Horrorible Review: “The Lesser Dead”

Enjoy this Monday with Mildred!

The Lesser Dead book cover

The Lesser Dead

The past week has not been kind to me and I thought about not writing a review of anything for fear my grumpiness might get the better of me.  But there was one bright spot, so to speak, that I should tell you about and it’s a vampire novel of all things.

Vampires are not my favorite monster.  Actually, you might say they are the opposite of zombies.  Even when not entirely alone they are solitary creatures, instead of legion. Darkness reigns in the world of vampires, where filmmakers showcase all their gloriously gory zombie makeup in the full light of day.  Vampires drink human blood to survive, and zombies just chew people up or snack on brains for no real reason at all.

Mostly, though, vampire novels and movies are all about the vampire.  This is what irks me the most.  They are involved tales of massively self-involved people who look at humans like McNuggets and get to live for a really long time and make a huge deal over how unhappy they are to be young and pretty forever.  I’m just not that into it.  But I really enjoyed it anyway.

In The Lesser Dead we follow the story of Joey, who was turned into a vampire in New York City at the beginning of the Great Depression, though the meat of the story takes place in the subway system and above in the colorful year of 1978.  The maze of abandoned areas under a teeming metropolis has always fascinated me, and Buehlman uses it well. It takes a while to find out what the lesser dead are, and it’s surprisingly heartbreaking, especially to a zombiephile like me.

This story is told very well by a man whose prose is smooth, whose many characters are interesting and different from one another, and the story bounces around in time without being the least bit irritating. There is gore and heartache and an end that will surprise you.  This is a solid novel that I highly recommend, and I will be looking at his other novels.


CFR: In Addition: Hooray! B&N has this as an ebook which I will be buying as soon as this is posted. Darn it, Mildred, I got a budget!

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