Books about vampires are usually a joke to me. Granted, ten out of ten such books in my house belong to my wife and are what I would (generously) call Vampire-Porn, but other than that it is rare for a blood-sucking tome to find its way onto my shelves. In all actuality, until I made my way through B. H. Fingerman’s Bottomfeeder, there were only two books on said shelf. Both by the same author, Christopher Moore, come to think of it.
Perhaps the fact that Fingerman’s book shares a similarity in macabre humor with those other books is why I found myself reading and eventually enjoying it.
Bottomfeeder tells the story of a guy by the name of Phil Merman, who just happens to have been turned into a vampire in the '70s, and has since been dealing with that fact by victimizing only the dregs of society in order to fulfill his bloodlust. Sure, munching primarily on drunken bums other societal castoffs means that his meals will more often than not have the slight stench of urine added in as a bonus, but it helps him (so he seems to think) keep a handle on his morality, as his mortality is no longer an issue.
It isn’t until Phil happens to meet another bloodsucker that he begins to question his current life, or lack thereof. Having long-since ditched whatever friends he may have had, except for one peculiar hanger-on, his job as a photo archivist allowed him the solitude his life had seemed to demand. Of course, not everything that leads you into questioning things turns out to be good for you.
Answers, you see, are not always what you want them to be.
The journey Phil goes on to eventually find out that particular nugget of information is what makes Bottomfeeder such an entertaining read. Vulgar at times, disgustingly farcical at others, Fingerman’s take on the usually stale genre of all things vampiric, is hopefully the first note in what will become a lovely career as a novelist.
I’ll certainly be looking forward to his next book.