BKMT READING GUIDES

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

Published: 2020-04-07
Hardcover : 408 pages
23 members reading this now
24 clubs reading this now
0 members have read this book
Fried Green Tomatoes and Steel Magnolias meet Dracula in this horror novel set in 1990s suburban Charleston
 
Patricia Campbell’s life has never felt smaller. Her ambitious husband is too busy to kiss her good-bye in the morning, her kids are wrapped up in their own lives, and she’s ...
No other editions available.
Add to Club Selections
Add to Possible Club Selections
Add to My Personal Queue
Jump to

Introduction

Fried Green Tomatoes and Steel Magnolias meet Dracula in this horror novel set in 1990s suburban Charleston
 
Patricia Campbell’s life has never felt smaller. Her ambitious husband is too busy to kiss her good-bye in the morning, her kids are wrapped up in their own lives, and she’s always a step behind on thank-you notes and endless chores. The one thing she has to look forward to is her book club, a close-knit group of Charleston women united by their love of true crime and suspenseful fiction.

This predictable pattern is upended when Patricia is viciously attacked by an elderly neighbor, bringing the neighbor's handsome relative, James Harris, into her life. Sensitive and well-read, James makes Patricia feel things she hasn’t felt in twenty years. But there’s something...off...and then Patricia’s senile mother-in-law insists she knew him back when she was a girl.

When local children go missing, Patricia has reason to believe that James may be more Bundy than Beatnik. But once she and the book club members investigate further, the true monster emerges—and he’s far more terrifying than any serial killer they've ever read about.

Editorial Review

No editorial review at this time.

Excerpt

No Excerpt Currently Available

Discussion Questions

From the publisher:

1. After an uncomfortable introduction to the neighborhood, James Harris quickly and almost seamlessly transitions into being a trusted resident. Why does he fit in so well despite his sudden and surprising appearance?

2. Discuss the dynamics of the neighborhood. What are the pros and cons of living in a suburban community like Mt. Pleasant in the 1990s? Do these vary depending on gender, race, or social status?

3. The book is female-driven, and much of the horror happens to women and children. How do all the women in the book club respond to reports of strange or downright scary events, and how does their environment influence the different strengths and weaknesses they display?

4. "Something strange is going on" is a phrase Patricia repeats throughout the book. Are there red flags about James Harris early on that the women miss, or ignore? Are their reservations different from those of their husbands?

5. Patricia is the one person who remains suspicious of her handsome new neighbor despite his friendly and charming exterior. Why do you think she, out of all James Harris’s new friends in their quiet neighborhood, is more prone to considering the possibility of a menace in their midst?

6. The response to reports of missing children in Six Mile versus Mt. Pleasant differs greatly, among both residents and law enforcement. What are the social implications of these differing reactions, and how do they influence the way the story plays out?

7. Despite the small-town charm and close-knit ties in Mt. Pleasant, Patricia finds her confidence broken again and again by people she trusts. How is her trust betrayed, both inside her social circle and beyond her community?

8. Although there is one obvious monster at the center of the story, we learn that fear, dread, and terror come in many forms. Is there more than one kind of monster? What are the scariest elements of this story and why?

9. Discuss how the women come together to end the threat to their community. Do you think the women's actions are justified, or do they go too far?

10. Discuss the novel in terms of other vampire horror fiction. What elements of vampire lore has Grady Hendrix expanded upon, discarded, and added to the genre? Do you think he has successfully furthered readers’ expectations for the vampire novel?

Notes From the Author to the Bookclub

No notes at this time.

Book Club Recommendations

Member Reviews

Overall rating:
 
 
by tlctlcx2 (see profile) 09/03/20

 
by [email protected] (see profile) 08/20/20

The book was a page turner for sure! It's important to remember this takes place in the late 80s - early 90s in the south before judging the actions of the characters. Even so, it was hard not to be frustrated... (read more)

Rate this book
MEMBER LOGIN
Remember me
BECOME A MEMBER it's free

Join the leading website for book clubs with over 35,000 clubs and 20,000 reading guides.

SEARCH OUR READING GUIDES Search
Search


FEATURED EVENTS
PAST AUTHOR CHATS
JOIN OUR MAILING LIST

Get free weekly updates on top club picks, book giveaways, author events and more
Please wait...