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

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

Rating:  ★★★★

This is my second time reading Hendrix and it did not disappoint. The first time I read Horrorstor, and it felt fun and a little campy, and I listened to it on audio. I read a physical copy of The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires and it was a very different experience.

The premise is that Patricia, a housewife in South Carolina, gave up her career to be a wife and mother. She takes up reading in a book club with five friends. They read true crime novels. When a new neighbor moves in down the street, and fishy things start happening around him, Patricia starts to suspect the new neighbor may be up to no good, but everyone agrees Patricia is just letting her reading get to her head.

There aren’t any real twists or turns in the plot. Everything is pretty much as it seems. Which works in this instance because it allows the author to build suspense. There were several scenes where I felt like I was holding my breath. Is there such a thing as white knuckle reading?  I was doing that.  A good portion of my reading is comprised of horror and thriller books, so that’s probably one of the highest compliments I could pay this.

The characters aren’t the most robust I’ve ever encountered, but the author does a good job of fleshing them out. They each have their own little quirks and idiosyncrasies, different relationships with each other and with their husbands. Warning: the way women are treated in this book will make you want to scream. They are discounted as silly. Their thoughts, opinions and feelings meaningless, and treated like objects.  I don’t think Hendrix was endorsing this behavior – I think it was more based on what he read and observed growing up (afterall, he said the inspiration for this book was his own mother).

There are some graphic scenes, and there are things that happen off page involving children under the age of 10 which are terrible. I’m putting it here as a warning for people who would rather avoid it. I think the beginning of the book is a little misleading in that it’s fun and campy, like Horrorstor, but ultimately takes a very dark turn.

I thoroughly enjoyed this in the end, despite the semi depressing ending, and look forward to reading the next book from Hendrix.  The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires released on April 7, 2020 and can be found on GoodReads or ordered on Amazon.  Thank you to the publisher who sent a free review copy!

14 thoughts on “Book Review: The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix

  1. This was a good one, Sarah. I’m glad you passed it on to me to read. As someone who typically avoids any book that hints of a plot including child abuse, I will say that in this book it did not bother me. It was a valid part of the story and it was not the typical physical, mental or sex abuse that hurts your heart to read. It was so out there that it wasn’t a regurgitation of real life stories and therefore, you never forgot that you were reading fiction. If that makes any sense.

    Liked by 2 people

    • It does make sense. I feel the same way about how far fetched the fiction is effecting how difficult it is to read. And it was really good! I definitely want to read more by Hendrix. He’s a lot of fun.

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  2. I loved this, it’s probably one of my favorites of his. My other absolute favorite is We Sold Our Souls, which has a music backdrop and is also VERY dark. Looking back now at Horrorstor, I can see how much he’s grown as a writer.

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    • Nice! I was hoping to check out some of his other stuff so I’ll add We Sold Our Souls. I shared Guide to Slaying with my mom and she also enjoyed it. Great little escape from the real world for a couple days.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This one sounds fun to me because it reminds me so much of those 80s movies in which the neighborhood kids thing the new guy is a vampire and they just HAVE TO OUT HIM! Tying in a story about women and how they are not often believed takes it to a deeper level. I was just having a conversation with my book club last night how I don’t think this string of thriller novels about women who aren’t believed because they drink or take medication or had postpartum depression, etc. is annoying to me. I don’t think these novels suggest we should believe women; those women are considered “hysterical” through most of the book.

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  4. This is one of the titles I have set my sights on recently, so it’s always a joy to see a positive review from a fellow blogger! While it’s true that the portrayal of women here might play havoc with my blood pressure 😀 I will have to remind myself of the time-frame in which the story is set – and keep my eyes on the word “vampire”, which always helps… 😉
    Thanks for sharing!

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  5. I’ve definitely heard how dark this one gets and some other stuff that goes on in it. But I think I still really want to read it because it looks like it’s using the violence to contrast other things and make a statement and I’m really curious about that.

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  6. Pingback: Gelesen | The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires von Grady Hendrix

    • This made my day yesterday and I’m sorry I didnt reply to it sooner- I am hoping to get back to blogging soon! I really miss it I just haven’t been reading much.

      And thank you for the nomination! I will be by to check it out’

      Liked by 1 person

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