"Reading the Vampire Slayer" review


Title: Reading the Vampire Slayer

Author: Roz Kaveney

Subgenre: Nonfiction

2021 Bingo squares: Nonfiction

Recommend: No

Stars: 0/5


I read this for the nonfiction Bingo square. It was a waste of time, and I should have DNF’d it and picked up something else, but by the time I realized there was zero value in reading it, I was so far through it that I figured I may as well finish it because I didn’t really want to spend the time on another nonfiction book to fill this square.

This book is a collection of essays about Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel. It should be noted that I read the wrong edition: I bought it from a used bookstore on Amazon and got sent the first edition, which was published before the shows were completed, so it only had content about Buffy seasons 1-5 and Angel seasons 1-3; however, I don’t believe that reading the newer edition would have made a difference in my opinion of it.

I was interested in the book because it was cited in the Buffy essay in Library as Place, which I had read earlier this year. To be honest, I potentially could have used Library as Place itself to fill this Bingo square, but the Buffy essay was the only sci-fi/fantasy-related essay in the entire book, and I read it before I even knew Bingo existed, so it didn’t really feel appropriate. Unfortunately, while that essay was quite good (as was the entire book), Reading the Vampire Slayer was, for the most part, next to useless.

A couple of the essays in Reading the Vampire Slayer were somewhat enjoyable and/or interesting:

  • Laugh, Spawn of Hell, Laugh! - an essay about the humor of the show. I’m pretty sure I enjoyed this primarily because it was mostly just a collection of quotes about the show, and the quotes themselves are of course hilarious. There wasn’t much insight in the essay, but it did at least showcase the variety of humor used by the show writers.
  • What You Are, What’s To Come - other than a kind of weird part in the middle discussing Ninshugur and Inanna which I’m pretty convinced is projecting way too much into the show, this essay was pretty interesting.
  • Concentrate on the Kicking Movie - discusses some of the deliberate decisions made by stunt artists because Buffy was made for a western artist instead of an eastern one. Quite interesting. (Though the article was still burdened by a lot of fluff about character relationships that seemed pretty irrelevant, as if it had to meet a minimum word count and the author didn’t have enough to say.)

Pretty much every other essay recycled the same discussions and arguments, just in slightly different contexts. I was bored out of my mind. Don’t read this, go read Library as Place instead, which is a fantastic collection of essays about the library’s role as a place in society. And the last one is about Buffy.

Cover of Reading the Vampire Slayer

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River is a MediaWiki developer and admins Leaguepedia. This blog contains her fantasy novel reviews.