The Traveling Vampire Show

Richard Laymon
The Traveling Vampire Show Cover

The Traveling Vampire Show


I enjoy horror novels and I'm not intimidated of turned off by splatterpunk. This is what I expected when I started reading The Traveling Vampire Show, the Bram Stoker award winning novel by Richard Laymon. A fixture of the horror writing genre, Mr. Laymon passed suddenly in 2001.

I expected blood and gore from this novel, I did not expect all the sex. Seriously, if the sex was removed from this novel, it would have been about 57 pages total. I'm not a prude, but there are only so many naked breast I want to read about in one book. Apparently all 16 year old boys think about is sex, and even in the most dire circumstances nothing gets in the way of a teenage boys erection!

All kidding aside, what Mr. Laymon's novel does so well is expose the underbelly of small town American life. Think Ray Bradbury or Stephen King. As with these authors underneath the simple happiness of small town life are small (and sometimes not so small) evils. And it is the story of these evils that drew me to this novel. These little mysteries that are not necessarily resolved at the end, are what kept me reading. Slims story about her Dad, the Cadillac twins, and what the hell was going on between Russ and Bitsy were just a couple of the very disturbing, very dark little sub-plots running between the main story.

The Traveling Vampire Show was my first Laymon novel, but inspite of the sex, I would read more of him in the future.