A Vampiric Book Review

Back before the literary world was completely consumed by vampire books (which is to say, the lull between Ann Rice and Stephanie Meyer), acclaimed graphic novelist B.H. Fingerman published a gritty story of the day-to-day life of a NYC vampire. The book is appropriately entitled Bottomfeeder. I had the opportunity to review the book for Willamette Week back in December of 2006. Here’s an excerpt:

Bottomfeeder: Darkhorse proves that being a vampire can really, well, suck.

“The acclaimed graphic novelist B.H. Fingerman’s first all-prose novel, Bottomfeeder (M Press, 272 pages, $12.95), follows a young bloodsucker named Philip Merman who has spent the last 27 years trying to understand his transformation from man to vampire. The common denominator throughout Fingerman’s work is the acute attention he pays to the trivialities of daily, urban life. Bottomfeeder, out courtesy of local comic-book giant Darkhorse’s literary fiction/nonfiction arm M Press, carries out his favorite theme by answering the following question: What is daily life like for a vampire in New York City?

Fingerman’s novel isn’t so much about vampires but rather about the stripping away of the romantic connotations a reader unconsciously brings to such an iconic subject—supernatural powers, Old World charm, immortality. The dark side of these nocturnal hunters plays out through the compelling pace of the novel punctuated by the wit and candor of living in an everyday vampire’s head. When the prey is humanity and the neck the dinner table, the readers get a much more intimate portrayal than you might want. Consider first how dirty a neck gets. Then consider the prey of choice for Phil (mankind’s ‘forgettables’—druggies, muggers, pickpockets, the homeless, etc.). Finally consider that losing bowel control is a common side effect of dying. Not exactly the most pleasant way to end a meal, is it?”

Read the whole review here.


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