V Is for Vampire: An Illustrated Alphabet of the Undead
by Adam-troy Castro
Review by Steve Sawicki
Harper Voyager Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 9780061991868
Date: 07 June 2011 List Price $16.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK
This is a fun, brief book about horror. More precisely it is about one horrible thing attached to each letter of the alphabet. So, as the title says, V is, indeed, for Vampire and A is for Arterial Spray. The subtitle of the book is: An Illustrated Alphabet of the Undead. Each letter comes with an illustration and a description of the thing attached to the letter. It should be noted that when undead is used, it means vampire. Thus we get garlic, kiss of the vampire, rising. If you know Adam-Troy Castro you know that some of the book is amusing, tongue in cheek, kind of stuff. Accurate sure, but also not to be taken totally seriously.
And that's perhaps the best way to take this book. Not seriously. Otherwise it would be easy to argue that the cost is not worth the length and that it's full of fluff rather than serious content. But it's not supposed to be serious content. This is a mini-coffee table book. Meant to be left out for unsuspecting guests. Or, perhaps, left in the bathroom for those with but a few moments to read. In those cases it's darn near perfect.
If you are looking for an amusing, illustrated guide to the undead that also has some shock value for leaving about so your non-genre savvy friends can find it, then this is the book for you. Otherwise I'd have to say at $17 it's a bit pricey. Entertaining for sure but only if you happen to like the kind of humor involved. Luckily most of you will stumble on this in person and be able to take a look for yourself.
Recommended but with conditions.