Fat Vampire by Adam Rex

What if your adolescent baby fat turned out to be a permanent situation? That’s our dude Doug’s issue. He’s fifteen and pudgy, and now that he’s been turned into a vampire, he’s destined to be fifteen and pudgy forever. He’s also dealing with his clueless best friend Jay’s complete lack of social skillz and an impossible crush on a gorgeous Indian exchange student named Sejal. And then there’s that nagging itch in his gums that says his fangs are out and it’s time to feed. The problem is, because of his lack of Edward-Cullen sparkle, Doug’s having a hard time getting close enough to a girl to kiss her, let alone take a sip from her jugular. So he’s reduced to sinking his fangs into the local dairy cows, but that’s like hitting Mickey D’s when you really want filet mignon. Doug’s gonna have to figure out how get some high octane Type O pronto, or his vampire a** is grass. Adam Rex’s first teen novel reminds me a lot of funnyman Christopher Moore’s paranormal comedies. I laughed my way through Doug & Jay’s serious awe at attending their first Comic Con (“…this goblin market at the nexus of all realities where a circa 1980s Iron Man and an original 1963 Iron Man and Naruto and Sherlock Holmes could all be waiting for the same bathroom. Would it convey the scale of the thing to know that there was a person who elected to dress as the Kool-Aid Man? Would it convey it better to know there were two?”) and their run-in with some hecklers at a Rocky Horror Picture Show midnight showing. At first I thought I was reading a nerderiffic anti-Twilight. But Rex shifts gears about half way through as Doug starts to come into his own as a vamp. The jokes get a little darker around the edges as Doug tries to hold on to his goofy humanity as his heart relentlessly grows colder and colder. This two-for-the-price-of-one comedy angst-fest comes with an out-of-the-box ending that’ll either leave you shaking your head or cheering on Rex’s refusal to be nailed down when it comes to deciding Doug’s fate. Either way, I’d love to know what you think–please come back and post! (And can we give it up for what just might be the best cover art of the year?!)

20 thoughts on “Fat Vampire by Adam Rex

  1. I have grown seriously sick of vampire books…THEY. ARE. EVERYWHERE! But this one sounds pretty good. And original, for once.

  2. I can’t WAIT to read this. I’m not a vampire fan, fantasy fan … any kind of human-eating, blood sucking zombie fan, but when I heard about this, I got pretty excited and laughed out loud to think about how INGENIUS this is and WHY hasn’t this book been written before??
    GREAT review!

  3. Indeed, Kim, like an army of dead, vampire books ARE everywhere–that’s why you have to be selective and this is definitely one of the better ones! I hope you enjoy it.

  4. I have very mixed feelings about the ending. I love Adam Rex and am a huge fan of The True Meaning of Smekday. I was hoping for a teen book with the same absurd, goofy spirit all the way through. While he started there, Rex’s dark/creepy turn toward the end felt disjointed to me. Whether that’s Rex’s fault as a writer or mine as a reader who brought too many expectations to the encounter is up for debate. It was fun, and the premise made me laugh, but ultimately wasn’t all I hoped for.

  5. Hi Jen! It was great meeting you, and then running into you everywhere, at ALA!

    I really enjoyed the start of this book, but the end left me frustrated. I guess I get what Rex was trying to do, but it left me a little off kilter.

    Oh and yes…great cover!


  6. I’ve just added this to my Must Read list. Will definitely be looking for it when I get the chance to get out and look for it.

  7. Nobody’s commented on the “I have the Google” subplot! Sanjay’s story fits the comic/serious mood like a glove and provides a realistic foil for Doug’s supernatural descent into bullying and intimidation. Frankly, I enjoyed reading about her more than Doug since Doug grows increasingly unlikable.

    Overall, I enjoyed the book, but I wish that Rex had retained more of the comic tone throughout the novel. I didn’t mind the ending, but that may be because I didn’t really care much about Doug by the end of the novel.

  8. so yea the book was great but the ending was a little iffy it confused me alot i just cant wrap my brain around it! are there alternate endings?

  9. Good book. Alternitive endings made me mad though. Takes the realism out of it. (lol realism+vampires=?)

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