Happy Hour of the Damned

Reviewer: Jake Beal

Author: Mark Henry

Published: 2008

Reviewed: 2009-08-10

Publisher: Kensington

What if the only thing all the supernatural creatures of the world had
in common was that they all loved getting drunk? What if Seattle were
filled with clubbing vampires and zombies and were-critters and demons
and other assorted riff-raff, all looking for ways to one-up one
another in fashion or social stature? What if you had a book full of
unsympathetic shallow assholes having cheap, tawdry sex, and they just
happened to be supernatural?

The answer to all these is Mark Henry's book, "Happy Hour of the
Damned." I picked it up out of the same sense of sick fascination
that leads one to rubberneck at a car crash. You see, some time ago I
was looking for something else in the MITSFS, came across this book,
and flipped it open to a random page to mock it with a dramatic
reading. It happened that the random page in question contained a
discussion of the effects of being a zombie on "feminine lubrication."
I was mildly repulsed, but wondered just how far down in the depths
the book might go. It turns out: pretty far.

Mr. Henry does do an excellent job of showing off the viewpoint of a
shallow, pretentious jerk who obsessively makes catty little lists,
comments on the fashion sense of everybody she meets, whose approach
to sex is actually improved in the afterlife when she begins to eat
her partners. I'm just not sure I really wanted to go there, at least
not so long or so thoroughly. The first fifty or so pages were fun,
an antidote to every Anne Rice imitator out there, but then it just
got stale, and a very standard supernatural-destroy-the-world kind of
plot got introduced, to be resolved with the help of our... narrator.
I just can't call her a heroine.

So what is my final judgement? Points for originality, but not so
good on follow-through, and if I hadn't checked it out for review, I
would have set it down after 50 pages and never cared to look back.