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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Big Sid - Middlesbrough's answer to garlic, 4 Aug 2009
Sid Tillsley is a breath of fresh air--garlic notwithstanding, because as we find out in THE GREAT RIGHT HOPE, garlic doesn't work on vampires. "That's a myth," says Reece Chambers, the Van Helsing-esque vampire hunter--who is probably the only thing reminiscent to previous vampire tales in the entire novel.

After reading countless stories about anemic vampires and their inner turmoil, Mark Jackman has created a likeable, if not physically attractive anti-hero. So what if Sid Tillsley has been on the dole for 30 years while doing odd jobs for illegal cigarettes and a few quid? So what if his intense homophobia makes him scream like a girl, pass out, and empty his bladder? He's a big, friendly, bull of a bloke.

The vampires Mark Jackman has peppered throughout THE GREAT RIGHT HOPE ain't your run o' the mill, lace-wearin', virgin-obsessin', sherry-sippin' vampires. From Richmond, a vampire of African descent who lives in the modern world by owning a string of nightclubs to the Beast that hunts everything in sight on the Yorkshire Moors, Jackman's vampires come across as real, modern characters, and not caricatures. Jackman's vampires will jack you up.

THE GREAT RIGHT HOPE should come with a seat belt because it's a fast-paced story with enough twists and turns to keep you turning the page, but you gotta hold on because you will be laughing out loud at how Sid copes with this vampire menace.

Poor Sid. He has the safety of the whole world (or at least Northeast England) in his right hand, and all he really wants is to go down the pub for a pint of Bolton Bitter.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mark Jackman is terrifyingly funny..., 29 Jan 2010
By 
L. G. Jerman (Manchester, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Since I was a teenager oh some 20 years ago, I embarked on a journey of reading some of the most horrifying novels of all time. From brains floating in machines by John Saul to the well bred but menacing and freakishly soul curdling vampires of Brian Lumley so to me, horror and comedy...how could it be?

On the advice of a good friend I read The Great Right Hope. From the moment I picked it up, I couldn't put it down. You are mesmerized from the start by the classy yet mean undertones of the vampire. Their nature only slightly suppressed by the chains of the times they are ensconced in. I thought the book starts fantastically and gave it 10 out of 10 in my head for its seriousness in writing.

And then the twist came.

The comedy in this book is not subtle. It is in your face, belly aching, rip roaringly funny comedy. Jackman's vampires are hit head on by our loveable lowlife rogue Sid. He has no idea what he's doing, they have no idea what he is doing but the book creates so many possibilities for more comedy and indeed more fantastic horror. It is gory, it is frighteningly chilly and it is so incredibly funny I defy anyone not to read this novel. It is a MUST read for any vampire/horror/comedy lover. I have never laughed so much in my life at a novel.

For his first novel, Jackman, in my opinion has already infiltrated the ranks of the most celebrated horror authors of all time and it's up to us, his fans, to propel him to where he belongs!

Bring on Number 2 please!!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Debut Book, 18 Jan 2010
By 
I've been lucky enough to purchase an advanced copy of this from Mark, and after re-reading it (first read the eBook version), it's now much improved and still a great read! It's a very funny book indeed. Considering that this is his first feature length novel, it is very impressive and I enjoyed it more than many other books by well established authors. It is quite refreshing to be able to read a book that contains some good British pub humour.

As you can read from the blurb, it is quite a surreal and possibly the most original storyline for a book. It's packed with great sarcastic and absurd humour which, if you love films like Shaun of The Dead etc then you will be laughing out loud in no time.

It is also quite gory in a few places which I was surprised at, but in a good way. It truly is a great comedy horror - think of it in some way as the novel version of the films "Blade" or "Underworld" (without the werewolves) crossed with something like "Withnail and I" and you've got a pretty good idea of what you could expect.

It's also quite refreshing to see this genre attempted in a different light with different twists, especially considering the literature at the moment. I'm totally sick of people trying to make "serious" stories out of vampires. I mean, we've got the Twilight Saga (books and films!) that attempts to realistically portray a love story between a 300 odd year old vampire and a 16 year old girl, and then you got True Blood, and the Vampire Diaries, and DayBreakers, and Moonlight, and....the list goes on! Reading this is a breath of fresh air in the genre. Sure there's vampires, but then you got Sid the Vampire Hunter who doesn't believe in Vampires... It's just great and absurd and funny. Just buy it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cracking read, 10 Aug 2009
By 
S. Thompson - See all my reviews
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A Vampire slaying extravaganza with a twist, and a whole host of laughs along the way to boot. A great blend of outlandishly funny, down-the-pub humour, distilled to perfection.

Jackman has brought a breath of fresh air to the genre, admittedly with a lingering smell of last nights kebab in the 'boro...

H'way the lads!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best book I've read in ages., 4 Jan 2010
By 
The Great Right Hope is a fast paced, action packed comedy horror that I couldn't put down. Jackman has fused two distinct styles of writing - and it works brilliantly. From Gothic melodrama, to outrageously bad taste humour the story culminates in an epic (and unexpected) ending. In Sid Tillsley, Jackman has not only created a hero that fat, sexist, unemployed layabouts from Middlesbrough can identify with, but a set of wonderfully ludicrous characters that make up Sid's clique. So not only is the central story riveting, but the comic character interactions are superb. I loved this book and I want more Sid.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sid Tillsley - hero in the making, 17 Aug 2009
By 
The Great Right Hope. Think of Frank Gallagher from "Shameless" and add in a terrific right hook which can floor a man for days and you have our hero, Sid Tillsley. The book is a new take on Vampires and is a funny and yet dark story which leaves the reader rooting for the most unlikely of heros in the form of Sid. This book will leave you wanting to follow more of Sid's adventures and is destined to be a cult classic.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everybody know's a Sid Tillsley !, 18 Aug 2009
By 
A great debut book from this budding author, I for one couldn't put it down. I'm slightly concerned that I can relate to some of Sid Tillsley's antics but in my defence I would say everybody who has been in a spit and sawdust public house will know a Sid Tillsley character !
Read it for yourself...highly recommended. I eagerly await the next book in 2010.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thumping addition to the vampire genre, 24 Jan 2011
By 
S. Shove "Ecobitch" (Cardiff) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Well, what can I say about Sid Tillsley? He is a lazy, benefit scrouging, homophobic, alcoholic who I know I should hate but for some strange bizarre reason I found him hysterical and strangely (and I mean strangely) charming, in his own unique Sid way. He is THE definition of an anti-hero, all he cares about is his drink, his pub, his mates and making sure his benefits keep coming. So while the vampire and human councils are in a panic about the monster that is stalking the Moors and killing anything with a pulse, Sid is happily sipping his pint of Bolton Bitter, smoking one of his manys tabs whiling away the hours until a couple of vampires jump him in a deserted car park. As he thumps one, he explodes into dust, the other flees and so Sid is chucked into a world he doesn't know, nor does he care about, much to the disgust of vampires, vampire hunters and humans alike.

Jackman has written the antidote for the now stagnant vampire genre that was becoming trapped by its own success. This book is packed with dark and crude humour that slaps you in the face and has absolutely no idea what subtlety means, nor does it really care. Some of the humour is a little over-the-top and not everyone will enjoy the cruder moments but none of it is out of place or mis-timed as Sid battles with his demons, vampires and the benefit office. I cannot wait to get my hands on the second installment of Sid Tillsley!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bram stoker has nothing on this!!, 4 Aug 2009
By 
D. M. Farmer (United Kingdon) - See all my reviews
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Well what can I say, I've read a fair few vampire books in my time, but NOTHING could have prepared me for this. The book has some pretty dark bits but coupled with the absolutely brilliant humour, I'm hoping that there's more of the great Sid Tilsley to come!! A Fantastic book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very funny, 6 Aug 2009
If you enjoy an ale in your local pub the hilarious characters in this book will no doubt remind you of people you know and love.

Really enjoyable and funny book.
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