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Vamped: A Novel Hardcover – July 27, 2004

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Free Press (July 27, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743262530
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743262538
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,343,038 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Set in an alternate world where vampires are in charge and humans nearly extinct, Sosnowski's (Rapture) mildly diverting novel will appeal more to mainstream readers than horror aficionados. Undead Martin Kowalski, killing time at strip clubs and surviving, like all vampires, off blood derived from stem cells, is considering suicide when he encounters a six-year-old human girl, Isuzu Trooper Cassidy. She and her recently killed mother were escapees from a hunting preserve. Unwilling to vamp her (child vampires, aka "screamers," tend to be disturbed individuals), Martin opts instead to provide a good home for the child until she attains adulthood. The author offers both distraction and food for thought, bestowing endless tidbits, inventive explanations and intriguing tangents (why vampires love laser tag; what's involved with air travel when it comes to an all-vampire passenger list and crew) as he fleshes out an otherwise simple, straightforward narrative. Most of the work's broader concepts, unfortunately, are in the hidebound, daylight-avoiding tradition. While it's nice to find out fun facts such as when vampire lunchtime takes place (midnight), the plot is pretty unlikely even in context and the characters essentially one-dimensional. The field of vampire fiction is well-trodden ground, and Sosnowski's tracks leave little lasting impression.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

In the 100-odd years since Martin Kowalski became a vampire during World War II, vampires have become the majority of the world's population, in part because of Martin's own efforts to help depressed and dying people by turning them into vampires. Now, regular humans are so rare that most are raised on farms. Martin doesn't have much going for him until the day he discovers six-year-old Isuzu Trooper Cassidy fleeing the vampires who killed her mother. Martin takes her in, at first intending that she be a delightful snack. But the little girl quickly grows on him, and he finds himself longing for her laughter more than her blood. As he grows into the role of unlikely parent, his worries increase exponentially. What if bloodthirsty neighbors discover he is harboring Isuzu? What if she gets sick? And what happens when she grows up and falls in love . . . with a vampire? Sosnowski's easy mixture of warmth and humor makes for a winning, original tale about love in the unlikeliest of worlds. Kristine Huntley
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Wayne Klein HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 22, 2004
Format: Hardcover
David Sosnowski's VAMPED takes a twisted view of the vampire novel. What if humanity were an endangered species on a world where everyone has been turned into vampires? What sort of world would the vampires make? Ironically enough, it's not all that different from ours. Marty one of the vampires that "flipped" the world by systematically recruiting more and more mortals into the world of the undead lives in a world where everyone works the graveyard shift. Strip clubs are still popular and the most popular drink is, well, blood on tap.

One night a little mortal girl named Isuzu escapes from a farm where they breed humans illegally for the black market. She and her mother have been hiding out in the woods. Marty discovers Isuzu alone and scared. His world has turned into one of sweet ennui. He decides what he's really missing is the thrill of the hunt of the kill. But something changes his mind and instead of killing the little girl, he adopts her. Not an easy thing to do when your neighbors would want to rip out her little throat if they discovered her. Suddenly, Marty gets thrust into the world of parenthood and must deal with all the issues of a father...that and being undead.

Well written with wit and more than a touch of satire and darkness, Sosnowski's novel takes the premise of Richard Matheson's THE LAST MAN ON EARTH, twists it and turns it inside out combining it with a touch of Anne Rice and Stoker to create a well thought out comic look at our world as seen through the eyes of the undead. Sosnowski deals with a number of uncomfortable themes in the book once removed because it isn't our world at all but a parallel Earth where vampires rule the world and even have their own vamped pets.

This novel isn't for everyone.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Doctor LongGhost on July 28, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Successfully treading a fine line between heartfelt and hardboiled, Vamped starts out by throwing so many fascinating ideas at the reader that you'll want to slow down just to take it all in. And it doesn't let up until you reach the last page.

Sure, it's all about vampires, but these bloodsuckers aren't the kind you'll find in Anne Rice books. Instead, they're jaw-droppingly ordinary, engaging in nostalgia trips, petty jealousies, tentative friendships-even selfless gallantry. Sosnowski throws in virtually all of the vampire "rules and regulations," but he updates every one of them, making Vamped seem comfortably familiar and impressively innovative at the same time. In this way, he manages to do the impossible: redefine the "vampire genre" without being cute, coy or clever. Sosnowski seems to have a great respect for all the vampire traditions that have come before, but that doesn't mean he has to follow in them.

Readers familiar with Sosnowski's previous book, Rapture, will find a great leap forward in terms of style and character. Good as the previous novel was, it often seemed to rely too heavily on its central metaphor (i.e., a virus that causes about a third of the population to sprout wings). Like the angel metaphor in Rapture, the vampire metaphor in Vamped is strong. The thing is: the characters are so well drawn and the situations so realistic, the novel would work well even without the vampire element.

This is a book you'll read for pure entertainment the first time through, and you'll probably read it too fast, Sosnowski's style is so engaging. When you go back and read it again, you'll find a completely different book, one that's even better than the one you remember.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Countess Chocula on September 7, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I liked this book a lot, and I'm a fan of a wide range of vampire fiction, from the silly to the serious. That said, this is probably one you could wait for the paperback for.

Vamped tells the story of disillusioned and bored vampire Marty, who's decided it's time to join the really, really dead. On his way to death a la reckless driving, he comes across the improbably named 6-yr. old Isuzu Trooper, who's just witnessed Mom getting turned into Vamp Snacks.

So in a world where the vampires outnumber the humans badly enough that Spaghetti-O's are repacked as lemur food and human children are an expensive delicacy, of course Marty is going to take little Isuzu under his batwing and plump her up. And of course little Isuzu is precocious, intelligent and tasty-looking, setting up a whole book's worth of Marty's internal give and take about what constitutes family vs. what dinner is.

The ensuing hijinks (skating in Alaska where even the dead make puffy breaths in the cold) are funny and sweet and Marty is mostly cute as he comes to have fatherly feelings for Isuzu. The real fun in this book is in the daily details (like why vamps have pets, eBay business in Count Chocula is booming and the workings of the BBQ).

The drawbacks of this book are that we don't really get to know Isuzu much, since the book is told from the rather scattered and careless perspective of Marty. This is chick lit without the chick. Huge, huge passages of time are skipped, with Isuzu suddenly aging quite rapidly here and there.
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