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Vampires: Encounters With the Undead Paperback – October 31, 2006
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This is a well written and compiled anthology of vampire stories. The stories included in this book are the best of the best when it comes to vampire tales. Having them all in one book is handy for late night reading. You could read it all in a weekend, or prolong it into reading one section each night, or at whatever pace you want to enjoy it at.
Aside from the actual vampire tales, I really enjoyed reading the editor's commentary and information about vampires that he researched. Even if you think you know everything about vampires, there is sure to be information included in the sidebars that you probably didn't know or haven't seen before.
If you have a fascination with vampires or just want to take a walk into the nightlife of the vampire lifestyle, this is seriously a must have book for you. I highly recommend it and am quite certain that you would also enjoy it.
* Thank you to the publisher of Vampires: Encounters with the Undead, Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers, for providing me with a copy of this book for review. All opinions expressed are my own.
You can't fault Mr Skal for his selection of stuff -- fiction, nonfiction, excerpts from longer works. All that material is on-target and really a wonderful portmanteau of Vampirian lore.
But, despite the tagline on the cover, "edited and with commentary," the commentary is, at times, rather thin gruel.
I would have hoped for commentary specific to the selections, more like annotations, or explanations of this or that thing that appears in the story or article. Instead, in the sidebars, we often have excerpts of other stories that were published at the same time as Story X, or interminable lists of decades of vampire movies or lists of vampire books, etc.
The amount of actual commentary, compared to this "padding," is a small percentage.
It's also ironic that, in the acknowledgements, Mr Skal thanks his copy editor. Now, nobody's perfect, but in this book I came across a few dozens of simple misspellings, letters dropped from words, etc; paragraph indents at the tops of pages when we were continuing a sentence started the previous page; and so on.
And what's with the sudden change in type size for just one word, or one line? This happens more in the sidebars than in the main text, but for some of us it's kind of jarring.
These little irritants keep this book from being A-Number-One, for me at least. If these things don't bug you, then run -- do not walk -- to dive into this anthology.