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American Vampires: Fans, Victims, Practitioners Paperback – October 3, 1990


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 255 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; 1st Vintage books ed edition (October 3, 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679730419
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679730415
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5.2 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #740,018 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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10 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 2, 1997
Format: Paperback
Norine Dresser has some interesting things to say about vampires in American culture, both folk and popular. The only problem is, she seems to want to repeat what little she has to say ad nauseum.

In her opening chapters on the infatuation of the American public with vampire themes in real life, film and novels, Dresser says in over a hundred pages what could be best summarized in one three-word sentence: "Americans like vampires."

The first chapter deals with people who think that they are vampires, focusing on one or two case studies. Personally I believe that these people are very heavily influenced by popular representations of vampires rather than true "victims" of vampirism. And Dresser seems to agree.

In her studies on the media's influence on popular conception of vampires, the only novel idea Dresser gives us is that there is much humor in our perception of vampires. This is seen in greeting cards, halloween costumes and comemrcials. She seems to claim that media, rather than folk belief, is the major contributor to America's belief in vampires.

Dresser many times cites a survey she conducted in which upwards of one quarter of respondents claimed to belief (if only half-heartedly) in vampires and the chance that vampirism exists.

Despite these flaws in this treatise, Dresser is very effective in describing the hoopla that surrounded the links between the blood disease porphyria and vampirism, and does much to quell these claims and shows how the sufferers of this rare disease where horribly effected by the attention this garnered a decade ago. But, unfortunately, this section too suffers from much repetitiveness and could have been edited down by more than half without loosing any of its import.
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By P. Jankowiak on August 16, 2012
Format: Paperback
Ignore everything in the previous review. If you like vampires and how much they've impacted our current culture, you will dig your teeth into this fine work.
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