The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires: A Novel

by Grady Hendrix

3.85 of 5 stars 17 ratings • 5 reviews • 44 shelved
Book cover for The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires

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The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires: A Novel

by Grady Hendrix

3.85 of 5 stars 17 ratings • 5 reviews • 44 shelved
The New York Times Best Seller
A Barnes & Noble Best Fiction Book of 2020
A Goodreads Choice Awards Finalist

Steel Magnolias 
meets Dracula in this '90s-set horror novel about a women's book club that must do battle with a mysterious newcomer to their small Southern town, perfect for murderinos and fans of Stephen King.

 
Patricia Campbell’s life has never felt smaller. Her husband is a workaholic, her teenage kids have their own lives, her senile mother-in-law needs constant care, and she’s always a step behind on her endless to-do list. The only thing keeping her sane is her book club, a close-knit group of Charleston women united by their love of true crime. At these meetings they’re as likely to talk about the Manson family as they are about their own families.

One evening after book club, Patricia is viciously attacked by an elderly neighbor, bringing the neighbor's handsome nephew, James Harris, into her life. James is well traveled and well read, and he makes Patricia feel things she hasn’t felt in years. But when children on the other side of town go missing, their deaths written off by local police, Patricia has reason to believe James Harris is more of a Bundy than a Brad Pitt. The real problem? James is a monster of a different kind—and Patricia has already invited him in. 
 
Little by little, James will insinuate himself into Patricia’s life and try to take everything she took for granted—including the book club—but she won’t surrender without a fight in this blood-soaked tale of neighborly kindness gone wrong.
  • ISBN10 1683691431
  • ISBN13 9781683691433
  • Publish Date 7 April 2020
  • Publish Status Active
  • Publish Country US
  • Imprint Quirk Books
  • Format Hardcover
  • Pages 408
  • Language English

Reviews

Avatar for beehive

Bianca 4 of 5 stars

We’re a book club. What are we supposed to do? Read him to death? Use strong language?

A gory satirical horror about a women’s book club fighting against a secret vampire who has their entire town at the palm of his hand. This was mostly horror stuff, but I also really liked its underlying commentary on sexism, classism and racism. How the vampire targets the poor and black while the privileged white don’t care... how the women don’t get to make decisions for their lives and are controlled by their husbands... it’s a horror book involving a vampire but also involving the real horrors in our society.

Avatar for silverthistle

SilverThistle 4 of 5 stars
Wasn't nearly as scary as I thought, once I got into it. The ending was a bit rushed (and a bit unlikely) but I still enjoyed it overall. Hated the people though, especially Carter who every time I saw his name I pictured Hugh Bonneville ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Avatar for artemisreads

Artemis 1 of 5 stars
I really hate losing interest in books. I feel like I keep bowing out of finishing things lately. I really just couldn't get started with this book. The characters were just a little boring. Perhaps I'll pick this up one day, but for now it's place is firmly on my "did not finish" list.

Avatar for liz089

liz089 4 of 5 stars
I saw a lot of positive reviews on GR on this novel that got my interest peaked, so I took a chance and read it as well.
Overall I really enjoyed it. It was a bit too scary / gore for my normal taste, which made my decision to read this before bed not a smart choice XD But it was worth it. I found it very compelling and had trouble putting it down to go to sleep on multiple evenings.
I cared for the characters, and needed them to be well.
I loved how things went plotwise and can't name much downsides.
Even though it was no 5 star for me, it felt a bit slow sometimes and wanted things to move along.. I can easy imagine how it is a 5 stars for others.

Avatar for quirkycat

Quirky Cat 4 of 5 stars
I received a copy of The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires in exchange for a fair and honest review.

The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires is one of those books I heard about in passing, and yet immediately knew that I had to take the time to read it. Ideally, right away. Written by Grady Hendrix, this is arguably one of the most unique reading experiences you can find. Have you ever wanted to see a bunch of Southern mothers go out and hunt vampires? Well, good news!

Patricia Campbell once had a great life planned out for herself, but she gave all of that up for marriage and children. Her life has steadily become smaller, with the highlight quickly becoming the neighborhood book club she attends regularly.

That is until a strange new neighbor makes an appearance. From that moment on, nothing in the neighborhood seems to be the same. Before you know it, Patricia, alongside the rest of her book club, are opening their own investigation into what is going on. Though it seems highly unlikely that they could ever have prepared for what they actually found...

“You'd rather get stabbed forty-one times than ruin the curb appeal of your home?”

Warnings: The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires is a novel unafraid to dive into the more graphic elements of life. There are depictions of the elderly with dementia, which comes up several times. Additionally, there is a scene depicting animal death early on in the book. It hits hard, just to warn you.

The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires was such a unique and fascinating reading experience. I went into this novel expecting something spectacular and different – and it provided. This book was everything that I hoped it would be, and I don't get to say that every day.

What I really enjoyed about this novel is that there was plenty of time to get to know Patricia and her shrinking world – well before the new guy walked into her life and flipped everything on its head. It did more than set the stage, it explained how all of this could have happened in the first place.

Despite the vampire hunting element (which in itself was fun), The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires surprised me by just how human it felt. Patricia's struggles are not uncommon, and they were portrayed in a way that really rang true. Likewise, her allies in the book club all felt like real people – albeit quirky ones.

Part of me almost wishes I had gone into this book having no idea that vampires lay ahead (though obviously the title gives that away). It would have been fun to see how long it took me to put the pieces together. You can tell Hendrix had a lot of fun merging multiple elements and genres together, as a good part of this book felt like the beginning of a true-crime novel. That is one of the many reasons I loved reading it.

This is the first book I've read by Grady Hendrix, but I have to say; I'm impressed. At some point, I'm clearly going to have to go through his backlog! In the meantime, I highly recommend The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires for anybody looking for something fun and totally different.

Check out more reviews over at Quiry Cat's Fat Stacks