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The Embrace: A True Vampire Story Paperback – August 1, 2010

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Gallery Books (August 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1451607571
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451607574
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 4.9 x 7.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (75 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,646,244 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews Review

The "Vampire Clan" was a loosely knit gang of Southern U.S. teenagers who played at being outcasts and goths, and then pretended to be vampires. The twisted fantasies and dark mind of their young leader, Rod Ferrell, dominate The Embrace. Aphrodite Jones wastes no time in getting inside the troubled 16-year-old's head, detailing his elaborate delusions (he sometimes claims to be 500 years old; at other points, he was born 60,000 years ago and "sent to earth to destroy it") and his eerie abilities to control other troubled souls. With a Jim Jones-like knack for bizarre showmanship, Ferrell picked up followers and "true loves" with ease, then led his small, unmerry band on a mission from his home base in Kentucky to pick up yet another groupie--15-year-old Heather Wendorf--in Florida. The journey ended in violence in 1996, however, when Ferrell decided to kill Heather's parents with a crowbar. The group (Heather in tow) fled to New Orleans, where Rod promised his "vampire friends" would take them in; they were arrested a few days later. Ferrell, who now holds the record as the youngest inmate on death row, still insists he's the Antichrist.

Jones's account is rather spare, but feels balanced and honest. Like untold thousands of other American youths, Ferrell had the requisite bad childhood and unpleasant memories to later cause him both melancholy and grief. But unlike most of his peers, Rod Ferrell seems to have been born with a genius intelligence and the ability to memorize names, accents, and customs from different eras and places with ease, along with a talent to "perform" what he claimed to be. That he also happened to be deranged shouldn't be overlooked, but the real tragedy and concern here is that there might exist a rip in the fabric of our society large enough to allow healthy, normal teenagers like his group to fall through the tear and into the arms of animalistic hucksters like Rod Ferrell. --Tjames Madison --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

On November 25, 1996, in Eustis, Fla., Ruth and Richard Wendorf were found bludgeoned to death in their home, with their youngest daughter, Heather, 15, missing. Jones (Cruel Sacrifice, etc.) portrays Heather as a lonely girl whose desire to transcend her "mundane," privileged life brought her under the influence of a charismatic monster who introduced her to an underground world of teenagers dressing in black, practicing ritual bloodletting and dreaming of traveling to Paris and New Orleans. Was Heather part of a gruesome execution planned by self-described vampires or a brainwashed victim seduced by pack leader Rod Ferrell? Jones makes a case for the latter, minimizing Heather's involvement in the murders ("She was without an ego"). While Jones claims to have used "proven sources of journalistic research," she does admit to altering "certain details" and taking "certain storytelling liberties." Jones seems to think Ferrell was just born mean, and she turns him into a larger-than-life character, calling him "the embodiment of insanity." Her entire account suffers from psychological na?vet?, as she appears to believe whatever HeatherAwho stands to inherit half a million dollars from her parents' deathAtells her and dismisses those who contradict the girl, including Heather's own sister. Jones provides a good overview of the facts surrounding the murder and her prose glows with a voyeuristic intensity, but she comes off as so wholly biased in favor of Heather, "the victim," that her presentation lacks full credibility. (June) FYI: Jones's All She Wanted is soon to be filmed with Drew Barrymore.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Jones doesn't do a very good job of structuring that narrative.
Mr Mondo
If there had been one competent adult in contact with these kids, the whole sorry event wouldn't have happened.
Anny Heydemann
Again, all in all it was an interesting read simply from the storyline, but not very well written.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By BarkLessWagMore on June 17, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The back blurb of my copy of "The Embrace" claims "The Embrace will forever change the way we look at one of the fastest-growing religious movements in the country and its most vulnerable fold: our children."
Are they claiming Satanism or "vampirism" is one of the fastest growing religious movements? Since when? Or are they insinuating that modern day witchcraft = Satanism/vampirism. If that's the case someone really needs to do some homework. I sure hope the book is researched better than the back cover copy . . .
The Embrace is the author's pieced together account of a vicious true life crime perpetuated by a vicious, disturbed young man who believed he was immortal (among other wacked out theories). Rod Ferrell and his group of mindless followers are aimlessly traveling from Kentucky to Florida where Ferrell intends to add his ex-girlfriend Heather to his "coven", kill Heather's parents and steal their vehicle. The group then plans to head to New Orleans and crash with Ferrell's "vampire" friends. The sheep-like clan members don't take Ferrell's claims of murder seriously and laugh it off. Unfortunately, he wasn't kidding around and they find themselves accessories to a crime that is anything but funny.
I won't comment on how accurate this retelling of the events leading to the murder happens to be as I was completely unfamiliar with the case until now. The book reads like what I'm assuming it is: a collection of interviews pieced together by the author. The problem lies with the dull way the author presents her material. The book is extremely tedious and very repetitive and could've been trimmed by a hundred or more pages. This all makes for a very dull read for anyone not familiar with this case.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 26, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Don't bother reading this book. I went to school with several of the characters in this book, the ones from Florida, and I was a friend of a couple of them. Aphrodite does a terrible job of writing this book, the story has no flow, and she revisits simplistic ideas, while breezing over major issues. There was more to the story than vampire novels and Goth music. Trying to explain Rod's action in that fashion is like trying to say, "Oh, well Hitler just had a bad family life and self-esteem issues."
The real question is how could sane people follow such a freak. I would suggest that you rent the movie "Vampire Clan" instead. I will cost less, it goes by quicker, and tells the story just as fully without any of Aphrodite's conclusions. Plus in the movie everyone looks a lot better than they did in real life.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on June 5, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book is about a 16 American boy from Kentucky named Rod Ferrel, a Schizotypal wannabe "vampire" addicted to Anne Rice and Marilyn Manson music, who took his vampiric friends Scott, Charity, and Dana down to Florida where he used to live to basically kidnap his other friend Heather Wendorf and all go to the location of Anne Rice's "Vampire Chronicles", New Orleans, to live as an immortal coven for the rest of their eternal lifes. However, while in Florida, because Rod Ferrel was so stressed from escaping Kentucky, he killed Heather's parents with a metal crowbar in the process of liberating her and she didn't find out until later on the road. Her older sister Jennifer came home, found the dead parents, called the police, and Rod and his "coven" were arrested several days later, all convicted of murder and put in jail.

Sure, it may sound like an open-close case, but what makes it so interesting is two things...

1. The media really exploited this case as a way to slam the "Goth" culture, which T.V. knows nearly nothing about. Most of the emphasis they put on the case is that Rod Ferrel dressed and acted like his vampire character Vesago in his insane/immortal fantasy world. He was so insane and had such a Charles Manson/Jim Jones thing going with his friends, he made them all believe they were vampiric demons sent to Earth to open the gates of Hell. At times he sounds dillusional but intelligent, but at other times he just sounds like a misguided idiotic teenager, which he basically was. News and T.V. said he drank his victim's blood but the murders were actually not based on vampirism, but based suprisingly soley on stealing a car and not being arrested for that! So the actual crime wasn't a vampire sort of thing, it was a theft gone wrong of thing.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Bryan A. Pfleeger VINE VOICE on June 18, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
In The Embrace Aphrodite Jones tells the story of the murders of Rick and Ruth Wendorf by a self proclaimed coven of "vampires." The story telling is often flawed by Ms.Jones use of shifting points of view and highly "purple" prose.
Essentially The Embrace is an eye-opening account of lost teens in America that raises more questions than it really answers. The story of Rod Ferell and his followers was an interesting one if just for the fact that it opens a door on a world that most of us don't know about either by choice or plain ignorance. The children depicted in the book could have been helped if only someone showed interest and concern. More than the story of two murders this book is a morality tale of the childern who are lost in today's society.
Had this book been better written it may have reached a larger audience. If it is available in your local bargain book store it is worth the read but I wouldn't go out of my way to hunt it down.
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