Grady Hendrix Book Review & Analysis

Mar 1, 2023Book Reviews, Reading

Goodreads Summary

Fried Green Tomatoes and Steel Magnolias meet Dracula! This Southern supernatural horror set in the ’90s is about a women’s book club that must protect its suburban community from a mysterious and handsome stranger. One, who turns out turns out to be a blood-sucking fiend!

Patricia Campbell had always planned for a big life. But, after giving up her career as a nurse to marry an ambitious doctor and become a mother, Patricia’s life has never felt smaller. The days are long. Her kids are ungrateful, her husband is distant, and her to-do list is never really done. The one thing she has to look forward to is her book club. A group of Charleston mothers united only by their love for true-crime and suspenseful fiction. In these meetings, they’re more likely to discuss the FBI’s recent siege of Waco as much as the ups and downs of marriage and motherhood.

But when an artistic and sensitive stranger moves into the neighborhood, the book club’s meetings turn into speculation about the newcomer. Patricia is initially attracted to him, but when some local children go missing, she starts to suspect the newcomer is involved. She begins her own investigation, assuming that he’s a Jeffrey Dahmer or Ted Bundy. What she uncovers is far more terrifying. Soon she–and her book club–are the only people standing between the monster they’ve invited into their homes and their unsuspecting community.

Non-Spoiler Book Review

Four and a half stars image

I really enjoyed this one. I gave it a 4.5 stars. I think it’s a great horror novel, perfect for the fall/Halloween season. Some of the horror elements in here are really gross, so I definitely don’t suggest reading this while you’re eating.

Two things that I want to point out with the horror genre are: one, the things in it are meant to scare, disgust, or repulse you, and two, horror is often used as social commentary about our societies. Because of this, there will be things in a horror novel that make you uncomfortable or that disgust you. Things you don’t like with how our society functions. If you feel those emotions while reading a horror novel, then in my opinion, the author did their job. The book did what it was intended to do.

I appreciated the social commentary this book makes and the topics it looks at: racism, sexism/misogyny, the powerlessness & oppression you feel as a woman or as someone who’s black, and even the intersectionality of black women. That gets touched on in here too. Now, is this a perfect book, no. But, I thought it did a pretty good job exploring some of these themes and the commentary it makes about it.

That’s pretty much all I’ll say for this non-spoiler part of this review. I do have a spoiler, in-depth analysis of the book that I go through in the video above. Check out that video if you want to hear more of my thoughts. The timestamps for each section will be posted down below. 😁


Intro 00:00:00

Author’s Note & Prologue 00:03:04

Non-Spoiler Review 00:08:56

Spoiler Review/Analysis 00:16:10

Closing 00:57:27

What are your thoughts?

Have you read The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix? What are your thoughts on it? Do you agree or disagree with any part of my analysis? Let me know your thoughts below!

Until next time, happy reading and writing!

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

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