SUCKERS by Anne Billson


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 Sassy entry in the horror game--in a first novel from young British author Billson. As in Kim Newman's brilliant Anno-Dracula (p. 884), set in Victoria's England, the vampires here take over British society, this time basing themselves in today's ultraclassy fashion magazines. Dora Vale is a ``creative consultant'' for the slicks who makes up her own research when suggesting bright new avenues in publishing. Ten years ago, in the days of flared jeans, she and her sometime boyfriend, photographer Duncan Fender, dismembered the 300-year-old international vampiress Violet, who seemed to be pursuing him and ``died'' singing the Drinking Song from La Traviata as Duncan and Dora disjointed her. Now, Violet returns as Rose Murasaki (``purple'' in Japanese), the editor of Bellini, and is making vampirism fashionable with swank layouts in her glossy pages. Bellini is published from the Multiglom building, the nexus of a new conglomerate taking vampirism worldwide. Duncan, meanwhile, marries Lulu, a busty dimwit--but Rose's interest in Duncan has not faded, and she tries to get to him by hiring Lulu as a model for her vamp layouts and then ``turning'' her. Duncan and Dora, alas, must disjoint Lulu. Author Billson's vampirism follows that of Bram Stoker and Christopher Lee movies and has little of the intensely imagined lore of Newman; hers is a social satire- -there is this, for instance, as Dora sits in a vampire pub: ``As I listened to their talk about accounts and magazines and salaries and mortgages I couldn't help but be disappointed. Being undead didn't seem to make much difference--they were still talking about the same tired old topics.'' Why is Rose so taken with Duncan? Will she turn him? Will all of London go ``undead''? Fast and fun as Dora and Duncan turn vampire hunters.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1993
ISBN: 0-689-12189-X
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Atheneum
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 1993