Read the light at the end by John Skipp Craig Spector Online

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The 25th Anniversary Edition of the Original Splatterpunk NovelAn adrenaline-charged tale of unrelenting suspense that sparks with raw and savage energy... The newspapers scream out headlines that spark terror across the city. Ten murders on the New York City subway. Ten grisly crimes that defy all reason -- no pattern, no m.o., no leads for police to pursue. The press dubThe 25th Anniversary Edition of the Original Splatterpunk NovelAn adrenaline-charged tale of unrelenting suspense that sparks with raw and savage energy... The newspapers scream out headlines that spark terror across the city. Ten murders on the New York City subway. Ten grisly crimes that defy all reason -- no pattern, no m.o., no leads for police to pursue. The press dubs the fiend the "Subway Psycho"; the NYPD desperately seeks their quarry before the city erupts in mass hysteria. But they won't find what they're looking for.Because they all think that the killer is human.Only a few know the true story -- a story the papers will never print. It is a tale of abject terror and death written in grit and steel... and blood. The tale of a man who vanished into the bowels of the urban earth one night, taken by a creature of unholy evil, then left as a babe abandoned on the doorstep of Hell. Now he is back, driven by twin demons of rage and retribution.He is unstoppable. And we are all his prey... unless a ragtag band of misfit souls will dare to descend into a world of manmade darkness, where the real and unreal alike dwell in endless shadow. A place where humanity has been left behind, and the horrifying truth will dawn as a madman's chilling vendetta comes to light...Filled with gripping drama and harrowing doomsday dread, The Light at the End is the book that ushered in a bold new view of humankind's most ancient and ruthless evil; a mesmerizing novel from two acknowledged masters of spellbinding suspense....

Title : the light at the end
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 15715109
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 406 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

the light at the end Reviews

  • Bill
    2019-04-04 19:23

    I listened to this one on audio and enjoyed it. Chet Williamson is a great narrator.I can see where this would have been the start of something “splatterpunk” in 1986, but by today’s standards it read (listened) a bit elementary. The writing, at times, was very basic. There really wasn’t anything shocking or overly gratuitous going on either. I will say that it was a very quick and entertaining listen and it definitely kept my attention throughout.I liked it, but was hoping for more “splatter”. Or more “punk”.

  • Wayne Simmons
    2019-04-11 22:08

    John Skipp & Craig Spector’s THE LIGHT AT THE END is a vamp novel first published in 1986, but don’t let that put you off. This is awesome stuff and a delightfully far cry from Anne Rice.And a million miles from Stephanie Meyer.The story’s set in 80s New York, where a serial killer (who turns out to be a recently sired vampire) is rampaging around the underground. The action plays out mostly during night time, lending the book a real Noir feel. The characters are as hard boiled as you like; our unlikely heroes being the D&D obsessed employees of a delivery company, our main vamp a grumpy old goth that feels more Iggy Pop than the Vampire Lestat. In fact, rumour has it that Skipp & Spector’s antagonist, Rudy, was a big inspiration to Joss Whedon in sketching out the character of bad boy Spike for similarly groundbreaking vamp romp, BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER. And I’d believe that.THE LIGHT AT THE END is thought by many to be one of the first splatterpunk novels ever written. And that’s probably true also: there’s certainly enough gore and violence in the book to qualify.It’s also an exceptionally well written book. Character-driven, for one thing. The flow is perfect, for another, the prose and dialogue bending so well that it’s hard to put the book down once you lift it. There’s a really nice colloquial vibe about this book, the authors’ voice both confident and definitive. And it’s not without its chills. THE LIGHT AT THE END preys on the mind as much as it preys on the gut.To be honest, I can’t recommend this book enough. It’s got everything I love in a horror story: thrills, chills, great characters, loads of gore and a well layered plot. Although written in 1986, it mostly (with the exception of one scene, featuring a roller skating Jesus freak lobbing Holy Water bombs at our hapless vamp) feels contemporary, and definitely stands the test in time.Simply put, I loved it.(Original review: http://waynesimmons.org/blog/?p=1121)

  • Peter
    2019-04-20 00:10

    A long time ago a group of friends shared an apartment in NYC. This book was written in that apartment. I was there. at the time the book was LIVE and in color from the heart of the city and the fertile imaginations of John Skipp and Craig Spector. Now it is a great time capsule of what New York City was like in the early 80's. Yes kids, Punk Graffiti artists and vampires really were everywhere... and no one had a cell phone. There are a number of scenes in the book where the protagonists need to get to a pay phone NOW! Which, was actually a heck of a lot easier back then as there actually were pay phones on almost evey corner... AND punk graffiti artists and vampires living in th esubway system...The horror sub genre "SplatterPunk" a take off on the then emerging "CyberPunk" movement, started with this novel. For better or for worse, for bloody or bloodier... until death do rip us limb from limb...Read it and then ride the D train at night. Alone. I dare you.

  • Bracken
    2019-03-26 17:13

    When I first read this 25 years ago I really enjoyed it. Rudy Pasko, the villain, is still a wonderfully developed and lasting character--equally an object of fear and contempt. The book remains a vanguard in (at that time) the burgeoning Splatterpunk literary movement and is worth a read for the pull-no-punches horror imagery and the very well-paced final third of the story. I found myself wishing that the subplot with the homeless in the tunnels was expanded and the character list was thinned out a bit to give more time for a couple of the mains to shine through, but all told, the book is most worth the read for the contemptible Rudy Pasko.

  • Chris
    2019-04-16 23:00

    Plot-wise--great book, clever story arc and a fantastic ending. As a vampire story (ie was the vampire sufficiently evil, nasty, unromantic and fear inducing?) excellent. Characterization--so so. My main complaint was that the writing style was quite juvenile at times. Overall I gave it 4 stars but would have trimmed it a bit and liked a more polished writing style.

  • Marie
    2019-04-05 17:18

    This was a really good book. I didn't realize it until I was into it for a bit that I had read this book years ago but I didn't remember alot of the storyline. The story is about people getting murdered on subway trains and in the subway tunnels by something other than a human. Not giving away spoilers here about what kind of creature it is as you will just have to read the book. Giving it 4 stars.

  • Zulfiya
    2019-04-02 16:28

    As a voracious reader, I always try to explore fringe genres, but my heart is forever with the well-written books with believable and fleshed-out characters, human drama and serious choices both characters and readers have to make.Horror is one of those borderline cases when an exceptionally well-written novel with flawed but interesting characters and an insight into the psyche of a human mind cam enthrall me. Unfortunately, I believe this is not a case. I gave this novel three stars, but this rating is only valid within the frame of splatterpunk fiction (a literary genre characterized by the explicit description of horrific or violent scenes). In the bigger frame of fiction, this novel deserves only two stars.The novel is definitely abundant in scenes of violence and gore, and some of them are truly repulsive if you look at them objectively. On the other hand, everyone knows, objectivity in portrayal is not the most laudable adjective. The subjective perception is everything in fiction. The more you can relate to it, the more memorable the writing is. This is what this book lack. Despite the gory and grisly scenes, they did not stir any feelings of fear or repulsion. The setting was a traditional one for a vampire story. I am very well aware that we do not have many choices when it comes to the time of the events in a horror novel, but the nights in the novel, although they harbor ugly scenes of murder, do not create the natural spooky, creepy feeling. Night is just a time when most of the events took place in this novel, and the dark enigma of the wee hours till dawn is totally non-existent.The other thing that is only attributable to the zeitgeist, but still quite unpleasant is homophobia. The evolving values of today's world warp my interpretation and leave the tangy, bitter and unpleasant sediment in the wake of the book.To counterbalance my negative arguments, I still want to justify my choice for three stars (again only within the frame of this genre). First and foremost, the vampire Rudy is a nasty, ugly being from the very beginning. He does not suffer from the complex of modern vampirism – I am a vampire, but I want to be a good guy, and I am conflicted, and my soul is torn apart by my intentions and true identity. He is rotten through and through. There is not a morsel of goodness in him. This is how monsters should look like.Surprisingly, the books also provides an interesting insight into the philosophy of nihilism. Although the premise for this view is interesting and appealing (our world is non-cognizant, and we will never learn what is good and what is evil, and justice is not inherent in our universe; thus there is no point in trying to better the world around us), but the development of this idea leads to acts of terrorism and extremism as well as to the utmost egotism and gratification. This is clearly manifested in Rudy, the human being and the vampire. It is rarely a case when such a complex idea could be clearly explained and put into the appropriate context.The most memorable moment in the novel has nothing to do with the imaginary horror, but with our human history. The character with the Holocaust past narrates the story of his experience, and this is the most disturbing moment in the whole books. I find it both enlightening and nonsensical. It is a story that is harrowing in its nature due to our own ability to acquiesce to the dogma and doctrine of ethnic cleansing; a reminder of that kind even in the most grotesque context is always a necessary reading experience. Conversely, the setting for the Holocaust survival story is the most bizarre one – who would anticipate this story in a horror novel about vampires? Consequently, it does contribute to the jarring discrepancy of ideas within the book.

  • Johnny Virgil
    2019-04-01 17:13

    I read this book back in the early 80's when I idolized Skipp and Spector -- they were in all the small horror mags I read, and desperately wanted to appear in. They wrote horror flash fiction, and basically created the genre called "splatter-punk." I recently stumbled across the audio version so I picked it up for my commute and to see how well it held up. I guess sometimes wine turns to vinegar if you leave it sitting for too long. Unfortunately, I didn't really enjoy it all that much. There's just some not-so-good writing, and some really, really dated material since it was written in the early 80's. I think what annoyed me most was the constant use of odd similies that seemed like they were stretching for ideas. "He ran into the street like Richard Pryor free-basing cocaine" and such.Some books hold up well, and some don't, and this one didn't, in my opinion. There was some pretty bad dialogue, and a surprisingly strong undercurrent of homophobia which I'm still not sure belonged to the characters, the authors, or a little bit of both. Or maybe it was just the way it was back then. Faggot this and queer that and not just in dialog, sometimes just in descriptive sentences. I don't remember noticing it at all back then. Maybe it's because I now have friends who are gay, or maybe it's just because I'm older and things are more PC these days. Anyway, it's there and slightly distracting at times. It wasn't all bad, and it's still a pretty good time capsule of a vampire story, since it happens back when vampires didn't sparkle and talk about their feelings so much. One of the interesting things about it is the lack of technology. No cell phones, so the characters/vampire hunters had to do all their coordination by pager and pay phone. It was pretty funny really. It's amazing how fast technology changes. And vampires.

  • Ms. Nikki
    2019-04-24 20:03

    Deathcomes quicklyin the night.Sinister intent.Man,in the end,inevitably accepts.by NikkiFree on Amazon 4-11-13I get it; The Original Splatterpunk-ers. I don't get the mediocre writing or over-easy characters. They're practically running all over the pages. There were times when I wanted the story to move on and end. Joseph was hulking it up constantly and really needed to be medicated. Stephen, was an annoying snot. None of the cast were likeable. The story was not as tight as it should have been with so many players in the mix. I could go on, but I'd rather not. (view spoiler)[ The best part was the demise of Rudy on the train. Great description.(hide spoiler)] Just an alright, okay read.

  • Dan
    2019-04-08 18:14

    Most definitely one of the best, yet somewhat overlooked, vampire novels of the twentieth century. Also said to have started the Splatter-Punk movement in horror-fiction. Dark and gory, punk rock vampires terrorizing New York City during the early nineteen-eighties. Joss Whedon has actually said that this book served as the partial inspiration for the character, Spike.

  • Andy
    2019-04-26 22:10

    The Light at the End haikuRudy, punk vampire,chased by a band of dorks topoetic justice.After hearing about The Light at the End's claim to be the first 'Splatterpunk' novel, I was definitely excited to give it a try. The book had some interesting scenarios and plot twists, but overall there were some pacing issues, and the characters ranged from unlikeable to indifferent. There were also a handful of descriptions and pop-cultural references that confused me. I wish I had written them down.As for the characters, (view spoiler)[ I think it would be safe to argue that Joseph was the main protagonist since he was the one who was pushing the whole vampire hunting effort. He was such an emotionless hardass throughout most of the book, that he wasn't really relatable. The writing in general also had a very detached feel to it. Then, all of a sudden the epilogue of the book is a deeply-emotional graveyard visit scene featuring none other than a teary-eyed Joseph-inator.(hide spoiler)]The book would have been much better had this scene, and more like it, been included earlier and more often.

  • William Oarlock
    2019-04-21 22:07

    The introductory subway slaughter is perhaps the most powerful vampire opening attack since Varney the Vampyre.Would also have been a far better ending if the obnoxious bully-boozer-momma's boy human protagonist had died 'heroically'.

  • Scott Brook
    2019-04-22 22:17

    Took me a while to get through this book but not for lack of interest. Mainly work obligations. It was a fun, entertaining read. Have never been into much of the Splatterpunk genre but this one is worth searching out.

  • Brian
    2019-04-08 00:17

    The Light at the End is an excellent, rip-roaring novel that serves up a classic horror novel creature the way it should be portrayed: as insidiously, viciously evil.I only docked the book one star because of the ridiculously clichéd 1980s homophobia underlying the story.

  • Marvin
    2019-04-19 17:29

    This is often regarded as one of the first splatterpunk novels. Sounds right to me. Nice mixture of grungy city life, punks, junkies, and...what else?...vampires.

  • J
    2019-04-01 23:29

    Not too bad compared to my memory of the book from when I was 14 and first read it.

  • Rebecca McNutt
    2019-04-06 18:00

    This book was overly gory but not bad, and the author really has a talent for descriptive language and creating characters.

  • KV Taylor
    2019-04-14 18:12

    So when I started reading this I was really, really in love with it. The beginning is sick, sick magic, and at first, the characters feel both real and like you'll want them to win... and be sad when they die, as about half of them must, considering. I tore through the first half.I slowed down by the time I got to 2/3 in, though. A lot of things nagged at me that I couldn't really get past, and ruined my enjoyment of what should've been a perfect vampire story. The last 1/3 was the most intense, and yet I was so exasperated that it felt slower than the build up -- though I know it wasn't. I think Rudy is a five star vampire, first of all. If monsters are humans with their dials jacked to 11, he's a perfect example. A hateful, middle class, selfish, "misunderstood" artist twerp -- and that's what kind of vampire he makes, but jacked up to 11. Which is to say he's a terrible vampire, in terms of survivability, but a magnificent vampire to watch develop, fumbling with his new powers and from kill to kill. He's deliciously awful, and I liked every scene he was in.The other characters often left much to be desired, but then, this is splatterpunk -- like I say, you know they're mostly disposable. The closest thing we get to a hero is Joseph, and he performs the function adequately, coming through his own personal hell along the way. I didn't care about him that much, but I was mildly interested in seeing where he ended up. Armond was our cool old Van Helsing by design -- cool trick on their part. Stephen's a whiny trustafarian, and we all know that guy, so he was entertaining -- his whinging got old, which is the point, but it was mostly background noise until his character actually goes somewhere. Danny is Comic Book Guy, pretty much. Ian was meant to be a Comic Book Hero. Allan was... honestly, I don't know what his personality was meant to be. The guys that dropped in, TC, Tommy, Doug, Jerome, were cool enough, as tools, and each had their little moment.Disposable, mostly. But that's cool, for what it is. It wouldn't have lessened my enjoyment of the book in the least, if not for Josalyn and Claire. Who were pretty much awful. The two women in the cast are utterly defined by the relationships with and (sexual/romantic) attachment to the men. I get it -- it's a book about a man who becomes a vampire. That is the central theme, and so everyone is defined by their relationship to it in a broad sense. That's not what I'm talking about. At all. It's understandable that Josalyn starts out that way, being Rudy's ex and all, and having used him as a sort of lab rat for her thesis. But she also starts out as an academic with a kind of unscrupulousness of her own that made her interesting... and then it just stops. She then goes from being bitter about him non-stop (understandably) to weeping uncontrollably (again, understandable, but damn) and then, in the final blow to any semblance of character, from guy to guy as they try to save her from Rudy's damage -- with one tiny flash of non-annoying actual usefulness thrown in at the very last effing minute. Claire was slightly better -- her jealousy and fixation on Rudy was pretty clearly explained and I liked seeing her struggle with it, but it rendered her useless until the very last minute, too. Her thing with Danny was fine -- it didn't define her so much as it was a product of their common interest, which is cool.But yeah. Annoying. Even Stephen had more going on personally than Josalyn, and (view spoiler)[he spent the whole time dealing with wanting to/having wanted desperately to screw Rudy, too. But at least he had Joseph to knock him around until he put on his big boy pants, in the end, and became a real character. Josalyn's resolution: she found ANOTHER MAN. Oh, good. She's fine then (hide spoiler)]... I mean, damn.The other thing I couldn't get over: I realize you could get away with some things more when this book was written, but their presence means a book won't hold up to future scrutiny. For one, what's up with the fat hate? All larger people are a) evil b) repulsive or c) lazy/worthless? No. Not okay. It's fine for Rudy to think that way, because he would, the horrible s*&t, but that's not what was going on; it was a general theme. Same goes for random occurrences of hate speech. A reader can tell when it's a bigoted character's voice vs. a careless usage by the author(s), even in an omniscient head-hopper like this one. Especially in an omniscient head-hopper, I should say. (Note: none of this is to accuse the authors of hating -- I'm just saying there was a lack of tightness to the voice in certain parts that made it sound more careless than used to effect.)Okay, but now I've done my complaining, I have to admit that I liked the story. I liked the wild nights, I liked the way the murders were used to reveal Rudy to himself and to us, I liked the setup with the Old Vampire, I liked the D&D feeling transferring to the vampire hunt, and the ending satisfied me totally. Partly because I didn't care if everyone died by then, but also because it's just well done. I mostly just wish the nagging stuff hadn't dragged me down, there. I should've wanted to give this five stars and settled on four. Instead it was a mixed bag.

  • DJMikeG
    2019-04-04 22:25

    This novel, the first by the groundbreaking 'splatterpunk' pioneers John Skipp and Craig Spector, was written in New York City, 1986. It really is a New York novel, the city's grim 80s atmosphere is brilliantly used as an urban Gothic backdrop for the horrifying events that take place herein. The story concerns a vampire. A vampire in the subway system of New York. In these days of vampire-everything, and especially vampire as heartthrob, or evengood guy , this book might not attract fans of the warm and fuzzy vampire that is now popular. This is a strictly evil creature, more like a serial killer. In fact, that is what most of the book's New York thinks it is. A group of people, drawn together by what they have seen (and by a fuzzily rendered idea of fate that is hinted at but somewhat underdeveloped), know that it is a supernatural bastard laying waste to people in the subway. The opening and closing sequences of the book are excellent, comparable to everything else I have read by Skipp. I have never read anything by Spector, and this is the first of their 7 books together that I've read. I'll blame the somewhat muddled and boring middle section of the book on the fact that this is a first novel. The characters grow somewhat uninteresting about halfway through, before the climax, which runs for about 100 white knuckled pages, kicks the story into high gear. Skipp's newer work is faster and more compact, while still containing all the excellent detail and wild, 'early Stephen King on even more LSD' imagery. I recently heard an interview with Skipp where he said that in his earlier works he and Spector wanted to write the most expansive, wide ranging stuff they could. He spent most of the late 90s and early 00s writing movie scripts and he says that is why his writing is much tighter now. This novel could have used a little tightening up, as it does downshift for a little too long at the mid-point. That said, I cannot wait to read the rest of the Skipp and Spector novels and the good in this novel far out weighs the bad. To the point where I'm going to say that it is an excellent horror novel and recommended to all fans of the genre. 4 Stars.

  • Jazzy
    2019-04-06 19:12

    The Light at the End was first published in 1986; and I read it @ 25 years ago. I LOVED it. I don't remember exactly why I loved it, but I 5+ stars LOVED it. I still have the paperback on my "keeper" shelf.Recently I saw it for $.99 for kindle and thought this would be a good opportunity for a re-read and easier on the older eyes. I don't know what happened, but I didn't love it anymore. I couldn't get into it. There was a whole slew of characters thrown at me, one after another, somewhat one dimensional; and I didn't really like any of them. I didn't dislike them...just pretty much couldn't possibly care less.But I LOVED this book, so I forced myself to keep reading; telling myself that I just had to get to that special point where all of a sudden I would remember what I loved. I made it to 30% at which point I decided to call it as "simply too painful to continue".Maybe it was really original and edgy back in the 80's? Maybe I've burnt out on vampire books? Maybe I thought Rudy was cool and mysterious in a sexy nihilistic goth/punk sort of way...whereas now 25 years later I think he's pretty much just a putz? Interesting how one's tastes can so drastically change.

  • Sam McCanna
    2019-04-04 00:28

    A total blast of the 80's, and the best vampire novel I've yet to read.I should say that I was not previously very interested in vampire stories, nor did I know what this book was about when I started reading it.John Skipp just showed me, with no time to argue, that vampire stories can be really really good.A good run through a great horror story, told from the viewpoints of several different characters, including the vampire himself... A vampire just recently turned, unaware of how to best utilize his available powers... A vampire that was pretty wretched even as a regular person, and didn't change for the better in death.I loved every second of this book, as I have learned lately that is expected when I read something with John Skipp's name on the cover.Every character in the book reminded me of people I know, and I felt totally along for the adventure during all of it.If you like vampires, or if you never have previously, give this book a read, it may open your mind...

  • Jane
    2019-04-07 00:23

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book in all it's horror and ugliness. Though the book was written in 1986, it still seems very current with the exception of the dependence on pay phones. The book had a number of characters but the authors meshed them together very well. The vampire Rudy was not a nice human and in no way is he a nice vampire. The rag tag bunch of people who are thrown together by circumstances beyond their control are also not exactly what you would call likable. They come together to hunt Rudy each for different reasons. Stephen Hunter is the main hunter and he is a violent person who seems to have a disregard for pretty much everyone. His desire to kill Rudy is all encompassing and the other people in his group must get out of his way. Rudy is ruthless and uses his vampire abilities in the most horrific ways. The reader is never quite sure of the outcome and nobody is safe from Rudy or each other. I like sexy vampires but still found this book hard to put down.

  • Olethros
    2019-04-20 20:17

    -Si quieres conocer el verdadero carácter de alguien, dale poder y observa-.Género. Narrativa Fantástica.Lo que nos cuenta. Un mal tan antiguo que hasta el propio Vlad trató de ganarse sus favores, se toma unas breves y traviesas vacaciones en Nueva York que dejan como resultado una carnicería y un nuevo vampiro, Rudy, que irá descubriendo sus capacidades sin ningún tipo de guía y que actuará en función de su malsana personalidad. Pero sus actividades llamarán la atención de varios personajes.¿Quiere saber más del libro, sin spoilers? Visite:http://librosdeolethros.blogspot.com/...

  • Steven
    2019-04-22 16:24

    Fascinating to re-read this now, one of the earliest splatter punk novels, after all the vampire and zombie books and movies and TV shows and games we've had in the past fifteen years. What once was revolutionary now seems blasé. So it goes. Plenty of good writing at the scene level and good overall arc. Too many characters to keep track of, kind of like a Dostoyevsky novel; do we really need to know about this many people? Overall, I guess I prefer my splatter punk in smaller doses; in stories and novels, and not at novel length.

  • Shannon Flowers
    2019-03-26 21:20

    The original "splatterpunk" novel set in 1986. Set in New York, the story follows a group of people trying to save the city from an ancient evil. Reads like a horror movie. I would recommend it to '80s horror fans.

  • Adam McAuley
    2019-04-16 21:10

    A suspenseful vampire tale is told. This one is gripping and makes your skin crawl.

  • Anthony
    2019-04-22 23:11

    After so many years, I finally got around to finishing this. Very good! Some really gory scenes.

  • S.P. Durnin
    2019-04-21 23:19

    Easily, the best work of vampire fiction/horror I've ever had the pleasure to read. Utterly entertaining and satisfyingly visceral. Wonderful work!!!

  • Scott
    2019-03-30 16:24

    The "splatterpunk" aspect of this one hasn't aged well. What was shocking in the mid-80's pales to what is available now. Luckily, it is still a great story with plenty of thrills.

  • Jim Cunningham
    2019-03-31 21:14

    This simple but modern 80s vampire tale, written by a pair of writers in their mid-20s at the time, is a quick, easy read and a fun ride, but not exactly a fable, or even much of a storytelling feat for that matter. Its biggest problem is that it’s a bit amateurish in places. If you don’t believe me, here:“That was when a sudden cry from Danny ripped through the cab like a poison-tipped spear. That was when they turned to stare in the direction of his trembling, pointing finger. That was when they noticed the dark figure that moved slowly up Lafayette, with the street light dancing briefly on the bleached blond pompadour that crowned his head.”This is actually one of the later instances of the … “That was when …” habit. The first time, I sort of winced and shook my head, and by the time I got to this one, it was sort of a joke for me. There’s a double-handful of these “marks of an amateur” throughout. It’s not all bad; there were occasional, masterful passages that got me wondering if maybe one of these writers was a better writer than the other … or, perhaps, it was written over such a long period of time that they actually got better during the span of the work. But, hey, this book is from 30 years ago and they’re both still writing and getting published, so who am I to judge? Everyone’s early work has embarrassing tidbits. It was a quick read. I was entertained. It was probably outlined on a napkin and then fleshed out (so to speak) with assignments given to each of its two authors, and cobbled back together later. (It DOES maintain a single voice throughout, though, so I have to give them credit for that.) Even for something considered “splatterpunk,” I didn’t think any of the gory descriptions were gratuitous. Interesting characters, although each seem a bit one-dimensional -- but at least they weren’t Villiage-People-like caricatures -- the sort of cats who might populate an urban bike messenger service was an imaginative set to choose from. Interestingly, the only character that had any depth was the antagonist (vampire), and that was mainly gained through outside observation -- not that we ever really got inside his head. It gets points for inventiveness. I won’t give anything away, but this is NOT how I would imagine the great New York Vampire Apocalypse going … at all. And the antagonist with all his … flaws … is something we’re not used to seeing. But the quality of writing does take you out of it. The way suspense is built with carriage returns in the text and/or by using ellipses ( …) makes me certain that this was written by two guys who’d only ever watched horror MOVIES, and not read much. (You can always tell a book written by someone who has only ever watched movies and then decided to write a book.)For a while, I was thinking this is only deserves about a 2-star rating, but the bar scene alone, where Ian gets on the vampire’s nerves, is worth the price of admission. So we’re, now, up to three.It had a good ending. And a DAMNED good epilogue. And I considered bumping it up to 4 stars for that, but there’s something that’s bothering me: I don’t think the book earned its epilogue. I mean, an epilogue is sort of a homage to the story you just read. It can serve as a balm or give you hope; it provides closure. But it was a big, big, emotional tear-jerker of an epilogue and I didn’t feel like the experience of the book, nor the characters’ experiences in the book, warranted such a scene. It’s like, if you’ve only gone out on three dates, then a giant breakup fight with lots of drama is a bit uncalled for. We got the breakup drama, when the story wasn’t actually all that dramatic.Oh, well. Occasionally, I read books like this that you find on “best of” or “must-read horror” lists and end up with new authors to explore. This wasn’t one of them. I’m glad I read it, but it left me remarkably incurious about these two.