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Vampires Are Us: Understanding Our Love Affair with the Immortal Dark Side Paperback – March 1, 2014

4.7 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Insightful and compelling…as a tool for understanding the drift of human culture over the last two centuries. The ever-morphing vampire, powerful and at the same time significantly flawed, invites us to reflect on our own life as we seek control, community, and some sense of self-worth." -J. Gordon Melton, Distinguished Professor of American Religious History, Baylor University

"Margot Adler's new book does what I most appreciate in a piece of writing: it makes me look at the world differently. Vampires became a lens to help us examine our attitudes toward sex, death, and how we are sucking the life-blood out of the earth. She explores her personal fascination and our cultural obsession with vampires with humor, insight, and great emotional honesty. An illuminating and fascinating work!" -Starhawk, author of The Spiral Dance and The Fifth Sacred Thing

"Reading this was pure pleasure. First rate!" -Whitley Strieber

About the Author

Margot Adler had been involved with Earth-based spirituality, Wicca, and Paganism since 1972. She was the author of Drawing Down the Moon, the classic study of Paganism and Goddess Spirituality, as well as Heretic's Heart: A Journey Through Spirit and Revolution. In her mundane life, she was a 35-year veteran correspondent for NPR whose pieces regularly air on All Things Considered, Morning Edition, and Weekend Edition. She passed away in 2014. www.margotadler.com.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Weiser Books (March 1, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1578635608
  • ISBN-13: 978-1578635603
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,052,031 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was greatly saddened to hear that Ms. Adler's husband died. I attended a fabulous workshop on Women's Spirituality she gave at Esalen some years ago after she had her son, and lost touch with her, except hearing her insightful reports on NPR. My heart goes out to her.

I also wondered why books on vampires still have "such traction" in modern culture, especially in Young Adult series. I've always been fascinated by them because I had two older brothers who loved horror novels, and they got me addicted to them.

Ms. Adler's analysis of the forces behind this fascination, our "guilt-ridden and conflicted" relationship to the wholesale destruction of our environment and the sense that the clock is ticking on our survival as a species hit a nerve; the tipping point may well have been reached already as we spread over the earth like a virus, sucking it dry, as the more evil vampires in her survey of the genre do to their victims.

I used her reviews of the many vampire series she has in the rest of the book to add to my collection, and am deep into George R.R. Martin's Fevre Dream, a tale set in 1857 of a Mississippi Riverboat captain's partnership with an eccentric and mysterious business man who never appears during the day and whose behaviors spark more and more concern in the captain.

For those people like me who love a good vampire tale, Ms. Adler's survey and thoughtful and rich analysis are a treasure.

Carol Lynn Stewart, former reviewer at ForeWord
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Format: Paperback
I can pinpoint the exact time that I first became intrigued with vampires, and through the years my fascination has had a cost. I have bought and read whole series, and even borrowed from books from the young adult section in the library. I've both read the books and have watched every single Sookie Stackhouse episode. Why would I spend so much time and money on vampires? Why does America do so?

Margot Adler gives a few choice reasons. She leaves off where Caroline Myss broaches in her Sacred Contracts/Archetypes books.

The main takeaway for me this time around (I tend to read the same books more than once) is to look at my relationships with others. Where am I being the vampire? Is someone draining me? It's my due diligence to watch energy levels. How can I give, and have a balanced relationship with myself, others, and the planet.

If you love vampire novels, the author gives us a compilation of vampire books, including but not limited to the Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead, which is playing in select theaters now. Personally, I was not impressed by the trailer, loved the books though.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
What makes this book both unique and effective is the way in which Adler weaves her personal interest in vampires, inspired by her husband's death, with the historic/cultural background of the myth up through its enduring appeal to this day. Adler read a staggering 270+ vampire novels, which she then divides into themed chapters with brief reviews of a representational selection of each theme or style.

It’s fascinating to go through the categories and see how, from humorous novels to young adult, from supernatural fantasy to adult/erotic, something powerfully essential about the vampire myth remains even as it undergoes countless, continuous transformations. As with any review, Adler's choices are subjective, particularly as her journey through vampire literature was inspired by, and is therefore meant to be, a highly personal response to her husband's death. Her choices and opinions will, of course, inspire debate (Anne Rice’s The Vampire Lestat on “The Best” list instead of Interview with the Vampire? Be still my not-beating undead heart!). But debate and discussion is a part of what makes the vampire legacy so rich and vital. With Vampires Are Us, Adler has contributed both a moving personal exploration to that legacy, and a truly impressive bibliography of vampire literature that will be an invaluable resource for vamp lovers of all preferences.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
So sad to learn of Margot Adler's recent passing. She will be missed.

In this book, Margot Adler gives delightful insight into her personal journey and investigation of vampires, then provides a detailed list of books to explore. It's a quick read, but worth every cent. And worth re-reading!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Sadly, I wanted to really love this book. I really love Margot, and grieve for her loss. This is not a book. It is a brief essay on vampire books, the majority of which is actually just quoting other people's essays and books. And then 3/4 of the book are individual reviews of vampire books.

Fans of Margot's may just want to take a pass. Fans of vampire books, this is the book for you.
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I regret not reading this (and Heretic Heart) until after Ms Adler's death. Her insights are profound and I still find myself thinking about her points months later. The brevity of the essay portion of the book is its only shortcoming - her annotated bibliography/guide to vampire literature is truly amazing. Her writing flows well. I remain stunned that she could put this book together at the same time her husband was dying. Her death is a great loss to us all - this book shows part of why.
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