Monday, October 18, 2021


Rating: 2/5 stars

This book wasn’t for me, but it wasn’t a bad book.

The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires is a horror book set in the 1990s South and follows a group of housewives who are stronger than they look. 

I think Grady Hendrix accomplished what he set out to do with this novel. I enjoyed his writing style, and I thought he did a great job of writing the story from a female’s perspective.

I enjoyed Patricia as a protagonist. She was strong and courageous and respectable. I didn’t care much for any of the book club friends though, and I hated all the degrading and misogynistic husbands. And James Harris was the most deplorable villain I’ve read in a long time and I absolutely despised him, although I think maybe that was the point. Feeling lukewarm about or even liking the villain is never a good sign.

I like vampires, but I prefer a more fantastical setting when reading about them, and this was 100% a realistic setting featuring a person who was “not a vampire” but exhibited vampiric qualities. So on top of being set in the South (not for me) in the early 1990s (not for me), it also was a very realistic setting (also not for me). 

Hendrix also did a good job of writing about racism and sexism present in the South at this time. The setting felt genuine and reaffirmed that I never want to live in the South, no thank you. I was feeling visceral anger at some of the comments the husbands made to and about their wives, and I seriously wanted to murder them all. But I think that’s just how the average man acted during this time (inexcusable). 

This book wasn’t really scary—I don’t know if I would really classify it as horror, although I’ve never read a horror book before so maybe this is normal. I don’t like scary stories though so I was perfectly fine with that. The creepiest part was when Patricia was in the attic and the cockroaches and centipedes were crawling all over her while she was silently laying on the cold, hard, filthy floor. I absolutely would not have remained chill in that scenario so big props to her for doing that.

Even though I liked Grady Hendrix’s writing style and I liked Patricia as our main character, I still didn’t really like this book. It just wasn’t for me. I like vampires, but it was the setting and time period that really caused a problem for me. I think this book perfectly accomplished everything that Hendrix wanted it to accomplish, but my enjoyment level was not there. I thought multiple times about DNFing because I was not having a good time, but ultimately I decided to continue because I read this for book club and I was listening to the audiobook so I didn’t have to put forth any effort to finish it. I’m glad I ultimately decided to finish it though.

I plan on reading more books from Grady Hendrix in the future, specifically Horrorstör and My Best Friend’s Exorcism, because I did like his writing style. If this book sounds interesting to you then I encourage you to check it out because my low rating is entirely based on my personal preferences and not on any fault of the book. 

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