Thursday, August 29, 2013

Review: 'How to Kill a Vampire: Fangs in Folklore, Film, and Fiction'


Liisa Ladouceur upends the dour face of vampirism with her gleeful new book How to Kill a Vampire: Fangs in Folklore, Film, and Fiction. Like a Goth Mary Roach, she offers a breezy yet detailed history of vampires in culture (pop and otherwise), paying special attention to the myriad ways to dispatch a peckish vamp. We learn the roots of vampires’ allergies to silver, sunlight, stakes, and all other sundry preventive measures. There are profiles of slayers from Van Helsing to Buffy and an international dictionary of vampire-like demons and the various ways those creatures can be killed (nastiest method: destroy the Penanggalan of Malaysia by snaring its exposed intestines on thorns; least nastiest method: give the Langsuir, also of Malaysia, a haircut and neatly place the trimmings in a hole). Valuable information, of course, but it’s Ladouceur’s writing that makes How to Kill a Vampire a full-on fun read. Her style is witty and jolly throughout, even when running down the litany of vampire suicide methods or describing how vampire babies tend to tear through their moms from the inside.

Get How to Kill a Vampire: Fangs in Folklore, Film, and Fiction on Amazon.com here:
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