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Slayers and Their Vampires: A Cultural History of Killing the Dead Paperback – Jul 28 2006
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About the Author
Bruce A. McClelland is a writer, translator, and vampirologist in Gordonsville, Virginia. He received his Ph.D. in Slavic Studies at the University of Virginia. His work on vampires has appeared in Slayage: The Online International Journal of Buffy Studies. He has published four books of poetry, a book of translations of the Russian poet Osip Mandelstam, and his translations of Russian poetry have appeared in journals, books, and anthologies.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
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.
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