A teenaged slacker becomes a vampire in this loony first novel.
It’s 1973. Rodney Rodoggio, horror-movie buff and â€œthe sexiest man on earth,” holds down a job at the EverRipe Supermarket while lusting after his curvaceous dreamgirl, Betty Bunz. Since his life in his hometown of Gulpo Plains is repetitive and unfulfilling, Rodney periodically lapses into a fantasy world in which he’s a charismatic sex bomb, irresistible to women of all shapes, sizes and hair colors. One nightmare-filled night, after accidentally inviting a vampire bat into his bedroom, Rodney transforms into a less-than-impressive Nosferatu, aimlessly wandering through the afterlife and trying to keep up with the demanding laws in the Kingdom of the Undead. Naturally, hijinks ensue. This slapstick comedic horror novel will undoubtedly draw comparisons to the works of bestselling parody-meister Christopher Moore. Indeed, Baldwin–who served on the executive committee of the â€œFounding Tent of the International Laurel & Hardy Organization, the Sons of the Desert”–knows his Moore well. He also demonstrates a solid understanding of the vampire mythology, and a carefree attitude toward the process of storytelling and the significance of character names–along with the protagonist and Betty Bunz (middle name, Grable), there’s Celeste Yahootie, Bellvue Snickerton, George Washington Niggle, Tervoin Kittycatt, Marty Martex, Muller Maxwell Molt and Douglas D. Dunky.
Readers who giggle at the wacky character names–as well as those who have exhausted the Christopher Moore catalog and are craving more silly vampires–may sate their bloodlust with this over-the-top debut.