• EDINBURGH BOOK FESTIVAL | 28 August 2000 | Andrew McNeil

    This is a review of an event I did at the Edinburgh Book Festival in August 2000 -- my first ever event at the festival!!

    Darren Shan: The Vampire's Assistant
    Venue: The Lloyds TSB Scotland Children's Theatre
    Reviewer: Andrew McNeil

    This man possibly, maybe-or will be packing the theatre in years to come. Film rights have been sold to a Hollywood studio (not a cast iron guarantee of production) and the vista of TWENTY-FOUR novels in total awaits the growing army of readers. Darren O'Shaughnessy writes for adults and used his name for that purpose-he used it, in a shortened version, also for the eponymous hero for his first of the series "Cirque du Freak." A buzz bomb of a personality and presenter the author immediately involved eager youngsters in a re-enactment of the Wolf Man loose among audience members.

    The scene features in the above novel and "member" is the operative word. Leaping from chair and platform we were whirled round at acrobatic speed. Going from the genesis of the story-recasting the old in a new light, the author's lifelong love of writing and daily work in Limerick these were all detailed. This after interviewed by another individual plucked from the audience. Boys featured but there was a healthy dollop of girls also present. The ordinary boy in extraordinary circumstances is cunningly subverted and enriched in the c.du freak novel. Readers are intrigued by the loose ends and plot twists (praised by one Harry Potter creator, no less).

    Evelyn Smith, librarian at the Royal High School, shared the word of mouth popularity of Darren Shan. She introduced the author who was making his first trip to Edinburgh. Movie, web site and the third novel, Tunnels of Blood, due out in November things to die -- well, become undead for. And I have a copy already….ha…ha..(evil laughter echoes)…

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