Synopses & Reviews
Martin Kowalski is an eighty-year-old man stuck in a twenty-year-old body. He works the graveyard shift. He has a poster of Bela Lugosi on his wall and a box of uneaten Count Chocula in his pantry. He drinks stem-cell-derived blood from cleverly packaged and marketed juice boxes. He is, in short, a vampire. But since his wildly successful scheme to turn as many mortals as possible into vampires -- "vamp" them rather than kill them -- resulted in a new immortal majority, Marty finds little of interest to fill his countless days.
From the deeply imaginative mind of David Sosnowski -- who gave us the critically acclaimed junkie-angel classic "Rapture" -- bursts this neo-vampire novel studded with pint-size vampires known as "screamers" (children who were vamped and are none too happy about it); priest vampires who helped convert their flock into lifetime members of the Church; stripper vampires who lap-danced their way into customers' veins; and one very small, very outspoken human girl.
When Marty decides to end his endless life of soul-crushing ennui -- call it vampire affluenza -- a three-foot blond obstacle is thrown in his path: Isuzu Trooper Cassidy, a refugee from a human hunting preserve. At first he thinks "midnight snack," but before the sun comes up, Isuzu is the one snacking on his prized cereal collection as she charms him into staying undead long enough to raise her in a world rife with danger and almost entirely populated by vampires yearning for the taste of real human blood.
The critics applauded David Sosnowski when "Rapture" was published, saying he "staked out a patch of turf somewhere between Franz Kafka and Douglas Adams." Now with "Vamped, " Sosnowski takes on a time-honored genre and breathes new life into it by turning Martin Kowalski's vampire world upside down and telling his story with rich, masterful, and frequently hilarious prose.
"Set in an alternate world where vampires are in charge and humans nearly extinct, Sosnowski's (Rapture) mildly diverting novel will appeal more to mainstream readers than horror aficionados. Undead Martin Kowalski, killing time at strip clubs and surviving, like all vampires, off blood derived from stem cells, is considering suicide when he encounters a six-year-old human girl, Isuzu Trooper Cassidy. She and her recently killed mother were escapees from a hunting preserve. Unwilling to vamp her (child vampires, aka 'screamers,' tend to be disturbed individuals), Martin opts instead to provide a good home for the child until she attains adulthood. The author offers both distraction and food for thought, bestowing endless tidbits, inventive explanations and intriguing tangents (why vampires love laser tag; what's involved with air travel when it comes to an all-vampire passenger list and crew) as he fleshes out an otherwise simple, straightforward narrative. Most of the work's broader concepts, unfortunately, are in the hidebound, daylight-avoiding tradition. While it's nice to find out fun facts such as when vampire lunchtime takes place (midnight), the plot is pretty unlikely even in context and the characters essentially one-dimensional. The field of vampire fiction is well-trodden ground, and Sosnowski's tracks leave little lasting impression. Agent, Jane Dystel. (Aug. 4)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"[U]nnervingly funny....The author for the most part adroitly avoids the sentimental landmines inherent in his vampire-as-dad premise, and the narrative starts to lose focus only toward the end. Sardonic and wistful at the same time." Kirkus Reviews
"Full of wit and charm, Sosnowski's fast-paced second novel offers delightfully quirky characters and plenty of hilarious scenes. Narrator Marty's sardonic eye misses nothing. Recommended." Library Journal
"Few writers have taken as good advantage of the comic potential in vampiric metaphor as David Sosnowski does in Vamped." U.S. News and World Report
"Vamped is fantastic, full of humorous and touching moments....A sweet story you can really sink your teeth into." Fangoria (Book of the Month pick)
"Believe me when I say that Vamped is a very special, fun, and oh so dangerous experience. Go ahead, open the book, I dare you." Whitley Strieber, author of The Hunger
"With wry wit and deft turns of phrase, David Sosnowski has penned a darkly humorous tale of the struggle between two of literature's most horrifying creatures: a vampire and a little girl. Vamped is a fresh breeze on a genre that can all too often be as stale as a dusty crypt. A fun read." Christopher Moore, author of Bloodsucking Fiends: A Love Story
"Put Anne Rice into a Mel Brooks blender, and you'd get Marty Kowalski, a Polish vampire born in Hamtramck, Michigan. Vamped is staggeringly imaginative, laugh-out-loud funny, and surprisingly touching by turns a sly, subversive joyride through a twisted American landscape." Mary Doria Russell, author of The Sparrow and Children of God
A hot beach read, Sosnowski's Vamped is the story of a very different world one where vampires rule and humans are the near-extinct minority.