Thursday, August 5, 2010

No Such Thing as a Vampire

Phew, it’s nice to have five minutes to write again.  I’ve been pretty busy at work and at home.  I’ve just done my weekly shop on-line, and now I want to talk BOOKS!

I was quite amazed that the last time I logged into my profile at the Book Army site, my last log in was a year ago and I was just about to head off to the UK after 18 years.  So, I spent a couple of evenings updating and reviewing and at my sign off my position as being most read was 150.  I’m not sure out of how many, but I was 222 before my update.  So as well as getting through the 1001 book list, I also want to be in the top 20 by the end of next year!  Might have to start reading some 100 page books instead of the 600 I like to sink my teeth into…… oh well!

With this is mind and a boring task that took me all day at work, I put on my iPod Nano and listened to some of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.  As usual, I’m really enjoying the plot line and characters.  The plot is simple but not, I can understand why it’s been so popular with our younger generation as they can relate to the school-theme and the general goings on.  Most of the story revolves around that, but it’s the dark subplot that is always so clever.  I’m about half way through it now.

I’ve almost finished Dean Koontz’s Darkfall, and it’s a heap of nonsense.  It could be a short story but he’s filled it up with pretty mindless dialogue to pad it out to novel size.  I’m disappointed Dean…… in the forward he says it’s a variation on a theme.  What theme?  I’m still trying to work it out.  In my minds eye it’s a load of gremlin type creatures that are being controlled by the voodoo……?

Now, Button Button by Richard Matheson.  These stories are simply told but I’m loving them!  I read two last night – No Such Thing as a Vampire which has the most wonderful twist at the end, and the other was Pattern for Survival.  I read that one twice, it’s brilliant.  It’s about an author and the pattern of people his manuscript goes through to the final publishing and the first customer who buys it.  However at the end you realise that he has played the role of all those people himself, because he is the sole survivor of a nuclear holocaust!

Midnight in the Garden of Good & Evil by John Berendt is still enthralling me.  I lament my lack of a lunch break today as I really wanted to read some more.  The extremely wealthy Jim Williams has shot the young man who lived with him.  It turned out that the young man was his lover.  A scandal for some, but not for others who were close to them.  The young man was very volatile and a drug user and some say it was just a matter of time ….. Williams is indicted for murder…….. will he get off?  I must get the movie out some time. I wasn’t particularly interested in it when it was first released, but now I know this is all true, I’m fascinated.

Last night I uploaded a couple more books to my iPod Shuffle in the hope that I finish Darkfall as soon as possible! These are A Tranquil Star by Primo Levi and The End of Mr Y by Scarlett Thomas I’m looking forward to starting them.

I’m also still reading the odd page of Book of the Dead by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child, the characters are just opening up an old Egyptian Tomb exhibit in the basement of the museum and they have read aloud a curse from the Book of the Dead…. Well, we know what’s going to happen now don’t we?  Oh well, it had better be good and blood thirsty…….

Until next time……


  1. "No Such Thing as a Vampire" is among Matheson's few works to have been adapted more than once (an obvious exception being the thrice-filmed I AM LEGEND). First, it became an episode of the 1968 BBC-TV series LATE NIGHT HORROR with Hammer mainstay Andrew Keir, which sadly appears to be lost. Then, Matheson himself adapted it as a segment of the Dan Curtis TV-movie DEAD OF NIGHT, starring Patrick Macnee of AVENGERS fame. For further information, see my forthcoming book RICHARD MATHESON ON SCREEN.

  2. Thank you for that info, I will most certainly look out for your book.

  3. Much obliged. FYI, it has just been proofread and indexed, and should be headed off to the printers. Of course, you can always pre-order it. :-)

  4. Full marks for promotion, I checked the site but as it's in US Dollars it'a a little above my budget! I buy my books through, so will keep an eye out for it on that. Tell me, in your opinion, what is the best Matheson story? As well as the Button, Button collection I've read I Am Legend, Duel,Seven Steps to Midnight and I recently bought Somewhere in Time.

  5. Quite understood--McFarland's books are fairly scholarly, and priced accordingly (but, we hope, worth every penny!). I'd be hard pressed to pick a favorite Matheson book, but the ones that most spring to mind are I AM LEGEND, THE SHRINKING MAN, A STIR OF ECHOES, and HELL HOUSE, each of which has been filmed one or more times with varying degrees of success. Of the short stories, I especially like "Prey" (so memorably filmed in TRILOGY OF TERROR) and "Duel."