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Vampires, Zombies, The Undead and a man with Huge Head!
on 21 November 2011
This is the latest novel from author Paul Magrs (pronounced Mars like the chocolate) and it is a little book with a big bite (sorry bad pun). It tells the story of an outbreak of vampirism, a little black book, an ancient effigy, some friends from New York and a little bookshop on the Charring Cross road with an unusual number.
Liza is the auntie of Shelly who works in the Museum of Outsider Art, Shelley is having a romantic entanglement with her boss the curator, the impossibly English Daniel. He collects old and quaint things including books. She wants to impress and to have the approval of her aunt Liza (real name Elizabeth Bathory - not too subtle) who is a book reviewer and a past hand at vamp dispatching. They have a mutual friend in Jack who is not only gay but works in a specialist book store. Well he finds the little shop in London and Liza starts getting books from them of antique lore and horrors from writers long since forgotten. After a number of successful transactions she is sent an unusual book, with an unusual smell, and worse still unusual powers. Daniel wants it, Shelley wants Daniel, Liza wants to be left alone and no one wants the odd smelling effigy of a long dead Scottish bride.
Confused, well there is no need, this is a light hearted romp through familiar territory for horror fans, but this is not that horrific at all. It made me laugh in more than one place and has a few nice takes in the Vampire front. It is driven by the action and the exchanges of the main players. It does go at a blistering pace, and there is a real sense of care about all of the characters involved, and I really enjoyed it.
Magrs has come up with a real page turner, this is not great fiction, but it is great fun, so if you like a light hearted take on the current vampire obsession, then you will not be disappointed. If you want a serious Gothic tale, then this will not be for you, fans of `The League of Gentleman' series will find a welcome home for this on their bookshelves.