Coming of age involves a lot of change

43. The Traveling Vampire Show – Richard Laymon


This book contains many, many changes of clothing. So many changes of clothing that I was unable to maintain my suspension of disbelief as it’s supposed to take place over the course of one day. One day in which the three main characters ruin so many shirts! The “day” before the actual vampire show takes place is like three hundred and seventy-five pages long. It was nearly endless and perhaps if one were to be sucked in by the adolescent characters it would have been okay. I was distracted as all hell. In 1963, apparently American small-town male teenagers spent most of their time wandering around, creaming their jeans while crushing on their one female friend who totally makes out with the narrator (oops! Accident!), ruining their shirts in the name of chivalry and feral dog attacks, and running their endless inner monologue about boobs – the boobs of their one female friend, the boobs of their sister-in-law, the boobs of their friend’s sister that they don’t even like, and the boobs of the vampire Valeria that they won’t even see until she gets inexplicably naked toward the end of the book. In Laymon’s world, clothes are endlessly ruinable. They have no durability whatsoever. Therein lies the lesson of The Traveling Vampire Show.


Belvedere cannot ruin his Cosby sweater, it’s a permanent fixture. He is less than intrigued by vampire shows, his incisors are razor sharp as it is.



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