Monday, May 2, 2016

Book Review: BLOODY OCTOBER (Kurt Amacker) by Dave Wolff

Dark Notes Press 2015
There are not one but two interviews with this author posted on this blog, where we discuss many of his experiences as a DJ and an author. Last October we talked about his new novel Bloody October which puts more than one twist on vampire folklore. He said the idea emerged from an idea that remained with him for months, which convinced him it was worth pursuing. The lead character of this novel, whereas usually a vampire, is a close friend of the vampire the story centers on. Having lived among humans for too long, he’s assumed a system of values that existed in the 1950s. He is a drinker, a smoker and a troublemaker who is accused of what is called a “vampire style murder” and disappears, leaving his close friend to clear his name. But the more effort he puts into this, the more he discovers the vampire’s past exploits. A cop and a female punk rocker are his companions as he is introduced to the vampire world that most humans don’t see or even knows exists; as such we see a reversal of the classic tale of a hero slaying evil vampires in the land of the living. Think of the sequence in Blade II where the protagonists go underground to witness what was previously unseen by human eyes. Even before reading it you have a feeling you’re in for something different that will open you to another world as real to the good guys as that of the daylight. Tales told from the lonesome vampire’s point of view has become overdone and milked to the extent of mediocrity; in this one the central vampire shows characteristics as human as you or I. The story in its entirety takes place from September to November of 1997 in New Orleans, where and when the goth scene is thriving. Know in advance the world that is alive beneath does not consist of socially inept mall goths wearing silly costumes and plastic teeth. That New Orleans is the area the novel takes place in makes things even more appealing to the reader of vampire literature, as this part of the country has always been the stuff of mystery and legend. The characters are based in reality and not given the Twilight treatment, making you relate to the story internally as you read genuine emotions in them as the novel progresses. Preceding the narrative is a list of Amacker’s publications including collaborations with the goth n roll band 69 Eyes and Cradle Of Filth vocalist Dani. -Dave Wolff

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