I have been listening to a free audio book that I found through iTunes by Greg Crites entitled, Dunkin the Vampire Slayer. And this led to the obligatory website visit, www.veinarmor.com. At his website, Mr. Crites has for sale a full range of his work, and while he is moving away from traditional printed books (he’ll sell you one if he has to), he does have audiobooks and PDF format works. Enough of the well-deserved plug.
Dunkin the Vampire Slayer itself is many things. It is, by turns, gloriously uneven, endlessly imaginative, lacking the polish of a publishing house, but overall it is great fun. I particularly like the device of fitting a thousand year old vampire into a management role—hilarious. It is, however, the treatment of vampires that is uneven, with master vampire Creole sounding suspiciously like Colonel Clink, accent included.
The audiobook is the first in the trilogy about Dunkin the Vampire Slayer, though the character Devlin steals most of the scenes in which he appears, and in fact, Devlin is the main character in a spin-off series. Devlin is a gruff sounding character who is given voice by Mr. Crites much more naturally than the others, and one gets the feeling that it is not just because the author’s cheese grater-smooth voice is well-suited.
While Mr. Crites does provide his own unique vision, there are many elements that will be familiar. The alcoholic bad-ass loner who hates to see injustice and can still be scolded by his mother; the vampire-slayer/hot vampire taboo relationship; Fate’s drawing together of individuals with the necessary qualities; ancient scrolls and prophesies; and, the overly noble hero. While the elements may be familiar, Mr. Crites’ handling of them is, although frequently forced, his own, and the same could be said of his prose. While the writing, particulrly dialogue has a tendency to be forced, it does keep the story moving at a brisk pace, only slowing when Dunkin, Devlin, and the sidekick, Ash, spend a little bit extra time needling each other, and parlaying crudity—which isn’t that crude, despite the author’s constant assurances that it is.
For all that Dunkin the Vampire Slayer is, it is not high art, nor is it intended to be. Indeed Dunkin does not seem to be anything other than pop entertainment—and it is entertaining. Mr. Crites’ fast-paced style and well-produced podiobook makes for good listening, and I have not traditionally been a big fan of audiobooks, finding it too easy to get distracted. Mr. Crites held my attention and I was always keen to hear the next instalment. Which means that, despite its clear literary short-comings, Dunkin the Vampire Slayer is well-worth checking out.
P.S. Part two is out now.