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Out For Blood (Kindle Single) by [Adler, Margot]
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Out For Blood (Kindle Single) Kindle Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • File Size: 312 KB
  • Print Length: 43 pages
  • Publisher: Amazon Single (June 10, 2013)
  • Publication Date: June 10, 2013
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00DC1YD98
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #373,565 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Top Customer Reviews

By Amy Hannon on June 26, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
For those of us who have followed Margot Adler for at least two decades, either through her NPR program "Justice Talking" or her book and its revised edition, "Drawing Down the Moon," which summarized the rise of the Wiccan/pagan movement, "Out for Blood" is a welcome window into her mind and her life and a valuable analysis of a striking figure in contemporary culture and consciousness, the vampire.

Many of us knew about the death of Margot's husband, John, from cancer three years ago, but knew little about it. As this book opens Margot gives us a welcome glimpse of his character and their shared ordeal as he succumbed to the disease. She also connects this pivotal experience with her growing fascination with vampire lore, a subject she plumbs in this book. The book takes us on a tour of the literature and media on vampires from Bram Stoker and Mary Shelley through contemporary teen as well as adult fiction, cinema and tv programs. She approaches the figure of the vampire in much the same way a psychoanalyst approaches the archetypal figures of the pagan gods, teasing out the cultural and psychological implications of their stories and addressing such topics as mortality, the persecuted other and morality as they relate to the figure of the vampire. I was especially pleased to read this granddaughter of Alfred Adler addressing the issue of the vampire and power, one of his key themes. Most of all I found her reference to spirituality illuminating with its recognition of the vampire as symbol of our industrialized culture's addiction to and exploitation of oil despite the damage this is doing to the planet.

This book dug beneath the surface of one of our cultural icons. Activist, environmentalist, philosopher, moralist, teacher -- Margot Adler strikes again.
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What does it mean that within the last 20 years, the popularity of vampire novels has soared? That there is now a vampire subculture whose members dress, talk and behave as vampires? And how are these modern vampires different from the folkloric and literary figures of history? In this essay, NPR correspondent Margot Adler gives us her interpretation of this cultural trend, drawing from a number of literary, sociological and spiritual perspectives. Personal, very accessible, and peppered with anecdotes and examples, this highly readable piece will appeal to anyone who has been fascinated by the popularity of "Twilight," "Buffy" and all their kin. Plus, excellent bibliography for those who want to read further. What we discover in the end is that "Vampires R Us."
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Adler has always been consumed with science fiction. In addition, she is a pagan and a Wiccan. When her healthy husband dies of gastric cancer, she subsumed her grief into research into vampires as they are viewed today. She believes they represent the outsider empowered. She also discusses the morally conflicted vampire; a man who has power and must decide its use.

This single wanders a bit into the personal, and not always gracefully. Nonetheless, her ideas are intriguing and well articulated. Her research has certainly been extensive. I find the proposition of the role of vampire to be a fresh and fascinating idea. This single is worth that hour curled up, and will leave you thinking.
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"Out For Blood" explores that incredible fascination we have with vampires, and ends up contemplating so much more. From death to power, enlightenment to the environment, Margot Adler meditates on the very poignant and human desire we, as a collective group of mortals, have to know something greater than ourselves.

The work is short and written so well you will wish it were longer. It reads like an elegant essay with traces of both memoir and an investigative style of writing. Adler opens with her musings on the tragic loss of her husband of thirty-five years, and her search for understanding in his unexpected bout with stomach cancer. Her reflections on death recall Joan Didion's seminal meditation on her husband's demise in "The Year of Magical Thinking."

This event leads Adler to her thoughts about vampires, as they are the ever-modern and popular icons of immortality. Greek gods and goddesses seem to have been reborn in these folkloric inventions of the undead.

"At the beginning of my own obsessive journey, as I wrestled with issues of mortality, power, persecution and morality, it never occurred to me that this was a spiritual voyage."

The vampire as spiritual trope is something that resonates with all of us. Adler admits to dabbling in writing vampire fiction--a flirt in which she has plenty of good company. She has read more than two hundred and sixty-five vampire novels, as well as some theoretical works on the subject (she gives a detailed bibliography at the close of her work). She also admits to having watched many television series and movies starring the vampire. One may say she is an expert.

On a more personal note, "Out For Blood" made me reflect on my own reasons for writing a vampire novel.
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NPR Correspondent and author Margot Adler read over 260 vampire novels in the two years following her husband's death- from the earliest to the most recent, both adult and young adult, along with scholarly works on the genre and histories. Now I have read my share of vampire novels, even though never Bram Stoker's Dracula in it's entirety. I have often wondered why the genre keeps so many people enthralled. Vampire stories and novels wax and wane in popularity but since the publication of Anne Rice's Interview with the Vampire have exploded- never dying out completely just like the vampires themselves.

OUT FOR BLOOD is a wide ranging and thought-provoking meditation on the nature of life and death, power, politics, identity, sexuality, religious belief and even ecology. It is well worth reading and I'm sure I will reread it. According to Ms Adler, the vampire novel reflects the anxieties of the age in which it is produced and she presents a very convincing case.
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