Well, considering I’m back in the South (sorry, California), it seemed appropriate to write a review of Grady Hendrix’s The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires. This book managed to creep onto the NYT best seller list, making me give a little cheer because books like don’t often creep onto that list. I know that was like, a whole year ago, but I’ve been busy, okay? Okay.
So let’s talk about vampires for a second.
I grew up going to a teeny-weeny library in my teeny-weeny hometown in Alabama, where the selections were limited (to say the least). I was lucky to stumble upon Anne Rice’s vampire novels, so I gulped them up at a very early age (twelve? Thirteen?), so to me—that’s what vampires are. They do not sparkle. I repeat: vampires do not sparkle.
I used to be really into whatever vampire-driven novel I could get my gothic little hands on, stopping around the time True Blood ended its long run, for some reason. I moved on. Vampires moved on, their day in the sun kind of over (see what I did there?).
And then What We Do in the Shadows brought it all back around for me, reminding me how much I love a well-told vampire story (that is the funniest show I’ve ever seen, and the vampires remind me a lot of Rice’s vampires, but with unintentional senses of humor). While working in a teeny-weeny library in a teeny-weeny town in Northern California, I stumbled across Hendrix’s My Best Friend’s Exorcism, and I’ve been keeping up with his books ever since (that’s what a cool book cover will do for you). And I was so eager to see what Hendrix would do with a vampire.
Turns out, Hendrix’s vampires are kind of terrifying (as they should be).
This book is essentially exactly what the title suggests: about a gaggle of women who invite (never invite!) a man (never invite a man!) into their book club, and then really weird things start happening. I won’t give it away, because that’s the whole point of it, but I will say this is a page-turner. I enjoyed it, and had a few rare laugh-out-loud moments; Hendrix is quite good with humor—and also good at spinning really weird and uncomfortable situations.
Overall, this was such a fun read (and a little creepy—but not too much, fear not, fellow chickens), and I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys:
- Southern book club chatter/scandal
- Vampires that don’t sparkle, even a little bit
- Strong female characters that are sick of everybody’s shit
- Humor with a dash of scary