I seem to read one Grady Hendrix book a year, usually right around this time I think.

Do I want this year to be "The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires" or "We Sold Our Souls"?


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I went with the vampire one for my Hendrix book this year and started it today. Pretty good so far!

I really like the way he builds up to the scary vibes by rooting it in very mundane real-world creepiness and then just really slowly turning up the supernatural a notch.

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The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires, spoilers 

Despite having read Hendrix before, I think from the title and description I was expecting much more of a...straight-forward vampire-slaying cozy mystery type book?

So then like 3/4 through the book I'm like "where's all the slaying?" because it's know, Buffy but moms.

(Though that story would also be cool.)

But I do like the way both deal with the supernatural as a metaphor for the horror of real life.


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The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires, spoilers 

Buffy's a little (or a lot) more on the nose with it. Like sure high school is Hell but also the actual real scary part of Buffy is all the literal vampires and other monsters coming to kill you.

In this book the vampire is real but easily dispatched once faced, the real horror is the way he weaponizes patriarchy, white supremacy, and general self-interest and how it leaves the protagonist feeling so isolated and powerless.


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The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires, MAJOR spoilers 

Like, there's a scene where Patricia is hiding in the vampire's attic and he knows she's there and also it's been established he can't see well in the light so he should be *great* in the dark and then also vampires typically have enhanced senses so it seems of course there's no way to hide...

But no, she totally does. And he's just screaming ineffectually that he totally knows where she is so she might as well come out.


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The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires, MAJOR spoilers 

And then he has to go away and she escapes and that's the end of that. He's kind of useless as a vampire?

Basically all his creepy vibes come from things we already know as creepy from the real world. Invading space, pushing boundaries, old boys club-ing. The whole blood-drinking becomes kind of a welcome escape from the truly terrifying systemic oppression that's all over the pages.


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The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires, spoilers 

Oops bonus toot.

I forgot the brief maybe-intentional nod to The Yellow Wallpaper I really enjoyed.

The MC's mother-in-law has dementia and dies in the book but is the first to recognize the danger and comes back from beyond to warn her and help her kill the vampire. MC is in a kitchen with yellow walls and sees her hidden behind a door.

Small and maybe not even meant to be a reference at all but I liked it.

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@zephasaurus_hex I've got Horrorstor checked out and I can't wait to read it. I don't need to have ever been in an ikea to appreciate it, right?

@lapis ๐Ÿ˜† I don't think so, no. There are references but I think vague cultural awareness is enough to pick up on them. And probably not getting them wouldn't actually lessen the story at all, it's just small in-joke things.

I hope you like it! Definitely one of my favorites.

@zephasaurus_hex I finished it last night! (And did not have any horrifying dreams) You're right, I think vague awareness was enough.

The only thing I didn't like was I'm pretty sure this was specially printed for paper, because it looks kinda garbage on an e-ink e-reader. Lots of gray against white or yellow (the night light).


@zephasaurus_hex But it was great. If you want more poverty horror, I read "The Graveyard Apartment" by Mariko Koike. Someone in my goodreads group did a really good interpretation of it as "poverty as horror".

If it's up your alley and you can't get a copy, hmu. It's not a bad book, but horror isn't usually my cup of tea (unless it has an element of humor? I don't really know how to describe it) so I could probably send it to you.

@lapis Thanks! I picked it up to read after I either finish or give up on The Handmaid's Tale. It does look like something I'll like.

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