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One Foot in the Grave Mass Market Paperback – April 1, 1996

4.6 out of 5 stars 47 customer reviews
Book 1 of 4 in the Halflife Chronicles Series

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$6.99 FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books. Only 4 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

UNFORTUNATELY, THEY BELIEVE IN HIM...

Christopher Csejthe doesn't believe in vampires. Not until he becomes one. He doesn't believe in witches or werewolves, either. Not until they make him an offer he can't refuse....

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The latest book club pick from Oprah
"The Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead is a magnificent novel chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. See more

Product Details

  • Series: Baen Fantasy
  • Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Baen (April 1, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671877216
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671877217
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,866,195 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By mellion108 VINE VOICE on May 14, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I like the cover art on this paperback as well as the description of it as "Dracula meets the Godfather". I figured it would be good for some cheesy vampire action; you know, one of those books you have to read because it's so laughingly bad. I'm pleased to say I was completely wrong!

The novel begins with Chris Csejthe trying to find a cure for the mysterious disease that started to plague him shortly after the deaths of his wife and daughter. Chris, who narrates the story, then finds himself in the middle of a bizarre life-or-death situation while two powerful vampire "families" (in the mob sense) fight over him. Turns out Chris is in the middle of vampire transformation; neither human nor vampire, Chris begins an adventure of discovering who he is, testing his new powers, and solving the mystery of the tragedy that took the people he loved. Along the way he meets Dr. Mooncloud, Bassarab, Lupe, Suki, Elizabeth, and a whole slew of other-worldly creatures such as elves, goblins, dryads, nagas, knockers, sprites, and many others. All the while, he narrates the events around him with sarcastic humor, literary references and some healthy wariness. Any vampire novel that can weave an enchanting tale of an alternate history such as this while quoting Sappho, Yeats, Victor Hugo, Donne, Wordsworth, Oscar Wilde etc. deserves more recognition! Simmons has created a fascinating world filled with funny, intelligent characters. The dialogue is snappy, the plot is filled with twists and turns, the story is suspenseful, and the book itself is impossible to put down. I am so pleasantly surprised by this novel, and I sincerely hope that Simmons will revisit these characters and give us a sequel!
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
OK, I am a sucker for good dialog. I love puns. I love snappy comebacks. And this book is loaded with them. That's the good news. The bad news: the plot is thin, hard to follow. A few characters are fully fleshed out (as it were) but many are sketchy, and many are killed off before we get to know them. The motives can be confusing. Count Dracula isn't really Count Dracula, and we don't ever really find out who he is.
Nonetheless, it was so much fun to read. I kept quoting bits of the dialog to my significant other.
Some of BunRab's Standard Vampire Classification: -Series: if it is, it's the first one. -Significant genre it comes from: Fantasy/humor. -Does the vampire hold a job? Well sort of, although he loses it in the course of the book. -Do the vampires drink blood? Yes, though it can be animal instead of human. -Is drinking blood a metaphor for sex? No, although it can occur during sex. -Is there a lot of sex? Nope, and not much detail for what there is. -Are there other supernatural characters? Yup, and a few too many of them, if you ask me. Introducing umpteen different subspecies of elves was an unnecessary complication. -Is it deadly serious (pardon the pun)? Nope, I believe I've addressed that. I mean, we have vampires with library cards picking up girls at the research desk, for pete's sake. -Is it well written? Well, the dialogue is great, the plotting and resolution a little less great. But it's not hard to read, and it's acceptable for fantasy.
Incidentally, I worked for a department store credit department in a large city with lots of ethnic population, so I knew how to pronounce Csejthe right off the bat. The book finally does explain it after a bit.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I love this book. The combination of mystery, thriller, and coming of age (in an extended sense) novel works very well. The characters are interesting, the plot isn't monotonous or predictable, and the whole concept of vampirism as a virus (not totally original) is intreaguing; however, this is definately a Baen book. Like most Baen books, this one is character centered and the character "comes of age" in a sense. The dialogue and first person point of view monologue, also typical of Baen books, is lightly sarcastic, with the sarcasim takes the form of many references to the literary world (other Baen books make well researched references to music groups or historical details). Finally, there isn't too much angst. All in all, its a feel good novel w/ just enough tension for the reader to appreciate the good parts.
What is a Baen book? Baen is the publishing imprint that publishes (or used to publish) most of fantasy by the following authors: Mercedes Lackey, David Weber, Ellen Guon, and Mark Shepperd. In general, I characterize them as older adolescent or adult fun books. They tend to fit in about a PG-13 or light R rating, with just enough sex and violence to be interesting without being overwhelming.
If you like this, I recommend the following vampire books/series: Mercedes Lackey's "Children of the Night," Susan Sizemore's Laws of the Blood Bk. #1 "The Hunt," and Hays & McCalls' "The Cowboy and the Vampire"
So, why the four stars? Well, it just isn't as good as Christopher Golden's The Shadow Saga trilogy or Tanja Huff's Blood Series (both of which lean towards series R ratings or, in the case of Golden's series, towards an NC-17 rating).
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