Review of ‘The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires’
It is always enjoyable to come across a novel that straddles several genres and twists and turns between them astutely. The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix does just that, and its charming and quirky beginnings lure the reader into a false sense of security before plunging them into a horrific tale of supernatural evil.
Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires continues to…slay? Club? Guide? Sell?https://t.co/LqXOqlO14P pic.twitter.com/lqtTfjMuif
— Grady Hendrix (@grady_hendrix) April 14, 2020
An Easy Read With Plenty of Twists and Turns
Hendrix’s writing style is instantly compelling and addictive, and a first-time reader of the author in this book will be surprised to know that he is male. This is because the main character is female, but Hendrix perfectly manages to capture her thoughts and feelings in his writing style. The book follows a bored housewife in the Deep South who joins a book club for a recreational outlet. Soon, the women in the club are forced to deal with a vampire next door who has the men in the village wrapped around his finger.
At first, some moments induce laughter, but as the story progresses these feelings are replaced with other emotions. Indeed, there are parts of the book that will bring about repulsion and horror—including a terrifying scene with a cockroach—but these states add to the immersion of the novel and help the reader feel as though they are there with the characters, fighting against this ruthless force of evil.
Doesn’t Push the Vampire Canon
Hendrix’s novel doesn’t push the boundaries of the vampire genre, and a lot of the tropes within the story are over a century old, stemming back to Bram Stoker’s Dracula. However, this is not a drawback of the book. Indeed, people who are interested in vampire-themed fiction often like it because there is an agreed set of rules that it has to stick to.
It was wise of Hendrix to opt for a traditional vampire in his story, as this could help attract readers who are interested in the gothic monsters. Vampires have remained at the forefront of popular culture for over a hundred years and there are many games and films based on them. One recent offering is the Immortal Romance slot from Microgaming, which is one of the most played pokies at online casinos. It can be found at Royal Vegas, which is one of the sites recommended by nzcasinogames for its generous bonuses. Outside of slots, in the video game industry, there have been titles such “Vampyr” and “Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver,” with both titles being highly regarded.
Another recent vampire-based offering in the mainstream was the BBC One and Netflix reimagining of Dracula. This three-part series took a modern twist on Stoker’s source material. Those who enjoyed it may be happy to hear that Hendrix’s novel has also been slated for a television adaptation.
The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires has been met with a fairly strong reception on Goodreads. However, for some readers, it may be a tad too brutal as it does involve some heavy themes later on in the story. For those who enjoy a good vampire story with a dose of Southern humor, the book is a good introduction to Hendrix’s style. The author has also written some acclaimed works including Horrorstor and My Best Friend’s Exorcism.