Fat Vampire: A Never Coming of Age Story

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Overview

Doug Lee is undead quite by accident—attacked by a desperate vampire, he finds himself cursed with being fat and fifteen forever. When he has no luck finding some goth chick with a vampire fetish, he resorts to sucking the blood of cows under cover of the night. But it's just not the same.

Then he meets the new Indian exchange student and falls for her—hard. Yeah, he wants to bite her, but he also wants to prove himself to her. But like the laws of life, love, and high school, ...

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Fat Vampire: A Never Coming of Age Story

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Overview

Doug Lee is undead quite by accident—attacked by a desperate vampire, he finds himself cursed with being fat and fifteen forever. When he has no luck finding some goth chick with a vampire fetish, he resorts to sucking the blood of cows under cover of the night. But it's just not the same.

Then he meets the new Indian exchange student and falls for her—hard. Yeah, he wants to bite her, but he also wants to prove himself to her. But like the laws of life, love, and high school, the laws of vampire existence are complicated—it's not as easy as studying Dracula. Especially when the star of Vampire Hunters is hot on your trail in an attempt to boost ratings. . . .

Searing, hilarious, and always unexpected, Fat Vampire is a satirical tour de force from one of the most original writers of fiction today.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
As vampires go, 15-year-old Doug Lee is an abysmal failure. Forever frozen as an overweight teenager, he's stumbling through his unlife. He can't seem to master his powers, can't score a quick nibble off a cute girl, and risks bursting into flames every time he goes to school. Worse, his escapades attract the attention of other vampires, and a sensationalistic cable show dedicated to proving that he exists (before staking him). Things take a turn for the better when he gains a mentor, learns there may be a way to reverse his vampiric nature, and falls for a cute Indian exchange student. But in typical Doug fashion, the more optimistic he gets and the more he embraces his new powers, the more it all stands to fall apart. Filled with a self-aware cleverness, Rex's (The True Meaning of Smekday) deconstruction of the vampire mythos draws some thought-provoking parallels between vampirism and elements of contemporary society, particularly the consumptive power of technology and the Internet. But like its subject matter, it seems to lack heart, and the ambiguous ending may leave readers cold. Ages 14-up. (July)
Booklist
The title says it all in this delightfully macabre spoof on the current vampire craze. Rex sustains the wonderfully dry humor and calculated silliness and then surprises the reader with a thoughtful, poignant, ambiguous ending that is bound to inspire discussion.
VOYA - Alissa Lauzon
Attacked by a vampire, Doug is permanently stuck as a dorky, fat fifteen year old. Thankfully, his best friend, Jay, has been supportive and willing to help (including causing a distraction so Doug can rob a blood bank at Comic-Con International to regain his strength). Doug desperately desires a relationship with a girl, preferably one who would not mind sharing her blood on a regular basis. He quickly becomes infatuated with Sejal, an exchange student from India who is looking to recover from "the Google." His attempts to win her over, however, remain unsuccessful, and Doug faces bigger problems in the form of a television show called Vampire Hunter, which is hunting him, as well as a less-than-welcoming reception by the senior vampire elite. Rex has crafted a completely original vampire story devoid of both romance and horror. It is difficult to feel sympathy for Doug because he is intensely unlikable; his completely self-centered attitude along with his continual jokes at Jay's expense and homophobic comments make him come off as a jerk and a bully. Rex has nailed the awkwardness and dialogue (complete with new variants of the f-word) of a typical teenage boy, but he relies on the dialogue too much to move the story forward. The point of view is awkward and leaves certain storylines unexplored or underdeveloped. Fat Vampire will unlikely have the mass mainstream appeal of other vampire books; however, it will find appreciation among sophisticated readers who will enjoy exploring the nuances of the story. Reviewer: Alissa Lauzon
VOYA - Mary Boutet
Not only was this book funny and full of references that will make any fangirl squeel, it's beautifully written and profound enough to make Joss Whedon proud. After all of the vampire books jumping on the Twilight bandwagon, I loved Rex's use of vampirism as a metaphor for Doug's failure to mature with the rest of his friends—vampirism became an inhibiting curse that kept Doug from seeing past his homophobia and obsession with social status, making his increased attractiveness seem less important. Rex introduced a number of protagonists, each offering a perspective that added to the story. The choose-your-own-ending option was something I've never seen before, and it worked perfectly. I recommend this book to anyone. Reviewer: Mary Boutet, Teen Reviewer
Children's Literature - Lauri Berkenkamp
Doug Lee is a fat, fifteen year-old geek who has lousy luck: he has been turned into a vampire and is destined to live for eternity in the body of a chubby, comic book-loving, blood-sucking dork. Sejal is an Indian foreign exchange student who suffers from "The Google," an addiction to the Internet that is so strong she travels to the US and to a family with bad Internet connnectivity to cut herself off from her need to videoblog. Doug falls hard for Sejal, but she senses in Doug the same deep unhappiness she feels in herself. Doug has to contend with his feelings for Sejal, his quest to prove himself to her, and how to master being a vampire, which is a lot harder than he thought it would be. Meanwhile, a vapid reality show called "Vampire Hunter" is on Doug's trail, and Doug has to avoid being killed by the show's crazy host who is bent on killing him on-camera to bump the show's ratings. He also has to deal with being an odd vampire out in the local vampire coven. In this funny and touching novel, Adam Rex combines a spot-on depiction of the shallowness and sensitivity of teens with an exciting and fast-paced vampire adventure that gives nods to Neil Gaiman, the Rocky Horror Picture Show, and several comic book anti-heroes. This is a vampire book for readers who would not normally read vampire books, but like a funny coming-of-age story featuring a hero who is not very heroic. It is recommended for high school readers due to mature content and language. Reviewer: Lauri Berkenkamp
School Library Journal
Gr 10 Up—Unlike most vampires who are drop-dead gorgeous, sexy, and irresistible, Doug is the exact opposite. Overweight, unpopular, and dorky, he seals his fate by being in the wrong place at the wrong time and as a result was attacked by a starving, newly made vampire. Now he must spend the rest of his immortal life as an unattractive 15-year-old, feeding off cows to satisfy his need for blood. With the support of some local vampire guardians and his friend Jay, the teen must now learn how to "live" life as a vampire. If events aren't complicated enough, he falls for the "new girl" at school, and has the star of the TV show Vampire Hunters hot on his trail, trying to expose him to the world. Rex's story falls flat. The back-and-forth narration between Doug and Sejal is confusing and slows down the plot. There are some promising moments, funny scenes, and intriguing themes that unfortunately just don't pan out.—Donna Rosenblum, Floral Park Memorial High School, NY
Mary Quattlebaum
…Adam Rex deftly spoofs the popular vampire genre while delivering a novel that's surprising, funny and poignant.
—The Washington Post
Booklist
The title says it all in this delightfully macabre spoof on the current vampire craze. Rex sustains the wonderfully dry humor and calculated silliness and then surprises the reader with a thoughtful, poignant, ambiguous ending that is bound to inspire discussion.
Washington Post
“Surprising, funny, and poignant. The ending hits the reader’s heart like a stake and lingers long in the mind—the best kind of undead.”
Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“A rather haunting exploration of what it means to come of age in a media-saturated culture…. An intriguing reconsideration of the vampire theme.”
The Bulletin for the Center for Children's Books
“A rather haunting exploration of what it means to come of age in a media-saturated culture…. An intriguing reconsideration of the vampire theme.”
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"A rather haunting exploration of what it means to come of age in a media-saturated culture…. An intriguing reconsideration of the vampire theme."
Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“A rather haunting exploration of what it means to come of age in a media-saturated culture…. An intriguing reconsideration of the vampire theme.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061920905
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 7/27/2010
  • Pages: 324
  • Age range: 14 - 17 Years
  • Lexile: 700L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Adam Rex is the New York Times bestselling author of one other novel, The True Meaning of Smekday. He lives with his wife in Tucson, Arizona.

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Read an Excerpt

Fat Vampire
A Never Coming of Age Story

Chapter One

My Dork Embrace

DOUG SAID, "Hi," and the girl turned. The perfect girl with red hair and a nearly empty cup of yellow beer turned and looked at him. He tried to relax his eyes, take all of her in at once—the blue belly shirt, the bottomless cleavage—without appearing to ogle. He didn't know her or practically anyone else at the party. She didn't know him. She wouldn't have any reason not to talk to him.

She found a reason. Look—it was all there on her face. She'd seen through his disguise—the hair gel, the too-tight shirt from Apparel Conspiracy. He was a completely surprising form of life, something that should not be at a party, shouldn't be addressing her. A gorilla maybe, frantically signing Koko want kitten. Koko want kitten.

"What?" she said. Not superinviting.

"Hey. I'm Doug."

She seemed hesitant to give her name, like she might get it back with gunk on it. But then, "Carrie. My friend's coming right back."

"That's . . . cool. So what school do you go to?" he asked. Not that he knew any schools in San Diego.

"Garfield," said the girl, but as she did so she arched her neck to look over his shoulder. Her long, soft, beautiful neck. Koko want kitten.

"It's . . . kind of crowded in here," said Doug. "Don't you think? You want to go outside? Get some fresh air?"

"I'm waiting for my friend," said the girl. And then her whole posture relaxed, and a sudden brightness in her eyes told Doug that she'd just seen this friend, the friend was close, like the friend had just pressed the button on her key chain that made the headlights flash and the locks pop.

"Just for a second," said Doug. "Really quick. I want to show you something."

"Ew."

"No, it's not like . . . Just trust me . . . Come outside . . . It's totally amazing . . ."

The friend was back. The friend was right there, and Doug heard himself say, "I'm a vampire."

Both girls stared at him for an airless moment, possibly deciding how they were going to take this. Funny or Scary? Funny or Scary?

"A creature of the night," Doug continued. "Cursed like Cain to wander—"

"Aren't you a little fat for a vampire?" asked the friend.

Funny it is, then. Doug sighed. "I guess."

"Oh, my god, are you one of those comics convention people?" asked the friend. "Paul said there wouldn't be too many of them."

"Look, sorry," said the girl, the girl whose name Doug had to admit had already escaped his mind. "I'm here with my friend. Maybe someone else will go see your comic book thing." They turned to leave.

"I wasn't trying to show you a comic book!" said Doug as he followed them. "I'm a vampire! I'm a fat vampire, okay? I was trying to lose weight before I got bitten. Now I'm screwed."

The girl faced him. A second or so later her friend realized she was walking all by herself. She clucked her tongue and came back.

"Why are you screwed?" asked the girl.

This was something. Not really the topic Doug wanted to talk about, but at least they were talking.

"I'm . . . cursed," said Doug. He was going to have to come up with another word for cursed. "For all eternity, always alone, never able to quench my dark—"

No, he could see in her face he was losing her. Something else.

"Look," he said, "vampires don't change, right? I'm never going to get any older, and I'll always look like this. Short. Doughy. You know I haven't had anything to eat or drink except blood for the last month? And nothing. No change. If I can't lose weight on an all-blood diet—"

"So is that why you wanted me to go outside with you? You were going to attack me?"

"No! No, I—"

"You were going to drink my blood?"

Doug dropped his eyes, but then he was just staring at her bare belly, at the hypnotic whorl of her navel that would certainly bewitch him, make him stupid with want. He glanced to her right and noticed a few bystanders were listening, their conversations ebbing away. Beautiful people with faces like flowers, turning slowly to bask in someone else's blazing embarrassment.

"Only if you wanted me—"

"What?" said the friend. "We CAN'T HEAR YOU."

"Only if you wanted me to," said Doug. "I just would've showed you my fangs and then . . . maybe you'd be, you know"—when he finished the thought it was barely there—"into it."

"Okay, time to go," said a really tall guy who came out of nowhere. He grabbed Doug's arm and escorted him, backward, stumbling, toward the door.

"Don't be too mean to him," the girl called after them. "He didn't do anything."

Don't be too mean to him, thought Doug. Not TOO mean. He was fifteen years old, he would always be fifteen years old, and it was possibly the nicest thing any girl would ever say about him.

Fat Vampire
A Never Coming of Age Story
. Copyright © by Adam Rex. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 29 )
Rating Distribution

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(11)

4 Star

(5)

3 Star

(6)

2 Star

(4)

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(3)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 29 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 12, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by John Jacobson aka "R.J. Jacobs" for Teens Read Too

    Attacked by a vampire while out on vacation, Doug has become the latest child of the night. He was changed by a guy from school who could not control himself. He tells people he's been changed by a beautiful vampire bombshell to keep his credibility intact. Doug isn't like the other vampires, though. He's not dark and brooding. He's a nerd. Pale and freckled and overweight, most people think he just has a bad skin condition. When he's not going to conventions dressed as a Klingon or another nerdy character, Doug is trying to woo girls. He still needs to eat, and drinking the blood of a girl is practically having sex with her. Young vampires also need tutors so they can get used to their powers and responsibilities. They are an endangered species, after all, and they need to know how to do things. Despite this, Doug still acts like he did as a human. He goes to comic book conventions with his pals, and he tries to fit in and get a girlfriend. Senjal, an exchange student from India who has the cyber addiction known as `The Google,' doesn't believe in vampires. Doug believes, however, that Senjal will fall for him, even though he isn't exactly smooth. While Doug is cruising and schmoozing and trying to discover what he can do, a defunct television vampire hunter gets wind of some of his mistakes, and he soon begins to track Doug down. How will things turn out with Senjal, and will Doug get staked before he can get a solid girlfriend? This book has a lot going for it. The plot is funny, and for people that are tired of the same vampire novels, it can provide a fun escape. Rex knows how to write funny one-liners and references a lot of cool things, so readers of all ages will get a few chuckles out of him. He also has something to say beyond the funny, and that's a biting satire of the current sparkly savior vampire trend. He's out to prove that vampires are actually jerks. Therein lies the novel's main flaw. Most of the characters are all right. Senjal was a little flat, but most of the other ones were cool. Doug, however, was a real jerk. Some people will find this hilarious and relate with Doug. Others, like this reviewer in particular, will be offended. He makes biting remarks about lots of minority groups, gay people and the like, and it's really frustrating to read that for a long period of time. He teases people about it, and he really isn't a likable person at all. However, this is Rex's point. Doug gets told off for saying insulting things about these people, which at least shows there was reason behind the writing. It doesn't change the fact that some readers will be put off by Doug's attitude. FAT VAMPIRE is an intelligent and witty novel, but the protagonist will bog a lot of readers down. It's a great read if you're looking for satire and cult humor, but you have to deal with one jerk of a protagonist.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 25, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Highly Original

    Doug is having a hard time getting the hang of this whole vampire thing. First of all, he is only about 5'5 and overweight. He'd been meaning to workout and lose some weight, but he was bitten before he could do that, so now he is eternally damned to be forever fat. It's not exactly an ideal situation for a vampire. To make matters worse, he has no idea what he is doing. There's no manual, he has no mentor, and everything that Bram Stoker wrote in Dracula seems to be wrong. He is afraid of turning other people into vampires, so he feeds on cows and other unsuspecting animals. When he and his best friend Jay attend Comic-Con in San Diego, Doug attempts to feed on a panda in the San Diego zoo. Unbeknownst to him, there is a live panda cam recording his attempt. Soon, the video is on YouTube and the people behind a fake reality series titled "Vampire Hunters" get ahold of the footage in hopes of finding their first real vampire and upping their ratings.

    When Doug returns to school he is immediately smitten with Sejal, the foreign exchange student from India. Sejal has been sent to America by her parents who hope to cure her of "The Google" (an internet afflicted disease). He also runs into his maker and eventually they are introduced to a group of older vampires who agree to mentor them. As the reality TV hounds begin honing in on Doug's location, Doug begins to wonder if he can maybe be cured of his vampirism. He remembers a movie where the newly created vamps were able to kill their maker and return themselves to true human form. But is he ready to go back to being a regular, dorky dude and lose these cool new powers? If he does, will he stand any kind of chance with Sejal?

    For the most part I really enjoyed Fat Vampire: A Never Coming of Age Story. The premise is genius. Doug is the anti-Edward. He and his friend Jay are funny and lovable. Adam Rex's writing is wicked and clever and the characters are all engaging. My only problem with this one was that the storyline seemed to be too big for the length of the book. I felt a lot of plot lines fell flat, some of my favorite characters just disappeared, and some of the scenes felt rushed. Had this book been longer the multiple plots would have had more room to breathe and these characters could have grown more. Still, the book is worth reading, especially if you want a fresh, funny new take on vampires.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 5, 2011

    really f***ing awesome

    great and entertaining

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 30, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Hilarious Start, But Falls Flat

    The YA market is inundated with vampire stories, but Fat Vampire really stuck out as something completely different. And it is. For the most part. Doug is vampire and he's fat. He's not the average dark, sexy vampire, but an overweight 15 year old with glasses and few friends. The other kids at school even call him Meatball. The premise sounds hilarious and fun, which it is, for a while. I've seen mixed reviews of the book and I get why. It was good, but not quite as good as I'd hoped.

    The good stuff:
    It opens with vampire Doug and his best friend Jay in San Diego to check out Comic-con. Vampires. Comic-con. What more could I ask for? Adam Rex kicks the comedy into high gear for the first third of the book. Doug's vampire troubles, including the inability to attract girls even with his vampireness, are more than amusing. When most people think of vampires, they think sexy and powerful. Doug is neither and that's what makes this story great. Rex's writing is witty and had me cracking up laughing.

    The not so good:
    Doug is a teenager, so he's bound to be attracted to girls, but I could not see the allure of Sejal, the foreign exchange student from India. She's nice to him and most girls aren't, so I get that, but her character was just so flat and dull. She even borders on annoying with her whiny 'I have the Google' and her boohooing about Doug liking her. BTW, the Google is a disease/disorder of using the internet and technology so much that your real life pretty much disappears.

    This love story aspect was boring and carried on for so long. Nothing seems to happen during the entire middle of the book. Doug likes Sejal, Sejal doesn't really like Doug, Jay finds some new friends, Doug starts learning more about vampires, but nothing really happens. The comedy all but disappears and we're left with Doug being quiet and broody (not in any sort of sexy way).

    Fat Vampire fell into that slump right in the middle. It starts off really strong and funny, then drops into a lull that seems neverending, only to come back to life towards the end. I liked this book, but it wasn't as good as I had hoped and expected from the first few chapters. It's still worth the read though.

    Opening line: Doug came to, lying on his back in what felt and smelled like a field. ~ pg. 1

    Favorite line(s): "He thinks he's a vampire maybe." "I've taken blood from a stormtrooper and a Superman and at least three cartoon characters today," said Kendra. "He can think he's whatever he want, long as he TURNS HIS ASSFERATU AROUND AND PUTS BACK THAT BLOOD." ~ pg. 37

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 23, 2013

    Ehhh.  The concept of the story is original as not many vampire

    Ehhh.  The concept of the story is original as not many vampire books feature a fat, nerdy teenage boy as the lead character.  The beginning of the book kept me interested and reading.  Toward the middle, the plot and Doug go stale.  I stopped liking Doug and the plot wasn't worth hanging on for.  Not being a quitter, I did skim to the end, which really wasn't worth it.  I'd say if you are bored or get a good discount, you can give it a chance.  Other than that, I wouldn't pick it up expecting an entertaining read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 29, 2012

    Ratings on book

    Beautiful funny nice what else

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 12, 2012

    Stupid

    Along with ur book cold cereal STUPID!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 13, 2012

    Great book

    I love this book

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 20, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Great Read!

    This book was interesting and hilarious. I love how it was written, from a male point of view, which you don't see much. Also it was written by a male author.




    I knew from the moment I layed eyes on this book that I would enjoy it immensely and that I did. Right from the beginning, you were thrown into this geeky, fat boys world of trying to make it as a fat vampire. I felt for him during his hardships. He struggle in feeding, as well in other areas.




    I was glad to see he go help through a mentor. Through this he was able to learn more and of course become a better vampire. He also took a chance and finally step up to the plate, becoming the true vampire that he his. But in doing this, his ego went straight to his head and all of the sudden he was "BAD" He end up getting a girlfriend and used her badly. I was disappointed in his choice. While I was glad that he finally came who he was, he made a poor choice in it as well.




    In the end, Doug hardships paid off. He went off the find he friends attacker, dubbing him my knight and shining armor. I admit that the ending was a little confusing for me. I'm still not sure what to make of it.




    Mr. Rex, did a great job writing this. The plot, drama and suspense was written perfect. I enjoyed reading each and every page of it. Mr. Rex did a great job capturing the voice of a real teenage boy. I was happy as a reader to get a good insight on the character. Doug was not your typical teenage boy and for that I was grateful to see someone who was not popular, or cute from the start.

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  • Posted June 2, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A fresh take on vampire stories!

    Doug is a fifteen year old vampire. The details of the night he was turned are still fuzzy, but he and his best friend Jay are convinced that reading Dracula is the best way to learn about his vampirism. When that turns out not to be enough, Doug is stoked to hear from the local head vampire and is issued a vampire tutor. This is all fine and dandy, of course, but Doug still has to deal with all of the regular trials of high school. He is a major dork, and now that he is a vampire, all hope of turning into something cool is gone. On top of that, there's a new foreign student named Sejal, and Doug is in love. All of a sudden, Doug's life is full of things he never thought possible before!

    I totally fell in love with the cover of this book before I even knew what the story was about- a great visual! First and foremost, Fat Vampire is absolutely hilarious. Adam Rex is a very funny writer, and he writes some very funny dialog. I had to read some sentences out loud simply because I had to hear the awesomeness spoken into the air. This is a really cute take on the whole teen vampire trend right now. Some scenes hit specifically close to home for me, especially when Doug and Jay were at Comic-Con in San Diego. So true! My only real complaint is that Doug doesn't really change at all as a character. He starts off as kind of a jerk and at the end of the book he is still kind of a jerk. But the scenes that made me laugh out loud were totally worth it. Another great pick for the reluctant male reader! I'll be looking for more from Adam Rex in the future.

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