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Item - Please Don't Feed the Vampire

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(Original American edition, first printing)
(Original American edition, first printing)
(Original American edition, first printing)
(Original American edition, first printing)
(British reissue edition)
(British reissue edition)
(British reissue edition)
(British reissue edition)

Combined Summary

Series: Give Yourself Goosebumps — no. 15
Translated Into: Ikke mat vampyren! (Norwegian)
¡No des de comer al vampiro! (Spanish)
Author: Stine, R. L.
Illustrator: Nagata, Mark
Dates: March, 1997 (Original American edition, first printing)
2000 (Original British edition)
2016 (British reissue edition)
ISBNs: 0590934775 / 9780590934770 (Original American edition, first printing)
1407157345 / 9781407157344 (British reissue edition)
Length: 137 pages
Number of Endings: 21
User Summary: The "Vampire in a Can" costume you just bought turns out to be a bit troublesome when you discover (the hard way) that the fake blood it contains turns whatever consumes it into a vampire!
Demian's Thoughts:

Although the gameplay in this book is almost totally uninteresting, the writing isn't too bad.... Some of the humor comes close to actually being funny (though not too close). Of some note is the fact that the first choice comes only two pages into the book; this is a bit quicker than usual. Further into the story, though, there are plenty of long stretches devoid of choices. On an unrelated note, it's interesting that the description on the back cover suggests that Fifi the dog is male. Hmm....

More reviews by Demian

KenJenningsJeopardy74's Thoughts:

I remember the first time I saw a Give Yourself Goosebumps book in a store. The combination of two of my favorite literary types—juvenile horror and gamebooks—was exciting, and ever after that I sought to collect the series. In Please Don't Feed the Vampire!, you have recently purchased a "Vampire in a Can" Halloween costume from a local shop called Scary Stuff, but you regret spending the money. You and your best friend Gabe find that the can holds only a few cheap plastic pieces that hardly make you look like a vampire at all. You'd like to march right back and demand a refund from the store owner, Mr. Reuterly, known as the "Eyeball Man" for the glass eye he's rumored to have. But then you notice a small packet tucked away in the can, marked DANGER—KEEP AWAY. Is it fake blood for the costume? Should you tear open the packet with your teeth, or heed the danger sign?

As the catalyst for everything that happens next, ignoring the packet isn't an actual option. If you choose to do so, your black poodle, Fifi, gets hold of the packet and tears it with her teeth. Instantly she turns aggressive, snarling at you, behavior totally out of character for your little dog. You know you're in deep trouble when she grows fangs. The "fake blood" turned her into a vampire, and now she's out on the streets, a lethal threat to people and animals. Depending what you and Gabe do next, you might face a herd of vampire canines bitten by Fifi. You could hide from them in a garage, but you have to find an antidote before the situation becomes unmanageable. Does Gabe have the perfect solution? Make different choices and you'll cross paths with Jeremy Weniger, a grouchy guy who lives on another street. When you go to his house to retrieve Fifi, he drives away suspiciously fast in his car. Did Weniger just kidnap your dog? You may discover he has taken Fifi to a vampire flick at the movie theater as a form of psychotherapy, or that he's gone to a pet store owned by his own mother. Can you stop Fifi from infecting other animals with vampirism? Don't get careless and let her bite you, or your idea to be a vampire for Halloween will become a permanent condition.

Maybe you opened the packet yourself at first, in which case Fifi only makes a cameo appearance in the story. Your teeth pierce the packet and the syrup floods your mouth, a sweet substance you crave more of as soon as it touches your tongue. The stuff looks like blood, Gabe points out, and if you're honest, tastes like it too. When you pass a mirror and see no reflection, the truth is obvious: the packet of blood made you a vampire. You desperately desire to sink your fangs into Gabe's neck, but do you have the willpower to hold back? The two of you brainstorm some strategies, but none are sure to work. You could hole up in your bedroom and hope the vampirism is temporary, but what if you die of starvation? Maybe you'll ask your parents for help—your dad is a dentist—but will he take you seriously or just try to fix your teeth so they're no longer sharp and pointy? The longer you spend outside your room, the more likely you are to bite someone, maybe even your dad. You could research vampirism rather than lock yourself in your room, but marathoning Dracula movies doesn't yield much insight. Who knew pop culture was so useless? Maybe you'll decide simply to indulge your new nature and team up with Gabe to shop for victims; you wouldn't mind preying on nasty old Mrs. Winesap. But perhaps your best bet is returning to the Scary Stuff store and confronting Mr. Reuterly, who points you in the direction of a product help center. You and Gabe have a bad feeling as you approach the rundown factory building on 999 Sanguine Road, but what other hope do you have? Go this route and you may turn into a bat forever. If you don't, then inside the factory a team of cordial associates do their best to trap you in their vampire lifestyle. Much of this book is spent running from them through the factory's shadowy hallways, trying to save yourself and Gabe. There are more bad endings than good, but triumph is possible if you're lucky.

Please Don't Feed the Vampire! offers, albeit weakly, a noteworthy theme: is it better to serve your own appetites even if they harm people, or commit to the arduous work of resisting? A gamebook focused on that question, if written well, could be superb, but Please Don't Feed the Vampire! fails to deliver. It is full of lazy narrative inconsistencies and ineffective comedy. Aside from a few scenes at the factory on 999 Sanguine Road that give the feeling of being trapped in a labyrinth with excitement waiting around every turn, there's not much to praise about this book. I suppose I'll pull it out occasionally for a reread around Halloween, though. You can't go too wrong with Goosebumps.

More reviews by KenJenningsJeopardy74

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Known Editions

Original American edition, first printing
Original British edition
British reissue edition

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