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on December 15, 2008
I think this book provides an excellent overview of the vampire and Goth subcultures. I'm surprised that I haven't read this book until now but apparently it was published after my brief period of interest in vampires. I'm more into the Goth subculture and consider vampires to be a mere fantasy element in that scene. Therefore it really does not bother me if the author didn't manage to "get it right". Anything that is not covered in this book is probably just peculiar to someone's private mythology or personal conception of the undead.

Katherine Ramsland strikes me as being much more of a vampire enthusiast than an outside observer. I suspect that being the biographer of Anne Rice already made her well-known figure in the vampire subculture so I don't really buy the pretense of immersive anthropology. Writing this book was probably just a way to give herself more "street cred" in the vampire subculture. Fortunately that perspective makes this a fascinating read by a real insider, a genuine vampire freak.
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on January 1, 2013
While reading the book it's hard to keep in mind the story is true, as you continue on in the book you realize the writer goes off focus of what the story started as and it's really good then it gets stupid and the end was good but really disappointing. All in all it's not a bad read there is just a lot that could have been left out of the book. If the book was a biography of her experience through different vampire culture I could give it five stars, but the story is about the investigation on what happened to Susan Walsh.
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on July 24, 2017
Extremely intelligent expose that combines the right amount of mundane, author bona fides, mystery, eroticism, and blood. This book achieves what "Vampires Among Us" promised but failed to deliver.
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on February 13, 2017
Katherine always brings intricate knowledge to her books no matter the subject. Buy this book. She never disappoints.
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on March 28, 2013
Ramsland tries her best to help remove the stigma that so many associate with the subculture of vampires. I believe she does her best to provide more information and enlightenment on where each of these people come from and how they differ only in their "chosen" paths.
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on February 20, 2013
If you're looking for a different perspective on the subject aside from the the 'Rice-based and Sparkly' variety of vampires-- this is it. They DO exist, and the best way to get a real perspective is to read a variety of books on the subject.
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on May 23, 2016
LOVE IT !!!!
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on February 13, 2013
The mystery of the missing girl got me hooked but the cast of characters kept me reading. You will love it.
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on September 1, 2014
A truly scary bit of real vamp life. A gooood read.
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on July 14, 2016
The famed detective Sherlock Holmes once sagely observed that once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains no matter how improbable must be definition be the TRUTH. Case in point American journalist Susan Walsh who disappeared in the summer of 1996 whilst investigating the New York vampire scene and whose case inspired (author and biographer of Anne Rice) Katherine Ramsland to look into the whole vampire scene not just in New York, Los Angeles but even places where you might not suspect the "Undead" to be such as in Chicago).
Do "real" vampires exist? Ramsland leaves the question open- but whilst I am not willing to dogmatically assert that they exist in actuality, neither am I willing to go to the opposite extreme and equally dogmatically assert that they do NOT exist. After all, my faith assures me that angels and devils exist(although I have seen neither). As one person observed of the purported miracles and visitations of Our Lady at the Catholic shrine of Lourdes- "to those who believe no explanation is necessary, to those who disbelieve no explanation is possible!".
The first thing to note is that if "real" vampires exist, then they would hardly be stupid enough to dress never mind talk in the style popularized by Bela Lugosi, Christopher Lee, Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt or Robert Pattinson in various vampire films from "Dracula" to "Twilight", since common sense indicates the fastest way to attract attention( from potential Van Helsings or Buffys- ie slayers) in the 21st century is to dress or speak in a demonstratably anachronistic fashion, rather they would look and sound pretty much like everyone else.
All in all, though "Piercing The Darkness" is an intriguing(if somewhat dated- hey this is 2016) book about subculture that most havevaguely heard of or seen in TV crime dramas like "CSI:Crime Scene Investigation" and "CSI:NY" but few have studied in depth!
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