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Thirsty Paperback – March 3, 1997

3.7 out of 5 stars 81 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

"Chris finds his teenage lusts becoming the thirst of the undead. Horror fans will find this vampire novel a bloody cut above the usual fare," said PW. Ages 14-up.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Grade 7 Up. Chris has problems?bickering, divorce-bound parents; a domineering older brother; his best friends becoming estranged. Overshadowing everything is the fact that Chris, while churning in adolescent hormonal changes, is becoming a vampire. The good people of his Massachusetts town are almost inured to the murders committed by vampires. Yet violent mobs shortcut justice with stake-through-the-heart lynchings. As Chris's blood lust grows, he's increasingly challenged to hide his transformation. "Chet," claiming to be an avatar of the Forces of Light, offers to reverse Chris's vampirism in exchange for his help in keeping the Vampire Lord imprisoned beneath the local reservoir. The teen agrees and does the deed, then spirals into self-doubt. Has he done the right thing? Who can he trust? If he reveals himself, will his family and friends betray him, kill him? Dark humor runs rampant. The invitation to a vampire gathering is a hoot ("drinks at 12:00"), and the imprisoned "dark god" rages amid the static of late night TV. Sexy Lolli, a vampire vixen, urges Chris to "come out of the coffin." Chris pays the price of making commitments without understanding the consequences. He struggles to the end to stay human and do the right thing, remaining a veritable vampire virgin, inevitably doomed to choose death either by starvation or biological destiny. Entertaining, disturbing, memorable, and sophisticated, this mortality tale will continue to haunt after the last pages are turned.?Joel Shoemaker, Southeast Jr. High School, Iowa City, IA
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Candlewick; 1 edition (March 3, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0763600482
  • ISBN-13: 978-0763600488
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.8 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (81 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,507,525 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I was amazed at this powerful story of a young man confronting forces so far beyond his control that every plan he makes, every instinct he has absorbed from the horror movies that he and his friends constantly discussed prove to be woefully inadequate. _Thirsty_ is an amazingly example of a genre writing against itself.
On tap of that, I liked the tone of Anderson's first-person narrator -- sarcastic, confused, but also shy. He's a 15- or 16-year-old guy trying to figure out how the world works -- and if that weren't enoough, he's beginning to suspect he's a vampire and a pawn in a mysterious battle between the Forces of Light and Dark.
I'm going to read everything M.T. Anderson writes for the rest of my life.
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Format: Paperback
I thought those words would never leave my lips (or fingertips), but it does seem that many people who gave negative reviews for this book were missing the entire point, at least as I understand it. It even says in the back of the book that the author wanted to write about how someone can struggle "with the isolation of wanting to do the right thing when there was no right thing to do." The hopelessness of the novel at the end was intentional. There are not always concrete conclusions, let alone HAPPY concrete conclusions. In life, there are no definite beginnings and ends, except for birth and death of course. And that would be a long book. So if it ends on a kind of "well, what now?" note, it's all the more realistic.

The writing style I think is more a matter of aesthetic than anything. I didn't really like it the first time I read it, but it grew on me.

As for Chris, and his personality, it's actually pretty realistic. If I look objectively, I can see a lot of myself in him. Especially me a few years ago when I was his age. For the guy who said he was swept away by other people's actions and never did anything, well, he actually mentions that IN THE NARRATION. That was intentional, too. How many teenagers do you know that actually take charge of their life? I certainly didn't.

And the people who are complaining about vampires being a fact of life, come on man, it's an allegory!

So, ok, this book isn't for everyone, I guess. But before you criticize it, make sure that you're not missing the point.

Then again, maybe I don't know what the hell I'm talking about. In which case, just ignore me.
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Format: Paperback
"It is said that the spirit Tch'muchgar in prehistoric times ravaged the land with an army of darkness, and that his dominion extended over the whole expanse of mountain and forest now covered by the 508 and 413 area codes."

I start with this quote from Thirsty because I think it serves as a good litmus test to determine whether you will like the book or hate it.

If you are entertained by that sentence's juxtaposition of ancient and modern mentalities, I think you'll enjoy this novel's deadpan humor. You will appreciate that M. T. Anderson is taking risks--with style, voice, and setting. You'll probably love his oddly hyperrealistic portrayal of vampires as a banal feature of suburban life ("My father claims we have them this year because it was a mild winter, but he may be thinking of tent caterpillars").

On the other hand, if that sentence leaves you cold, I'm afraid...well, I'll be tactful and say you're not the target audience. Now I'll be untactful and speak my mind: you might be one of those one-star reviewers who just don't get it. Tactful Me would say that this book isn't for everyone. Untactful Me says, if your standard of good fantasy writing is Twilight, you might not be capable of enjoying what this book has to offer. As evidence, may I direct your attention to reviewer James N Simpson, whom you'll find down in the one-star reviews, throwing a tantrum over the lynchings portrayed in the book: "We all know vampire executions don't happen in the USA today." Sir...Please. Don't. Read. Any. More. Fantasy. OK?

If you do like imaginative, original, well-written, well-characterized, intelligent YA fantasy, I urge you to read a sample of Thirsty. You will quickly know which camp you fall into.
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By A Customer on January 10, 1999
Format: Paperback
With biting humor, this first-time author offers readers a cynical look at the onset of vampirism coupled with adolescent angst. Chris struggles with a crush, his annoying brother, and his parents' failing marriage. But all of that seems important -- not when the fate of the universe appears to be at stake. A very Buffy-The-Vampire-Esque horror comedy for the slightly darker, simply smarter side of the YA crowd.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I really, really wanted to like this book. I did.. it takes place in the general Western Massachusetts area, near a reservoir I assume is based on the famous Quabbin (the reservoir that replaced towns... the very same one as in the film, "In Dreams"). Unfortunately, I found this book tended to fall a bitflat. I almost feel guilty for giving it just a fair rating, but there were just some things about the book I just didn't like.
-Anderson doesn't use a lot of contractions, and thus the dialogue sounds oddly stilted, especially when you consider it's teens talking.
-Though this book was published in 1997, it would seem as if it had been sitting around a while, or else Anderson has no idea what contemporary teens are like. He rather unfairly stereotypes several background characters as speaking like the great Valley Girl craze of the 80's. In fact, this book almost seems like it's from the 80's.
-At the end, we are suddenly given a second point of view of the vampires,and how they too are oppressed and murdered through hatred. By then, it's far too late. We had just spent the past couple hundred pages witnessing vampires eating flesh and people (most notably in one of the most stomach churning scenes at a vampire church banquet), as well as hearing reports of innocents being slaughtered AND knowing that the vampires worship an evil demon lord. This is hardly the point in the book to try and gain our sympathy, it's just too late.
This is not to say the author lacks potential. Anderson looks to be a very exciting talent, and I do own a copy of Burger Wuss that I am looking forward to reading. The imagination and the story are here, but the execution was a bit flawed, and I never felt drawn into the book or a part of the action. I just felt like I was watching everything happen through a smudged and dirty window.
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