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

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The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires: A Novel By Grady Hendrix Cover Image

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


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“Grady Hendrix somehow makes horror charming. His style of writing — unrelenting humanity in the face of real terror, of both the supernatural and everyday varieties — is in top form here. He’s one of a handful of authors whose new work I devour as soon as I get my hands on it. Hendrix knows how to terrify you, but more importantly, he knows how to make you feel like you can potentially overcome the thing that scares you the most.”
— Colin Sneed, Flyleaf Books, Chapel Hill, NC

Staff Reviews

With so many terrible, tragic, and unsettling events happening today, why in the world would anyone turn to horror fiction as a distraction? To an extent, there’s a dark humored comfort in reading that, however bad you may think you have it, a fictional character is dealing with even more bizarre and fantastic obstacles. And if those bizarre instances involve vampires or swarms of rats, you can cheerfully relax knowing those, at least, are things you’re not likely to face. (Of course, who knew murder hornets would be a thing a few months ago?)

Grady Hendrix’s The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires seems at first to be a juicy horror tale, with a nod to TV’s Dark Shadows and the movie Fright Night. Set in the ‘80s and ‘90s, the titular club is comprised of a disparate group of women drawn to true crime books. When one member, Patricia, is attacked by a neighbor, which leads to a friendship with James, the woman’s nephew, the die is cast for a decade that will leave all their lives upended, and in some cases, ended.

Don’t be waylaid into assuming Slaying Vampires is just a modern-day Dracula. When African-American children from the less affluent part of town start dying in heart-rending ways, the police’s indifference uneasily reminds us of today’s news. When Patricia attempts to use her influence to call attention to James (whom she knows but can’t prove is behind the attacks), we’re reminded of just how little power ‘80s “housewives” had. White male patriarchy does not have a good moment in this book.

Blood will flow by the time the club marks its final confrontation with James. Along the way, you may even get the urge to read true crime classics like Helter Skelter or The Stranger Beside Me, or to check out Malaprop’s Crime and Politics book club.

— Rosemary

“This funny and fresh take on a classic tale manages to comment on gender roles, racial disparities, and white privilege all while creeping me all the way out. So good.”—Zakiya Dalila Harris, author of The Other Black Girl

Now in paperback, Steel Magnolias meets Dracula in this New York Times best-selling horror novel about a women's book club that must do battle with a mysterious newcomer to their small Southern town.

Bonus features:
   • Reading group guide for book clubs
   • Hand-drawn map of Mt. Pleasant
   • Annotated true-crime reading list by Grady Hendrix
   • And more!

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.
Grady Hendrix is an award-winning and New York Times best-selling novelist and screenwriter living in New York City. He is the author of HorrorstörMy Best Friend’s Exorcism (which is being adapted into a feature film by Amazon Studios), We Sold Our SoulsThe Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires, and The Final Girl Support Group. Grady also authored the Bram Stoker Award–winning nonfiction book Paperbacks from Hell and These Fists Break Bricks: How Kung Fu Movies Swept America and Changed the World.
Product Details ISBN: 9781683692515
ISBN-10: 1683692519
Publisher: Quirk Books
Publication Date: May 25th, 2021
Pages: 424
Language: English
The New York Times Best Seller
A Barnes & Noble Best Fiction Book of 2020
2021 Locus Award Finalist
A Goodreads Choice Awards Finalist
#1 April 2020 LibraryReads Pick
April 2020 Indie Next Pick
Amazon Best Book of April 2020
Library Journal Editors' Pick for April 2020
The A.V. Club Best Book of April 2020
A POPSUGAR Best Book for Book Clubs 2020
One of Good Housekeeping's 30 of the Scariest Horror Books Ever Written
One of Town & Country’s 50 Best Horror Books

“This funny and fresh take on a classic tale manages to comment on gender roles, racial disparities, and white privilege all while creeping me all the way out. So good.”—Zakiya Dalila Harris, author of The Other Black Girl

“Ghosts of the past have also inspired one of the most rollicking, addictive novels I’ve read in years: The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix, a tale of housewives battling vampires that is sweetly painful, like hard candy that breaks a tooth.”—Danielle Trussoni for The New York Times Book Review

“A delight...its incisive social commentary and meaningful character development make The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires not just a palatable read for non-horror fans, but a winning one.”—USA Today, 3.5 out of 4 star review

“Funny, gruesome, and wild, this rollicking novel from horror luminary Grady Hendrix is Desperate Housewives meets Dracula.”—Esquire

“Delightful read that reads like Dracula set in the '90s American South....Perfect for fans of horror and real-life crime alike.”—Good Housekeeping

“The novel is a charming testament to friendships and life's imperfections, with dashes of rot and savagery to earn its keep in horror literature....It's a rollercoaster [that] lands as a vampire story concreted in vileness and Southern charm.”—Fangoria

“[Hendrix] remains excellent at staging page-turning sequences of excitement and anxiety...[and] a master of adding little details that fill in the landscape of his Southern-fried world.”—The A.V. Club

“As fun (and as creepy) as the title suggests….This novel will definitely whet your appetite if you’re looking for something a bit eccentric and spooky.”—BuzzFeed

“This book should be required reading for all Southern women....[It] transports you back to all the best parts of the 1990's while throwing more than enough thrill and chill into the mix.”—Country Living

“[A] clever, addictive vampire thriller....This powerful, eclectic novel both pays homage to the literary vampire canon and stands singularly within it.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Hendrix cleverly sprinkles in nods to well-established vampire lore, and the fact that he's a master at conjuring heady 1990s nostalgia is just the icing on what is his best book yet. Fans of smart horror will sink their teeth into this one.”—Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“Hendrix has masterfully blended the disaffected housewife trope with a terrifying vampire tale, and the anxiety and tension are palpable...a cheeky, spot-on pick for book clubs.”—Booklist, starred review