Ginger Nuts of Horror
By Stewart Horn
A gay-themed vampire novel written by a porn star may not sound appealing, but despite its many flaws, I rather enjoyed it.
Daniel and David were childhood neighbours, drawn together by familial neglect. They become friends, then step brothers, then lovers, and form a black metal band together. In their mid-teens they live a fabulously hedonistic life until the night Daniel disappears.
Four years later David has just about got his life back together when Daniel reappears and attacks him, and in the struggle David kills him. It's hardly a spoiler to say that Daniel is a vampire (and not any deader than before), and now so is David.
The first half of the book is completely engaging as we spend time with the boys and find out their history - I especially enjoyed the band scenes, but once the main plot kicks in it loses its way a little. An older vampire gives us a quasi-religious origin story for vampires and hatches a plan to raise an army of vampires to storm heaven and reclaim it in Lucifer's name. It's a grand and sweeping idea but never as interesting as the love story at the book's heart.
Homoeroticism in vampire fiction is hardly new, and Mr. Zeischegg doesn't really do anything new: it's no more sensual than Anne Rice and no more graphic than Poppy Brite. I get the feeling he wanted to shock us, but got too tied up with the romance, and the book is stronger for it. These days, extreme violence, drug use, heresy and gay sex no longer have the power. The underage pseudo-incest is a potential outrage trigger but those scenes are lightly drawn and rather sweet really, not pornographic at all.
If you like vampires, heavy metal, pornography and gay sex I guarantee you'll enjoy this book.