Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Eric Nuzum's "The Dead Travel Fast"

Eric Nuzum is a recovering pop culture critic, VH1 pundit, and author of Parental Advisory: Music Censorship in America.

He applied the "Page 99 Test" to his new book, The Dead Travel Fast: Stalking Vampires from Nosferatu to Count Chocula, and reported the following:
Unfortunately, the page 99 thing holds for The Dead Travel Fast … here’s why: Page 99 of my book features me trying to find a way out of attending a vampire-themed topless revue in Vegas with my Dad. Oh, I was planning to attend. I just didn’t want to go with him.

Here is why I say it is “unfortunately” accurate. When I was a little boy, I dreamed of being an author when I grew up. In my little brain, that meant sitting around in a big comfy chair, probably smoking a pipe, stroking my professorial beard, snacking on cheese cubes, and thinking big author thoughts (basically, being lazy for a living). The unfortunate reality of my real-life authorship (if that’s even a word) is that I spend my time drinking my own blood, hanging out at chain restaurants with people who like to drink other people’s blood, running off to Romania with a tour of vampire enthusiasts, and attending a Dark Shadows fan convention (filled with people who don’t even have the social skills to be Trekkies). All this to answer a relatively simple question (or what I thought was a relatively simple question): Why are vampires interesting?

Alas, despite the book’s success, I don’t have a comfy chair, I don’t have any time to sit around (let alone think), and I don’t even have the damn beard. I do love cheese cubes though, so that part worked out okay, I guess.

So, if someone were to pick up The Dead Travel Fast, turn to page 99, and see this situation play out…they’d get a good taste for the nonsense that fills the other 235 pages.

Actual text from page 99 of The Dead Travel Fast:

It was my dad who first told me about Bite. “You know, they have an adult revue in Vegas about vampires,” he offered, almost managing to suppress the smile on his face. “If you are interested in going, I’d be happy to go along with you.”

I jumped into the other room to do some quick online research and learned that, yes, there was a topless show in Las Vegas called Bite. At least two other times that evening, my dad offered to attend the show with me.

My father is a great guy and I love him a lot, but there was no way in hell that I was going to attend an adult revue with my dad. There are lots of fun things to do with dads: fishing, baseball games, carrying heavy things for Mom, lawn work — the list goes on and on. However, nowhere on that list is staring at naked breasts. Going to a topless show with him just felt creepy. Once I’d heard about it, there was no doubt that I was going — the question was how to deal with Dad.

“Why can’t your dad come? When did breasts become creepy?” asked Katherine, who had already decided she was coming too.

“Okay, imagine this,” I offered. “You’re sitting there watching this show, then you look over at your father-in-law and you see a big grin on his face.”
Read an excerpt from The Dead Travel Fast and learn more about the book and author at Eric Nuzum's website.

--Marshal Zeringue