Narrator: Jack Chekijian
Publisher: Charles River Editors (2015)
Length: 1 hour 21 minutes
In this informational book, Charles River Editors looks at the history of vampiric folklore world wide, with a strong focus on Europe. The vampires of modern literature and cinema are not the vampires of the ancient past. Indeed, those beings that have been called ‘vampire’ often bear little resemblance to Bran Stoker’s version. This book explores the folklore, the history to the modern version of vampires, historic figures, and a biological explanation of why some corpses may be accused of being vampires.
Charles River Editors has given us another informative book. I have listened to several of these short histories and each one has been quite impressive in the depth of information that can be imparted in just over an hour. I have read a little on vampiric folklore and history and yet, there was more for me to learn from this book. I especially like that there is an emphasis on the original meaning of the vampire and the powers of vampires in ancient folklore. In many tales the vampire would be the spirit of a dead person who was determined to feed on the life force of a living being. There are a variety of world folklore shared in this book, including those about the chupacabra. Many of these tales have evolved over time, especially since the popularity of Bram Stoker’s Dracula hit Europe.
A chapter is devoted to historic figures that became wrapped up in the vampire folklore. Of course, this included Vlad ‘The Impaler’ Dracula. Vampire hunters are also discussed. Indeed, plenty of detail is provided about historic events where people dug up bodies, believing them to be vampires slumbering away the day, and the various ways the vampires were dispatched. This was a fascinating topic and I can only imagine that contagion was sometimes spread by those hell-bent on destroying vampires. Everyone today knows it is unsanitary to play with corpses.
I think this would be useful to those wanting a primer on vampire folklore as it definitely gives you a list of places, events, and people to research further, should you be inclined. I found it fascinating because it demonstrates how human behavior and beliefs have kept this myth alive for centuries.
I received a copy of this audiobook at no charge via the narrator in exchange for an honest review.
The Narration: Jack Chekijian has given another worthy performance. There were several hard to pronounce proper nouns in this book, mostly places, and Chekijian did a great job not stumbling over them. I am sure there are a few myths (goat sucker?!?) that must have made the narrator giggle a little the first time he read them. However, none of that came through in the final product. He treated each myth with seriousness.
What I Liked: Educational and entertaining!; fascinating subject; good reference for the beginner; very pleased to world folklore explored, not just European folklore; included historic figures.
What I Disliked: Nothing – I really enjoyed this one!