-it that will keep readers wondering, laughing, and rooting for Jules who just keeps asking Y.

Harriet Klausner
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Krypton Knight on August 12, 2004
Format: Paperback
Read the first book "FAT WHITE VAMPIRE BLUES"? No? Shame on you and go read it then get "BRIDE OF THE FAT WHITE VAMPIRE". You did read it? Exxxcellent. This second entry in Jules Duchon universe is just as angaging and entertaining as the first.

Jules is back bigger and better than ever...well, except for one minor detail (read the book, you'll know what I'm talking about). Trying to regain his true love Maureen, Jules gets tangled up in a "whodunnit". Someone is mutilating vampires in New Orleans and it's up to Jules to find out who, and why.

The story really pulls you in with all the sub-plots. And with a few twists and turns thrown in you'll be up all night with a pot of chicory coffee (Jules' favorite) wanting to finish the book.
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