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evanjclark

evanjclark

Sometimes Biting Is Fun

Suckers: A Horror Novel - Z. Rider

I wrote this review a little while back for GoodReads. However, since my last few reading choices were problematic,  I thought I'd repost my thoughts on one of my favorite horror novels of the last few years. Here goes:

 

* I received a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review. *

Suckers was one of the first books I'd read in months that wasn't a textbook and/or required reading. I was sent a copy of it in the middle an extremely busy season and I must admit that I put it aside for a while, reading a page or two at a time but never becoming immersed in the story. It was very sad. Then I caught a break and a few days to rest and decided I needed to read something for fun, remembering that I had an unread vampire novel on my Kindle.

Started from the beginning. That was this morning.

Damn.

What I discovered was an extremely solid vampire story that ignored the cliches and made something beautiful from the characters and their relationships. Don't get me wrong: there is no sparkling to be had here. There is only grime and booze and music that growls, and the men who indulge in all three. This is the honest shit, heavy and funny and true. That isn't often found in bloodsucker pulp, but Rider makes the world of Suckers as real as it gets. As the book shifts from a Rod Serling-esque opening to an exploration of life on the road, to a hard-core junkie tale straight out of Irvine Welsh, to a contagion thriller, the friendship between the protagonists stays front and center, making something original and poignant.

I would easily put Suckers on the same narrow shelf as Steakley's Vampire$, Wellington's Thirteen Bullets, and Cronin's The Passage. It's not only superior vampire horror, but just plain good fiction.