The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix

southernbookclubMy TL:DR Five Word Review : Southern bookclub meets supernatural horror.

I loved the idea of TSBCGtSV as soon as I read the description and decided to pick up a copy in audio – which turned out to be a great choice.  The narration was excellent and I had a really good time with this one.

Patricia Campbell is a mom and housewife in this 90s South Carolina tale.  Her life is chaotic as she rushes from one thing to the next in her busy day but at the same time she longs for a little something more, which is how she finds herself joining a book club and making friends.  Life seems to be good right up to the point where a neighbour attacks her and tries to bite off her ear, after that, well, things are never quite the same again.

A new neighbour has moved into town, James Harris.  James came to look after his elderly aunt and ends up sticking around and Patricia seems strangely drawn to him and to helping him find his feet, even inviting him to take part in the monthly book club meetings, going even further and inviting him into her home.  Things are peachy until children start to go missing and Patricia and her friends begin to join the dots and wonder whether the new arrival to town and the disappearing children are coincidental or not.

Dubbed ‘Fried Green Tomatoes and Steel Magnolias meet Dracula’ – this was an entertaining ride, although to be clear, the only resemblance to Dracula is the inclusion of a vampire and a few other supernatural tidbits – which isn’t to say this wasn’t a good read because frankly I had a ridiculously good time with it.  Very entertaning.  Downright bloody in parts, without doubt creepy as hell on occasion, very creepy in fact, and with an ick factor ending that I never envisaged, and I am talking Ick.

Now, to be sure there are a few little things that I would point out.  Annoying things – not deal breakers for me but definite irritants.  I all but wanted to punch Patricia’s husband in his face – seriously this guy, and a few of the others annoyed the bejesus out of me.  Like I said though, it didn’t stop me being hooked.  There was also a bit of a surprising time jump at one point in the story.  I really didn’t see that coming and it was a little perplexing at first.  But, as mentioned, this book definitely kept me hooked.

In terms of characters, Patricia is the main person we get a feel for and probably the most well rounded although I had no difficulty forming a picture of the others.  James is a creepy character, not just because of the fundamental monster that he is but because he’s so self assured.  He knows how to play people, how to recognise them, their needs, desires and dreams and he is a player, a con man who basically manipulates people and makes them think he’s the good guy.

What really worked for me with this particular book was that it’s so very different from what I expected.  On top of that there is this whole element of crazy, entertaining fun.  It might not be perfect.  I had a few issues here and there but eagerness to continue with the book was never one of them.

I bought an audio copy from Audible.  The above is my own opinion.

My rating 4 of 5 stars




25 Responses to “The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix”

  1. alburke47

    I’m listening to the audiobook at the moment, and it’s a fun listen.

    • @lynnsbooks

      I enjoyed the audio version and thought it was well done.
      Lynn 😀

  2. Tammy

    I’m glad you enjoyed this! It was very different from what I expected, and actually very light on the whole “vampire” thing in my opinion. “Things are peachy until children start to go missing.” I see what you did there;-)

    • @lynnsbooks

      Yeah, it was a bit light on the vampire side now you mention it. It did have some creepy bits – and some real horror elements too – for me anyway.
      Lynn 😀

  3. Ola G

    I keep hearing about this book! I guess it’s time to check it out! 😀

    • @lynnsbooks

      I hope you get a chance to pick it up – be warned of the horror/ick content though 😀

  4. Greg

    The Fried Green Tomatoes meets vampires vibe has me SUPER curious, I have to admit. and just the fact that it’s crazy fun doesn’t hurt. 🙂 I think I might need to take a close look at this one.

    • @lynnsbooks

      It’s a deceptive book in many ways. I certainly wasn’t expecting quite the ‘ick’ factor with these book loving women, it can be quite disturbing in parts but I just enjoyed it.
      Lynn 😀

  5. pagesandtea

    Great review. I’m glad you enjoyed this, it’s one I’m really looking forward to reading 😀 Creepy as hell and downright entertaining are definite recommendations for my endless TBR list.

    • @lynnsbooks

      I hope you like it – it seems to have mixed reviews but i was ready for some vampire action.
      Lynn 😀

  6. Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

    Yep, agreed with you on the fun and entertaining part…and also enjoyed that it was also dark and disturbing in places 🙂

  7. maddalena@spaceandsorcery

    I become more intrigued by this book with every review I read, and your comment about the “ridiculously good time” you had with the story encouraged me to place it at the top of my “wanted” list. And then, you know, vampires… 😀
    Thanks for sharing!

    • @lynnsbooks

      Yeah, it’s an unusual book, quite different than I expected, a little slow to get to the main ‘plot’ but I still just enjoyed it – perhaps I was just super ready for some vampire reading.
      Lynn 😀

  8. evelynreads1

    Great review! I really want to read this one as well!


  9. bkfrgr

    The cover for this attracted me before I even knew what it was about. 😆 The words fun and bloody and ick have me intrigued, and as it doesn’t sound like this vampire sparkles I’ll put it on the list. 😆

    • @lynnsbooks

      Definitely no sparkles – something of a nasty character to be honest. It takes a while to gather momentum and I wasn’t totally in love with the time jump but otherwise I did enjoy this.
      Lynn 😀

      • bkfrgr

        I will bear your reservations in mind going in. 😀

  10. waytoofantasy

    Glad you enjoyed this one, Lynn! I’ve seen such a wide range of reviews on it I was really curious to see where you’d fall with it hahah. Glad it was good! 🙂

    • @lynnsbooks

      Yeah, I think there are some negative reviews that seem to be based on the ‘old fashioned’ values portrayed here. I can see that – the husbands for example were super annoying and I just wanted to slap them all. But, I guess they were true to the period. Still annoying though.
      Lynn 😀

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