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Slayers and Their Vampires: A Cultural History of Killing the Dead Paperback – Jun 1 2006

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 260 pages
  • Publisher: Univ of Michigan Pr (June 1 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0472069233
  • ISBN-13: 978-0472069231
  • Product Dimensions: 22.8 x 15.4 x 1.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 431 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #200,275 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
The First Non-Fiction Book on Vampire Hunters Nov. 29 2006
By Anthony Hogg - Published on
Format: Paperback
McClelland takes up a rather daunting task: writing the first non-fiction book devoted to the subject of vampire hunters.

The first half of the book is largely a chronicle of the origins of the vampire myth itself. It is certainly one of the best examinations of this rather murky area of vampire scholarship since Barber's "Vampires, Burial, and Death" (1988) and Perkowski's "The Darkling" (1989).

Unlike most authors of non-fiction vampire literature, McClelland is versed in several languages (and one of the few that will readily admit to being a vampirologist) - which helps give us English-speakers access into a world of vampires rarely seen. His study on Bulgarian folklore is quite eye-opening.

From there, we springboard into little known lore about Eastern and Central European vampire hunters of different name. McClelland makes a compelling link between them and their connection to shamanism (among other things) - something delved into further in Jackson's "The Compleat Vampyre" (1995).

The next section goes into the modern incarnation of the vampire hunter, i.e., Van Helsing, Kolchak, Buffy, etc. I found this section a bit thin on the ground, especially in regards to the supposed inspiration for Stoker's perennial vampire hunter, Abraham Van Helsing.

Overall though, I heartily recommend this book to anyone interested in learning the historic/folkloric origins and development of the myth as we know it today. I look forward to (hopefully) further publications in the field from this author who breaks out of the stale non-fiction vampire mold.