The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires: A Novel (Hardcover)
This novel exemplifies that tricky balance between humor and horror. Set in the 1980s in Charleston, South Carolina, Hendrix creatively re-imagines his own mother’s life: this time with a handsome vampire who moves to town and turns her book club’s world upside down and inside out. There is friendship! Gore! 1980s fashion! You’ll laugh! You’ll cringe! You’ll never look at trash bags the same way again! Most impressive, however, is Hendrix’s ability to weave complex issues of racism, failing marriages, and obsession over socioeconomic status seamlessly into this wacky masterpiece.— Cappy
April 2020 Indie Next List
“Grady Hendrix somehow makes horror charming. His style of writing — unrelenting humanity in the face of real terror, of both the supernatural and everyday varieties — is in top form here. He’s one of a handful of authors whose new work I devour as soon as I get my hands on it. Hendrix knows how to terrify you, but more importantly, he knows how to make you feel like you can potentially overcome the thing that scares you the most.”
— Colin Sneed, Flyleaf Books, Chapel Hill, NC
The New York Times Best Seller
#1 April LibraryReads Pick
April Indie Next Pick
Goodreads Big Book of Spring
Steel Magnolias meets Dracula in this '90s-set horror novel about a women's book club that must do battle with a mysterious newcomer to their small Southern town, perfect for murderinos and fans of Stephen King.
Patricia Campbell’s life has never felt smaller. Her husband is a workaholic, her teenage kids have their own lives, her senile mother-in-law needs constant care, and she’s always a step behind on her endless to-do list. The only thing keeping her sane is her book club, a close-knit group of Charleston women united by their love of true crime. At these meetings they’re as likely to talk about the Manson family as they are about their own families.
One evening after book club, Patricia is viciously attacked by an elderly neighbor, bringing the neighbor's handsome nephew, James Harris, into her life. James is well traveled and well read, and he makes Patricia feel things she hasn’t felt in years. But when children on the other side of town go missing, their deaths written off by local police, Patricia has reason to believe James Harris is more of a Bundy than a Brad Pitt. The real problem? James is a monster of a different kind—and Patricia has already invited him in.
Little by little, James will insinuate himself into Patricia’s life and try to take everything she took for granted—including the book club—but she won’t surrender without a fight in this blood-soaked tale of neighborly kindness gone wrong.
About the Author
Grady Hendrix is a novelist and screenwriter based in New York City. He is the author of Horrorstör, My Best Friend’s Exorcism, Paperbacks from Hell, and We Sold Our Souls, all of which received critical praise from outlets including NPR, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, the A.V. Club, Paste, Buzzfeed, and more. He has contributed to Playboy, The Village Voice, and Variety.
Included in The New York Times Book Review's 2020 Summer Reading issue!
Amazon Best Mystery & Thriller of 2020 So Far
Amazon Best Science Fiction & Fantasy of 2020 So Far
#1 April 2020 LibraryReads Pick
April 2020 Indie Next Pick
Amazon Best Book of April 2020
A Library Journal Editors' Pick for April 2020
The A.V. Club Best Book of April 2020
POPSUGAR Best of April 2020
Goodreads Big Book of Spring 2020
“Ghosts of the past have also inspired one of the most rollicking, addictive novels I’ve read in years: THE SOUTHERN BOOK CLUB’S GUIDE TO SLAYING VAMPIRES by Grady Hendrix, a tale of housewives battling vampires that is sweetly painful, like hard candy that breaks a tooth.”—Danielle Trussoni for The New York Times Book Review
“A delight...its incisive social commentary and meaningful character development make The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires not just a palatable read for non-horror fans, but a winning one.”—USA Today, 3.5 out of 4 star review
“The novel is a charming testament to friendships and life's imperfections, with dashes of rot and savagery to earn its keep in horror literature....It's a rollercoaster [that] lands as a vampire story concreted in vileness and Southern charm.”—Fangoria
“[Hendrix] remains excellent at staging page-turning sequences of excitement and anxiety...[and] a master of adding little details that fill in the landscape of his Southern-fried world.”—The A.V. Club
“[A] clever, addictive vampire thriller....This powerful, eclectic novel both pays homage to the literary vampire canon and stands singularly within it.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review
“Hendrix cleverly sprinkles in nods to well-established vampire lore, and the fact that he's a master at conjuring heady 1990s nostalgia is just the icing on what is his best book yet. Fans of smart horror will sink their teeth into this one.”—Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“Hendrix has masterfully blended the disaffected housewife trope with a terrifying vampire tale, and the anxiety and tension are palpable...a cheeky, spot-on pick for book clubs.”—Booklist, starred review
“A vampire's hunger for blood may be insatiable, but this masterpiece novel ladles out ample thrills, chills, and relevant examples of sociopolitical injustices to satisfy any literary appetite.”—Foreword Reviews, starred review
More praise for Grady Hendrix:
“National treasure Grady Hendrix follows his classic account of a haunted IKEA-like furniture showroom, Horrorstor (2014), with a nostalgia-soaked ghost story, My Best Friend’s Exorcism.”—The Wall Street Journal, on My Best Friend’s Exorcism
“Pure, demented delight.”—The New York Times Book Review, on Paperbacks from Hell
“Horrorstör delivers a crisp terror-tale...[and] Hendrix strikes a nice balance between comedy and horror.”—The Washington Post, on Horrorstör