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The Lesser Dead by Christopher Buehlman
Paperback $17.00
Oct 06, 2015 | ISBN 9780425272626

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Product Details


“Buehlman offers up a colony of fierce, brazenly unscrupulous vampires who reclaim the genre from angsty goths and return it to its fearsome and ferocious origins.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Surprising, scary, and, ultimately, heartbreaking…Sheerly amazing.”—
“A ferocious and funny look at vampires living in 1978 New York City.”—Dread Central

Author Essay

Dear Reader,

You: “Vampires, huh?”

Me: “Vampires like you haven’t met before.”

You: “Do they glitter?”

Me: “Not unless they just broke through a window.”

You: “Are they all sexy twenty-somethings?”

Me: “Your narrator was turned at fourteen and still thinks like an adolescent. His best friend is a murderous Irish woman with veiny feet who wears a bathrobe and slippers.”

You: “Where’s their gothic mansion? Upper East Side Manhattan?”

Me: “Lower bottom-side Manhattan. ”

You: “Excuse me?”

Me: “They live in abandoned Subway stations and other forgotten subterranean places.”

You: “Like the mole people?”

Me: “Before that. 1978. This is Ed Koch’s New York, graffiti on trains, porn in Times Square, junkies leaving needles in the rambles in Central Park.”

You: “Sounds kinda fun. Is it scary?”

Me: “Not too scary until the kids show up.”

You: “What kids?”

Me: “The hungry ones.”

You: “Nice.”

Me: “The ones that hold your hand on the subway and make you take them home. The ones who play jacks with your teeth and make blind rabbits in rabbit-holes.”

You: “Ok, shut up, man, you’re creeping me out.”

Me: “You asked.”

I thought long and hard before I decided to write a book about one of my favorite monsters–I only went forward when I felt confident that I had some fun new planks to add to the myth. My approach to horror is very naturalistic and sensory; I ground the reader as solidly as possible in the real world and then introduce horrific elements that challenge your suspension of disbelief as little as the supernatural will allow. Joey Peacock and his tribe have bad breath because air goes stale in lungs that don’t breathe. They wear sunglasses not just because light hurts them, but because they don’t blink automatically anymore. They sleep in old refrigerators or swaddled up in blankets because bugs crawl in them if they don’t. They’re liars and hypnotists and you can’t see their teeth because they’re using their minds or magic or wherever charming comes from to hide them. If they feed from you, they make you forget. Hell, it could have happened to either one of us last night. How are you feeling today? Any weird dreams? Stains or soapy wet spots on the couch? Was the television on when you woke up in the morning?

You: “I said stop it, man.”

Me. “You’re right. I forgot ”

–Christopher Buehlman

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