Thursday, 28 June 2012

Upcoming books 3

You know the drill: I've scoured Amazon—the American and British versions—for upcoming books on vampires. For the previous instalment, click here

I'm flattered to see this segment's inspired another blogger—also a mate of mine. It's funny, because I first 'met' him on Amazon. It's come full circle, in a way.

Some of these finds may be considered peripheral to the subject, i.e. they touch on vampires rather than serve as full-length treatments. Being mindful of catchpenny titles, I've gauged their inclusion in this list by what I assume will be a reasonable and relatively unique take on vampires.

July 2012


Monsters of the market: zombies, vampires, and global capitalism / David McNally

Though its publisher site lists 'July, 2012', Amazon says it'll be released on 11 September. Take your pick. If you like political allegories, then this is the book for you! 'Drawing on folklore, literature and popular culture, this book links tales of monstrosity from England to recent vampire- and zombie-fables from sub-Saharan Africa, and it connects these to Marx’s persistent use of monster-metaphors in his descriptions of capitalism.'

1 July 2012


The Dracula dilemma: tourism, identity and the state in Romania / Duncan Light

The best evidence of Dracula's success is reflected in its impact on Romanian tourism; even though Bram Stoker never visited the country. Once Westerners realised that Transylvania wasn't a mythic never-never land, the floodgates opened. So what's the dilemma? According to the book's Amazon description, 'On one hand, Dracula is Romania's unique selling point and has considerable potential to be exploited for economic gain. On the other hand, the whole notion of vampires and the supernatural is starkly at odds with Romania's self-image as a modern, developed, European state.'

30 July 2012


Vampires in the New World / Louis H. Palmer

As with the first entry, publication dates for this book are confusing: says July, while Amazon lists 31 January 2013. I've used its publisher's date. The book's description makes it sound like it follows in the footsteps of Nina Auerbach's Our vampires, ourselves (1995), but with an American emphasis: 'surveys vampire films and literature from both national and historical perspectives since the publication of Bram Stoker's Dracula, providing an overview of the changing figure of the vampire in America. It focuses on such essential popular culture topics as pulp fiction, classic horror films, film noir, science fiction, horror fiction, blaxploitation, and the recent Twilight and True Blood series in order to demonstrate how cultural, scientific, and ideological trends are reflected and refracted through the figure of the vampire.'

7 August 2012


Haunted New Orleans: Southern spirits, Garden District ghosts, and vampire venues / Bonnye E. Stuart

One of two upcoming books emphasising vampires in association with American's Transylvania: New Orleans. The book's description doesn't indicate how much focus will be on 'vampire venues'— or vampirism, in general—so I'm only working with the title here. That said, New Orleans' considerable vampire 'heritage' should give Stuart a lotta meat to chew on.

11 September 2012


Spirits of New Orleans: voodoo curses, vampire legends, and cities of the dead / Kala Ambrose

The second book focusing on America's Transylvania. Must be something in the air. Again, the description doesn't indicate how much focus vampires are gonna get—but 'vampire legends' is certainly more expansive than 'venues.' Its author certainly gets around, though: 'A highly interactive teacher on a mission to educate, entertain and inspire, Kala writes for the Huffington Post, the Examiner, AOL, Yahoo and Fate Magazine and presents workshops nationally on the Mind/Body/Spirit connection including Auras and Energy Fields, Developing Business Intuition, Haunted History and Wisdom Teachings at the Omega Institute, John Edward Presents Infinite Quest, the Learning Annex, LilyDale Assembly, and Daily Om.'

16 September 2012


Undead in the West: vampires, zombies, mummies, and ghosts on the cinematic frontier / Cynthia J. Miller and A. Bowdoin Van Riper (eds.)

On first blush, the book—a collection of essays—seems to focus on the Weird West, a genre that combines 'the Western with another literary genre, usually horror, occult, or fantasy.' But its Amazon description indicates it'll also examine Western tropes in association with 'weird' combinations: 'The subjects explored here run the gamut from such B films as Curse of the Undead and Billy the Kid vs. Dracula to A-list features like From Dusk ‘til Dawn and Jonah Hex, as well as animated films (Rango) and television programs (The Walking Dead and Supernatural). Other films discussed include Sam Raimi’s Bubba Ho-Tep, John Carpenter’s Vampires, George Romero’s Land of the Dead, and Sergio Leone’s Once Upon a Time in the West.'

I've actually uncovered a few more new books, but I'm 'holding' onto them till I confirm a few details first. So, stay tuned for the next instalment!

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Book spree, pt. 3

And now, the thrilling conclusion to 'Book spree'! For the previous instalment, click here.

17 May 2012    

Title: The vampire in Slavic cultures, rev. edn (San Diego: Cognella, 2010)   
Author: Thomas J. Garza
Date ordered: 6 May 2012  
Price: £27.75
Why'd I buy it? I've had my eye on this book for a while, but copies are prohibitively expensive. So, when I saw this version for a much cheaper price, I snapped it up. However, I wasn't expecting it to be a revised edition—because that wasn't mentioned in its description or stock cover photo. I was going to try and get a partial refund on it, but on account of how much buggering about there would've been to do so—involving sending the book back, I figured I'd keep it, instead. 

This work is a big book of leads to me, as it's actually an anthology. It began life as a university reader, after all.

Nordic Academic Press
Title: Interdisciplinary approaches to Twilight: studies in fiction, media, and a contemporary cultural experience (Lund, Sweden: Nordic Academic Press, 2011)   
Author: Mariah Larsson & Ann Steiner (eds)
Date ordered: 1 May 2012  
Price: £24.92
Why'd I buy it? Apart from the cover (left), the 'Interdisciplinary approaches' caught my attention. Vampirology, itself, is a combination of various disciplines; as is vampire studies in general. Think back to David Lowery's division of Buffy studies into fifty 'disciplines, methods, and/or approaches'. I'm sure I've mentioned it before, but Twilight doesn't interest me so much as its success does. It'll be interesting to see what these diverse disciplines drum out of the phenomena.

Title: Ken Russell's Dracula (Cambridge, U.K.: Bear Claw Publishing, 2012)   
Author: Ken Russell
Date ordered: 6 May 2012  
Price: £7.88
Why'd I buy it? I've been intrigued by Russell's take on the story ever since I read a snippet about it in David J. Skal's V is for vampire (1996). The scene where Jonathan Harker uses a rosary as a knuckleduster against the undead? Yep, that's in there. So what stopped the film getting made? Drac-saturation. It was ready for 1979; the same year that saw the release of Badham's Dracula, Herzog's Nosferatu: Phantom der Nacht and Dragoti's Love at first bite. A shame it never went into production, as I'm convinced it would've been the best of the lot.

Title: Prima di Dracula: archeologia del vampiro (Bologna, Italy: Il Mulino, 2011)   
Author: Tommaso Braccini
Date ordered: 1 May 2012  
Price: £15.08
Why'd I buy it? Blame Niels. He discussed the book in two posts (this one and this one). The archaeological angle perked my interest. Makes me wish I paid greater attention in Italian class—instead of looking up swear words in the dictionary. Merda!

Title: Write of the living dead: a writing guide for your dark side (Largo, Fla.: Dark Moon, 2012)   
Author: Araminta Star Matthews, Rachel Lee & Stan Swanson
Date ordered: 6 May 2012  
Price: £14.46
Why'd I buy it? I enjoy writing guides. Richard Laymon's A writer's tale (1998) is one of my favourite books. Period. What sold me on this one, apart from its genre-theme, was this: 'Each chapter of the handbook is devoted to a different genre of writing--everything from academic writing (complete with MLA and APA sample essays), business writing, and even poetry and fiction--all of it with a dark and undead twist.' How many horror-specific writing guides can you name that cover academia? Sign me up.

21 May 2012

Title: Entities: angels, spirits, demons, and other alien beings (Amherst, N.Y.: Prometheus Books, 1995)   
Author: Joe Nickell
Date ordered: 1 May 2012  
Price: £1.80 + £5.84 postage 
Why'd I buy it? Nickell is fast turning into one of my favourite writers. I love the way he applies serious research methods to paranormal topics. His 2011 book, Tracking the man-beasts, cited this one in conjunction with vampy stuff—so I figured I'd reacquaint myself with it. Haven't read it in over 15 years. I'm much more comfortable with its skeptical tone than I was back then. The vampire references are very sparse, but I'm not bothered as I enjoy the book as a whole.

And that's a wrap. Not sure when I'll go on my next spree, but it won't be for a while. Went a little overboard there. That said, I've had my eye on a few books—upcoming ones, too—so I'll be probably hitting the shopping cart soon enough.
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