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The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires
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July 2020: Southern > The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix - 3.5 stars

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Jen K | 1458 comments Disturbing in so many ways, this story of group of Southern ladies that are in a "not a book club" is one of many monsters. Patricia is a wife of a doctor and a mother of two and very happy to have finally moved the "right" address in the Old Village, a town outside of Charleston. The Old Village is an insular community that looks after each other but also insists of certain unspoken rules and traditions of what it means to be the right people. When Patricia fails book club by not reading books she's been assigned to read, a new "not a book club" of five start up to read and discuss true crime books about serial killers like Bundy and Manson. They admonish those in the books who never see these true life monsters in their neighbors and co-workers. Enter strange happenings of violent sudden deaths, missing people and children dying in odd ways which all point to their new neighbor. Patricia tries to raise the alarm but it couldn't possibly someone in their neighborhood, a good old boy who could help them make money and the victims are from the "other" side of the tracks and the ladies a gaslighted into behaving and believing only acceptable truths.

Yes, there is a true monster in man form but there are other many monsters in the book of abusive husbands, women needing to stay in their place and racism. Hendrix is brilliant if this is a satire on the US promoting its own monster and excusing away all his bad behaviors to maintain tradition and not affecting "our" children or community but bringing us back to the good old days. There is an obsessive pleasure/ pain of giving in to the monster and so many barriers to call him out despite all the evidence. I applaud the ladies for finding some strength but they are all so still irredeemable in the end. I don't think anyone truly learned any kind of social justice or a need to support everyone and break down the barriers that only support an elite few. They only acted in defense when they had to. I'm torn on my rating because the book left me feeling so many creepy crawlies on so many levels which is well done and probably left me so uncomfortable on purpose but still a bit unsatisfying.


message 2: by Meli (last edited Jul 15, 2020 05:27AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Meli (melihooker) | 3450 comments Jen K wrote: "I applaud the ladies for finding some strength but they are all so still irredeemable in the end. I don't think anyone truly learned any kind of social justice or a need to support everyone and break down the barriers that only support an elite few."

Accurate. Hadn't thought about it before you mentioned it, but once it is over you know as the reader that basically things go back to business as usual, to an extent.


Jen K | 1458 comments Meli wrote: "Jen K wrote: "I applaud the ladies for finding some strength but they are all so still irredeemable in the end. I don't think anyone truly learned any kind of social justice or a need to support ev..."

Which is so real but also disappointing.


message 4: by Joi (new) - rated it 3 stars

Joi (missjoious) | 3824 comments Jen K wrote: "Hendrix is brilliant if this is a satire on the US promoting its own monster and excusing away all his bad behaviors to maintain tradition and not affecting "our" children or community but bringing us back to the good old days."

I'm about 1/3 through, and still haven't quite figured out if this is satirical or not!?

I'm doing the audio, and it has not gotten me hooked or invested yet- I always feel 10 steps away the characters. I don't mind unlikable characters, but this fakey-southern charm is wearing me out. I might have been a DNF had this not been my southern book (sorry Meli!).


Meli (melihooker) | 3450 comments It is satirical, 100%.
I think you are supposed to feel for Patricia(?), but it is comedy horror.

Maybe better in print form 😬


message 6: by Joi (new) - rated it 3 stars

Joi (missjoious) | 3824 comments Good to know, Meli. I think listening from a satirical perspective might help? I always find the little thing funny- like Grill Flame Street, and little things like that.

At this point I don't feel at all for Patricia, but I finally got the point where they are (view spoiler), so things are picking up.


Meli (melihooker) | 3450 comments Be interesting to see where you land on this one.


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