Written by: Mack Moyer
If you’re a fan of the vampire genre and looking for something different, Fat Vampire by Johnny B. Truant is for you.
Likewise, if you hate the vampire genre, what with it’s nauseatingly endless parade of black-clad, humorless “master of the night” types, you’ll love this short novel. I know because I fall into this latter category, abhorring almost every fictional vampire save for the tequila-swilling demons in From Dusk ’til Dawn.
The titular fat vampire is Reginald Baskin. Before his undead transformation, Reginald is an overweight guy working at a treadmill company, surrounded by alpha male Crossfit knuckleheads who mock him constantly.
And after his transformation…well, shit, Reginald is still mocked by everybody. Perpetually young-looking vampire lord Maurice – one of the few people in the world who likes Reginald for being the nice guy that he is – explains to him that when you become undead, your body remains as it was right before you died.
Which means if you’re attractive and physically fit when you turn, you’ll remain that way forever. But the same goes if you’re the opposite, and Reginald finds himself facing a 350-pound eternity, this time without the vague hope of losing weight. (Although it also means Reginald can’t get any fatter, so he can at least continue to binge eat pizza and shitty Chinese takeout.)
Sure, Reginald is slightly stronger and faster as a vampire, but that isn’t saying much. During his first couple hunts for human blood, Reginald gets his ass handed to him by teenagers and even the elderly.
Reginald discovers that vampire society not only mirrors our own fat-shaming, carb-counting culture, it’s worse. Instead of mocking fat folks, the ruling vampires choose to kill any undead who don’t live up to their standards of sexiness.
Reginald’s only advantage is his intellect. His lone vampire power magnifies his wits, which he’ll need against the vampire establishment that doesn’t tolerate anyone with more than one chin.
Fat Vampire is a refreshing entry into the tiresome vampire genre. It even answers questions I never thought to ask, like why a centuries-old demonic powerhouse would dress like a fucking goth kid (the answer is pretty obvious once you think about it).
More than just illuminate the minutia of a vampiric existence, Fat Vampire is a fun look at why we all need to accept who we are. Once Reginald is a vamp, he can’t change himself even if he wants to. He’s stuck with himself, big gut and all, and learns to make the best of it.