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Habeas Corpses Hardcover – November 1, 2005

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Baen; First Edition edition (November 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416509135
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416509134
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.5 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,156,480 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Wm. Mark Simmons is the author of six novels; his first, In The Net of Dreams, was a finalist for the Compton Crook Award and made the Locus "Best" list in 1991. For Baen, he inaugurated a new fantasy series, which began with One Foot in the Grave, followed by Dead on My Feet, and now by Habeas Corpses. Simmons has worked as a teacher, actor, director, musician, and entertainer, hosting his own shows on both television and radio while winning awards as a journalist and copywriter. He currently manages a public radio station in Louisiana and hosts a classical music program. --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

The wit,humor,horror,romance and detaled plot.
Jason L. Chapman
The third book in the Half Life series is the best yet.
Roger Ross
It makes me look forward to more books in this series.
K. Maxwell

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Dennis E. Smirl on November 12, 2005
Format: Hardcover
The headline isn't mine. It belongs to page 228 of one of the funniest, strangest, and scariest books I've read in a long time. With "Habeas Corpses", Wm. Mark Simmons extends the run of Chris Csejthe, a half-finished vampire who also has other problems - things like a touch of demon blood in his veins, a smattering of dissolved silver in his body, a fiance who just happens to be a werewolf, and a neighboring graveyard in which the dead come to life at night and want to borrow his books. Add to that the growing knowledge - among all the 'wrong people', of course - that his blood contains a rujuvenating factor - perhaps even an immortality factor - and you have a novel in which the hero spends a lot more time being chased by the bad guys than the other way around.

Even more interesting than a marvelously contorted plot line, a cast of characters that would make most horror moviemakers pull their hair with envy, and a plethora of puns that can only be described as ranging from the good through the bad to the ugly, Simmons overlays the story with a philosophy of life - and death - that finally becomes downright frightening.

"Habeas Corpses" is the third novel in a series that gets better with each iteration, and should provide several hours of prime-time entertainment to anyone who enjoys an inspired mix of fantasy and science fiction.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Marc Ruby™ HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on September 1, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
William Simmons first book in this series was a very successful parody of the vampire genre. Christopher Csejthe, reeling from the loss of his wife and child winds up in the clutches of a well-meaning vampire with the end result that he is half way to being a vampire himself - a vampire notwannabe if you will. In the ensuing stories Chris gets infected by a werewolf bite (making him a dhampyre notwannabe). When he manages to do away with Erzebet Bathory, the master of New York, Chris has only one choice - to take over the rule of the city before someone kills him for it. Ever hapless, he decides he knows better and, to put it plainly, runs away to Louisiana.

As you can probably predict, living a creaky old house by a zombie filled graveyard with your werewolf girlfriend and a drop dead gorgeous recovering vampire is not conducive to long-term peace. In no time at all Csejthe is receiving living body parts in the mail and unexpected visits by giant cyborgs intent on remodeling the neighborhood. Bad things happen to good people and Chris is off to New York to face the responsibilities he has been hiding from. But vampire politics aside Chris also discovers that a group of revenant Nazi's are determined to use his blood in their quest for eternal life. Enter Dr. Mengele and the valkyries.

I'm going to get beaten up for this but I found Simmons writing more irritating than funny this time around. I don't want you to get the impression that I like being sarcastically critical. I would much rather get sucked into a great book and write gushingly enthusiastic reviews. But what was a good thing in a thin volume wears less well when the author remains determined to write exactly one kind of book time after time. The books, of course, getting heavier and more expensive.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By K. Maxwell on November 23, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Chris Cséjthe is now Doman of the New York vampire enclave. However, his problems are far from over as repeated assassination attempts show. When one attempt is successful enough to part Chris's spirit from his body he learns more about his own abilities and the afterlife than he ever bargained for. He also finds out that not all the horrors in the world are birthed from normal "monsters" or have fangs attached.

This has been an enjoyable third outing of Chris's half life adventures. The story has some unexpected twists and turns. Chris's character also grows and learns and the story is chock full of pop culture references, puns and literary quotes. It makes me look forward to more books in this series. For a reasonably light hearted, semi-vampire novel with a likeable central character these books are worth picking up for a read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Austenparker VINE VOICE on September 14, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Simmons' third foray into the satirical fantasy genre beats out its predecessor in terms of staying on point, plot-wise, and not being eye-rolling-ly inappropriate in the timing of the protagonist's erudition. However, the first book of this series stands out as the best of the bunch.

If you want something more cerebral than bodice-ripping, this series is definitely the way to go. However, be forewarned that Simmons' editor seems to have taken a hiatus, given the success of the first book, witnessed by the increasing girth of each ensuing entry. While it's a plus that the author has done his research, it's definitely a minus for the author to beat his readers over the the head with the painful minutiae of all he has gleaned. Seriously, sometimes less is more. (Or even "brevity is the soul of wit", to throw one back at the quote-happy author.) A more experienced writer would, perhaps, have dropped in an illusion to the mythological framework upon which he was embroidering, rather than giving us all the specs which accompany it. (If we're that curious, we'll look it up ourselves.)

And, yes, I _do_ understand the gag of inappropriately timed discourses on philosophical topics - but, you've done it before. Let it die, even if the protagonist is seemingly unkillable. Some things just need to be laid to rest.

All-in-all, not the worst book I've ever read, but it definitely tried my patience at points and challenged my OCD need to finish things. The author would have done better to have chosen one clean plot and stuck to it, rather than rambling all over the cultural and historical landscape in order to show off the author's own accumulated treasure-trove of knowledge.
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