Review: 5 Stories That Bite – A Collection of Vampire Tales by James Pratt

5 Stories That Bite - A Collection of Vampire Tales
5 Stories That Bite – A Collection of Vampire Tales by James Pratt
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

James Pratt brings us another irresistible blend of horror and humour with a dash of sour poignancy in this tasty collection. Concentrating on vampires this time, the payoffs are still too good to spoil, so apologies if the summaries below come across a tad cryptically.

Horton Hits a Ho

No, no blatant misogyny here, although things get a bit messy for our titular hero. Horton is a scum-sucker with a heart – or at least some goddamn principles. Oh, and he’d rather you didn’t think of that Dr Seuss character if it’s all the same. He’s a down and dirty, rough and tough sortta guy, and this was a great introduction to a murky character living merrily in the underworld’s underbelly. Darkly funny.

What’s new, Rudy Rue?

Ever wondered what happened to that bunch of teenage kids who hung out in a VW Camper van, solving mysteries with their over-sized talking dog? Well, read this and you might just find out. Another brutal update of our collective childhood memories that goes beyond simple homage. A little sad, and impeccably warped. Great stuff.

Incident at the 24-7

A bloody stranger wanders into the lacklustre evening of two shop workers at the 24-7. Then something else comes in. ‘Clerks’ was never like this. It turns out that routine can be a killer, and killers are sometimes routine. Enjoy.

He Never Liked Mirrors

There are more varieties of vampire these days than species of beetle, including the weird ones that ‘sparkle’ in sunlight. So what does ‘Vlad’, the original Impaler, make of them? As we follow his progress at a party, his world-weariness wars with inner indignation. Isn’t it time we remembered who the baddest vamp really is? And what did he really make of Gary Oldman’s movie performance?

When Horton Met Dracula

Say hi to Horton once again. When his poker buddies badger him about having met Dracula three times, Horton finally spills the bloody beans and reveals a strange connection to the ancient evil.

These won’t take long to get through (more’s the pity) but the Five Stories in this collection are definitely worth a nibble, and after one taste you’ll certainly be hooked. Recommended.

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