The Suicide Motor Club


I couldn’t sleep, or rather, I fell asleep at 10:30 and then woke at 3, wide awake but exhausted, so with no other alternatives I read The Suicide Motor Club, a book about vampires driving muscle cars in the 1960s. When I then complain that the ending is riddled with too many coincidences to maintain the suspension of disbelief, you may quite fairly wonder how I has suppressed my scepticism for the previous two hours.

The Suicide Motor Club is the second book I’ve read by Christopher Buehlman; the first was Those Across The River, a Depression-era werewolf story apparently written one-handedly, so frequent are the sex scenes. The Suicide Motor Club doesn’t repeat that (there’s one chapter where the Renfield of the piece displays all his predilections) but instead has five or six chapters of fairly gratuitous nastiness. There’s nothing particularly graphic, but it’s still grim.

Those Across The River ended bleakly, but in a way that felt realistic and consistent with the rest of the story. The Suicide Motor Club gets its comeuppance at the hands of a telepathic anti-vampire (it turns out Catholicism can heal all wounds) who’s also a crack shot, and a spooky haunted crucifix. Oh, and so many coincidences, layered on top of one another that when a random man drives past near the end, you’re desperately trying to figure out where you’ve seen him before. (You haven’t.)

The book is not without its charms: the vampires are appropriately nasty pieces of work and also obsessed with their cars. Unfortunately the dialogue is pretty awful: it’s written in such a way that everyone sounds the same and thus every conversation is a more confusing monologue. Most of the vampires are indistinguishable from one another, which is a missed opportunity, unless this was meant to be some statement about the banality of evil.

I rushed to get to the end before the sun came up. The cliffhanger it ends on felt especially weak, but it’s some testament to the writing that even with the failures detailed above, I didn’t give up. The ending might be disappointing, but I had to get there.

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4 responses to “The Suicide Motor Club”

  1. Dude, you’re seriously not selling Singapore to me, if the only option available at 3am is words on a page about blood-sucking make belief nonsense. Don’t they have a place like Roppongi over there you could nip out and visit, while everyone’s tucked up? Here’s a book I recently read that I’m recommending, though maybe not at 3am – Ego is the Enemy, by Ryan Holiday.

    • Singapore’s far too clean to have a Roppongi-style bedlam of filthy clubs. The closest it gets these days is the Four Floors of Whores on Orchard Road, and possibly some stuff out on Katong. Allegedly. I don’t know nothing, me, just what I was told.

      (Although historically, the only places I’ve lived in Singapore have been the red light districts and the street of gay bars, so I don’t know what that says.)

      • Thanks for the tip, I’ve snapchatted this info to dad, he arrives in a few days, and I’m sure Floors of Whores will be top of his to-do list 🙂

        • It is my pleasure to serve. Last time I was there was on an all-night bender to celebrate somebody’s new fatherhood; started with a terrible football match ( http://www.cushtie.com/masters-of-football/ ), then a stop to play pool in a bar full of hookers, and then a party bus with a smoke machine took us to the Four Floors. Call that the Trifecta of Singaporean Filth and recommend that to your father…

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