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Gil's All Fright Diner Mass Market Paperback – June 27, 2006


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books (June 27, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765350017
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765350015
  • Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 4.2 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (141 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #431,240 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Something Evil (that's with a capital E) is stalking Gil's All Night Diner in Martinez's terrific debut, a comic horror-fantasy novel. Heading the delightfully eccentric cast are buddies Earl (aka the Earl of Vampires) and Duke (aka the Duke of Werewolves), who are looking for a place to eat as they drive through Rockwood, a small desert community besieged by cosmically weird stuff. Soon after stopping at Gil's Diner, the pair help Loretta, the formidable owner-operator, fend off a zombie attack. Determined to do the right thing, the two supernatural misfits take on further challenges, such as trying to prevent Tammy (aka Mistress Lilith, Queen of the Night) and her loyal but dumb boyfriend, Chad, from ending the world. The fast-paced plot is full of memorable incidents (e.g., a ghost and a vampire fall in love; a Magic 8-Ball becomes a message vehicle for trapped spirits) and such wonderful observations as "this whole undead stuff sounds good on paper, but it ain't all it's cracked up to be." Fans of Douglas Adams and Joe R. Lansdale, who supplies a blurb, will happily sink their teeth into this combo platter of raunchy laughs and ectoplasmic ecstasy. (May 11)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From School Library Journal

Adult/High School–Two friends–Earl (as in the Earl of Vampires) and Duke (as in the Duke of Werewolves)–are driving along one evening when their truck runs out of gas. They wind up at an all-night diner in Rockwood, a small desert town that has a bit of a zombie problem. They help Loretta, the diner's owner/cook, fend off the zombies that are drawn to her eatery. Impressed, she asks the two to stay on and help her take care of some other supernatural problems in the town and to learn who is raising the ghouls. Duke and Earl discover that Tammy (also known as Mistress Lilith, Queen of the Night) and her loyal but dumb boyfriend are plotting to end the world in order to resurrect the old gods. Similar in style and humor to the work of Douglas Adams and Joe R. Lansdale, and Shaun of the Dead, this comic horror-fantasy is packed with warped humor and action. The characters are likable, three-dimensional, and quirky. The story is fast paced, interesting, and unpredictable. Martinez carves out a nice little bit of entertainment with surprising depth.–Erin Dennington, Fairfax County Public Library, Chantilly, VA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

A. Lee Martinez was born in El Paso, Texas. At the age of eighteen, for no apparent reason, he started writing novels. Thirteen short years (and a little over a dozen manuscripts) later, his first novel, Gil's All Fright Diner was published. Since then he has published or is about to publish five additional novels, including the forthcoming Divine Misfortune. His hobbies include juggling, games of all sorts, and astral projecting. Also, he likes to sing along with the radio when he's in the car by himself.

Customer Reviews

The characters are all unique, memorable, and very realistic.
Carla Harker
So if you're looking for a quick, fun, and darkly humorous read this is the book for you.
K. Eckert
I couldn't put the book down until I had read it from cover to cover.
KC Coker

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

51 of 54 people found the following review helpful By Dymon Enlow on April 30, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm not even sure where to begin. I picked up this book in the bookstore cause I liked the cover, opened it up and next thing I know I'm still STANDING in the aisle and I'm three chapters in. I buy the book, go home and read it straight through! I've never done that in my life (besides "The Giving Tree"), but I couldn't put it down. Who is this A. Lee Martinez? Does he have any other books?

The story is simple: two kinda friends - one a vampire, one a werewolf - agree to help the owner of an all-night diner with her zombie problem. Yea, that sounds simple, but somehow Martinez has crammed more imagination, originality, action, smiles and endearing characters in 272 pages than most writers would in 10 books or their whole career. I am truly impressed.
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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful By R. Kelly Wagner on October 1, 2005
Format: Paperback
Earl is a vampire who wears overalls; Duke the werewolf wears jeans and a leather jacket but no underwear. Duke used to be a truck driver, till he ran over a werewolf. So these are not your debonaire, suave, bow-tied and caped supernaturals. They do not drink... wine - but they sure do drink beer. In a pick-up truck.

There are so many funny bits in the book that I was constantly reading a line here, a paragraph there, aloud to my spouse.

We have old gods with far more consonants in their names than Cthulhu (and possibly even more tentacles), not only ghosts but a ghost Scottie, and of course, the zombies. We have cows and chickens, and we also have the latest edition of the Necronomicon, which includes a spell for getting a three-picture deal with any major studio.

There is despair in this diner, but it's not Edward Hopper's despair, that's for sure. Late nights in this diner are downright lively, or at least, undead-ly (though occasionally deadly - which contrast certainly points out some of the weaknesses of the English language.)

Speaking of language, I do have one nit to pick: the author almost randomly uses "you're" for "your" and vice versa; sometimes he's right, sometimes not. A good copy editor would have caught this. Either our publisher needs to hire a copy editor, or our writer needs to brush up on some grammar, because I find it very distracting, and un-funny, to bump into mistakes like this so often.

That said, I have two more words for y'all: Pig Latin.

Optional family reading alert: scattered showers of four-letter words, casual teenage sex (not graphic) and blood and gore (sometimes graphic).
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By John Sears on May 12, 2006
Format: Paperback
Gil's All Fright Diner... what can I say about this book? I know when I first cracked the covers and started wading into the introduction, I found myself reeling with the folksy dialogue and abrasively Texan characters. The book is just overflowing with what I suppose could be characterized as 'Southern Charm', but until your brain adjusts it can be pretty headache-inducing.

I'm glad I stuck with it though, as there are some genuinely interesting characters and ideas contained in this novel. As the cover-plugs indicate, this is the story of a werewolf and a vampire, traveling companions through the deeply weird American Southwest, who are eventually called upon to fight the undead hordes and apocalyptic plans of a teenage cultist determined to bring the oldest of the old gods back to the world, plunge the human race into perpetual hellish darkness, so on and so forth.

If that sounds both overly complicated and overly simple at the same time, you're getting the idea. This book is meant as a satire, as a laugh-out-loud parody of the burgeoning horror genre, a Douglas Adams for the nuevo-Lovecraftian set. You won't find a lot of actual chuckles here, though, and at times things the author thinks are clearly very witty are in fact dull and repetitive. You never get a very good look at the world these characters inhabit, and you never feel completely immersed in that world, the way you would in a Douglas Adams book, or Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman, et al. Few people can write in that league of course.

If you can get past the shallow world and sparse setting, however, you'll find some interesting characters half-hidden by the author.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Britta M. Coleman on June 20, 2005
Format: Hardcover
First, a disclaimer: I do not typically read books with red, one-eyed monsters on the front cover, however artistically rendered. In fact, I might not have read this one if my husband hadn't raced through it in two days, laughing all the way.

A. Lee Martinez has concocted a wild, ghoul-ridden ride involving teenage mistresses of the night named Tammy, a balding vampire and his best werewolf friend, and a ghost dog with the best personality since Old Yeller.

I loved it. There, I said it. I laughed out loud, shuddered through the squishy parts, and thought back to my childhood Magic 8 ball with a new sense of wonder. Read it, and you'll find out why.

One of my favorite bits: Wacky Willie's Deluxe Goofy Golf, and wacky Willie's paramount struggle to rid the thirteenth hole of bats. It's one of those pages where, still giggling, you grab a friend and say, "You have to listen to this."
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