American Vampires: Their True Bloody History From New York to California
by Bob Curran
Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: New Page Books; 1 edition (October 22, 2012)
(Barry’s score 2 1/2 stars out of 5)
Vampires are much more complex creatures than Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Twilight, True Blood, or scores of other movies and television shows would have you believe. Even in America.
American vampire lore has its roots in the beliefs and fears of the diverse peoples and nationalities that make up our country, and reflects the rich tapestry of their varied perspectives. The vampires that lurk in the American darkness come in a variety of shapes and sizes and can produce some surprising results. Vampires in North Carolina are vastly different from those in South Carolina, and even more different from those in New York State. Moreover, not all of them are human in form, and they can’t necessarily be warded off by the sight of a crucifix or a bulb of garlic.
Dr. Bob Curran visits the Louisiana bayous, the back streets of New York City, the hills of Tennessee, the Sierras of California, the deserts of Arizona, and many more locations in a bid to track down the vampire creatures that lurk there. Join him if you dare! This is not Hollywood’s version of the vampire–these entities are real!
While New Page Books has a large number of talented authors, I wouldn’t count Bob Curran among their numbers. Curran’s book “A Haunted Mind” was probably the worst that I have recently read, and between you and me that’s saying something. I decided to approach “American Vampires: Their True Bloody History From New York to California” with an open mind and it seemed perfect for the season.
I liked the cover, although I imagine that Alaska and Hawaii would like to be acknowledged as part of America. Perhaps Irish Curran prefers the pre-1959 United States? At any rate, only about 13 states are mentioned and most American readers will come away disappointed. The introduction wanders around until page 10 when Curran posed the question, “What are vampires?” Shouldn’t that have been a question posed on page one of a book about vampires?
I was entertained with the King Robert and Lord Annandale ghost story but that really isn’t an American vampire story. The chapter on North Carolina begins with several pages on Northern Irish folklore and finally the chapter seemed to slowly meander to the topic.
I suppose that my biggest problem with Curran’s work would be his lack of documentation. Of an alleged witch he wrote “And, it was whispered, drinking their blood.” Documentation? Actually, one of Curran’s few quotes contradicts Curran’s story.
His Bibliography lists only 12 books and periodicals of which some are only a few of pages long. I came away disappointed with the lack of research and the heavily slanted prose. I imagine him to be popular at a dark and stormy dinner party, but Curran’s writing resembles my late Grandfather’s fishing stories. I think his stuff is less folklore and more Curranlore. Curran’s work reads like a Bernie Madoff financial statement. I recommend it only for entertainment purposes and give it 2 1/2 stars out of 5.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this ebook free from New Page Books. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”