counter create hit The Dead Travel Fast: Stalking Vampires from Nosferatu to Count Chocula - Download Free eBook
Ads Banner
Hot Best Seller

The Dead Travel Fast: Stalking Vampires from Nosferatu to Count Chocula

Availability: Ready to download

The Dead Travel Fast is about vampires, death, chickens, fear, things that smell bad, the love of a good woman, and germs… but mostly it's about vampires. The undead are everywhere. They're not just in movies and books, but in commercials, fetish clubs, and even in your breakfast cereal. If you look, you'll discover that bloodsuckers have gone from guest spots in rural folk The Dead Travel Fast is about vampires, death, chickens, fear, things that smell bad, the love of a good woman, and germs… but mostly it's about vampires. The undead are everywhere. They're not just in movies and books, but in commercials, fetish clubs, and even in your breakfast cereal. If you look, you'll discover that bloodsuckers have gone from guest spots in rural folk tales to becoming some of the most recognizable bad guys in the modern world. Eric Nuzum wanted to find out why and how this happened. And he found the answer in Goth clubs, darkened parks, haunted houses, and… chain restaurants.   Nuzum was willing to do whatever it took to better understand the vampire phenomenon. He traveled across Transylvania on a tour hosted by Butch Patrick (a.k.a. Eddie Munster), sat through Las Vegas' only topless vampire revue, hung out with assorted shady characters, and spent hours in a coffin. He even drank his own blood --just one more step in his quest to understand the weird, offbeat world of vampires and the people who love them.  The Dead Travel Fast is the hilarious result of this bloody, gory, and often foolhardy journey. With his unmatched firsthand experience, Eric Nuzum delivers a far-reaching look at vampires in pop culture, from Bram to Bela to Buffy, and at what vampires and vampirism have come to mean to us today.    And the blood? Let's just say it doesn't go with eggs.


Compare
Ads Banner

The Dead Travel Fast is about vampires, death, chickens, fear, things that smell bad, the love of a good woman, and germs… but mostly it's about vampires. The undead are everywhere. They're not just in movies and books, but in commercials, fetish clubs, and even in your breakfast cereal. If you look, you'll discover that bloodsuckers have gone from guest spots in rural folk The Dead Travel Fast is about vampires, death, chickens, fear, things that smell bad, the love of a good woman, and germs… but mostly it's about vampires. The undead are everywhere. They're not just in movies and books, but in commercials, fetish clubs, and even in your breakfast cereal. If you look, you'll discover that bloodsuckers have gone from guest spots in rural folk tales to becoming some of the most recognizable bad guys in the modern world. Eric Nuzum wanted to find out why and how this happened. And he found the answer in Goth clubs, darkened parks, haunted houses, and… chain restaurants.   Nuzum was willing to do whatever it took to better understand the vampire phenomenon. He traveled across Transylvania on a tour hosted by Butch Patrick (a.k.a. Eddie Munster), sat through Las Vegas' only topless vampire revue, hung out with assorted shady characters, and spent hours in a coffin. He even drank his own blood --just one more step in his quest to understand the weird, offbeat world of vampires and the people who love them.  The Dead Travel Fast is the hilarious result of this bloody, gory, and often foolhardy journey. With his unmatched firsthand experience, Eric Nuzum delivers a far-reaching look at vampires in pop culture, from Bram to Bela to Buffy, and at what vampires and vampirism have come to mean to us today.    And the blood? Let's just say it doesn't go with eggs.

30 review for The Dead Travel Fast: Stalking Vampires from Nosferatu to Count Chocula

  1. 5 out of 5

    Eric

    I loved all 71,206 words. Then again, I wrote all 71,206 words.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Lolly's Library

    Covering much the same ground as the previous book I read on the subject, Vampire Forensics: Uncovering the Origins of an Enduring Legend, but in a much more succinct and personal (read: snarky) manner, The Dead Travel Fast is an entertaining romp through the author's explorations of the vampire. Part scholarly essay on the origins of the vampire--from the history of vampires in folklore and fiction to the evolution of the creature from a thing to be feared in the dead of night to a thing to be Covering much the same ground as the previous book I read on the subject, Vampire Forensics: Uncovering the Origins of an Enduring Legend, but in a much more succinct and personal (read: snarky) manner, The Dead Travel Fast is an entertaining romp through the author's explorations of the vampire. Part scholarly essay on the origins of the vampire--from the history of vampires in folklore and fiction to the evolution of the creature from a thing to be feared in the dead of night to a thing to be desired and emulated in the light of day--part personal journal detailing his travels both in the United States and abroad as he searches for the answer to his question: What is it about the vampire that inspires such lust in people? From wannabes to true believers, from tour guides to tour groups, Eric Nuzum unearths many fascinating characters, all of whom share one passion, that of the vampire, to a varying degree of pity-inducing fervor. And while you can tell that Mr. Nuzum spends the entire book rather bewildered by this phenomenon, he is never quite mean or condescending about it; he maintains a sense of wry sarcasm or gentle teasing towards his subjects, staying just this side of smug self-superiority. (Okay, maybe he slipped over the edge a couple of times, but really, who wouldn't considering some of the circumstances he got himself into?) It's quite obvious that though the author probably had his fair share of geek moments growing up, they were probably of the marching band/school newspaper/AV club type. While those groups were still far below the radar of the popular kids--cheerleaders and jocks, prom royals and school rulers--they were still social activities. Nuzum has probably never felt nor dealt with the isolation of being a loner, an outsider, a non-joiner, exactly the type of person who would be drawn to the glamour and strength which the idea of a vampire represents. Not that I'm speaking from experience, mind you- pardon me, my cape got caught under the wheels of my deskchair. *rip* That's going to cost me a pretty penny to repair. Anyway, as I was saying, I might not quite understand the lure of dressing up in fangs and a corset to attend a nightclub packed with similarly dressed individuals, but I can understand the desire to associate with something that has come to represent sex, power, and success over your enemies and/or your lovers. In the end, Eric Nuzum's book is an enjoyable and informative tour of the vampire and its transformation from a hideous and diabolical fiend to a kid-friendly, ubiquitous cult icon. On a side note: One of the author's quests was to watch every vampire movie ever made, which amounted to something over 200 titles. He didn't quite make it. However, he lumped one movie in with several others and said they were all vampire pornos. The movie I'm speaking of is called Rockula and I take exception to his categorization. Rockula is not a porno. It is a fine example of 1989 B-movie cheese. Starring Dean Cameron, Toni Basil, Thomas Dolby, and Bo Diddley (yes, that is correct, the Bo Diddley), it is a movie which aspires to be a rock opera about a vampire and his true love, but falls far short. Nevertheless, for the over-the-top '80s production value alone, it is a hoot to watch. The saddest part is that it is only available on VHS; I can only hope that someday soon it'll get the DVD release it deserves.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Chad

    Avoid this. I thought it would be an interesting history lesson on the origins of vampire stories and how they have been adapted to modern society, instead it is just another ego-fest for some thirty something hipster who needed a subject so that he could write about his (not very interesting) adventures.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Lani

    Saw the author give a reading and couldn't pass the book up!!! The book is (very) light gonzo journalism, and the author throws himself into the study of vampires. If you get a chance to see him give a reading, I'd recommend it. He's a funny guy, and his style is just endearing. Tons of silly trivia, funny anecdotes, and actually interesting information. I was really captivated by the universal vampire myth, and fascinated by the Eastern European obsession that is so culturally intrenched. A great Saw the author give a reading and couldn't pass the book up!!! The book is (very) light gonzo journalism, and the author throws himself into the study of vampires. If you get a chance to see him give a reading, I'd recommend it. He's a funny guy, and his style is just endearing. Tons of silly trivia, funny anecdotes, and actually interesting information. I was really captivated by the universal vampire myth, and fascinated by the Eastern European obsession that is so culturally intrenched. A great "Halloween read," some passages might even be appropriate and fun for middle school or high school. If you have even a passing interest in vampires it will be an entertaining and quick read.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jackie "the Librarian"

    A humorous, slightly desperate exploration of vampires, from their popularity in Halloween haunted houses to Sesame Street's The Count. Includes some background info on the book Dracula and its supposed inspiration, Vlad Tepes. I think the author got pretty sick of all things vampire before he was finished writing - and his disdain for fans of the "Dark Shadows" soap opera wasn't pretty. Don't look for any in depth analysis here, just one man's journey exploring vampires in pop culture.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jessie Quinn (cupofbooks)

    Part-pop culture essay, part-memoir, The Dead Travel Fast explores why vampires continue to fascinate people and how they fit into popular culture. Author Eric Nuzum tells us this project started a challenge to watch every vampire flick in existence and evolved into interviews with vampire scholars, vampires enthusiasts, professional and amateur haunted house staff, exotic dancers in Las Vegas who play vampires, and people who think they're real-life vampires. It's an interesting premise, yet I Part-pop culture essay, part-memoir, The Dead Travel Fast explores why vampires continue to fascinate people and how they fit into popular culture. Author Eric Nuzum tells us this project started a challenge to watch every vampire flick in existence and evolved into interviews with vampire scholars, vampires enthusiasts, professional and amateur haunted house staff, exotic dancers in Las Vegas who play vampires, and people who think they're real-life vampires. It's an interesting premise, yet I found the execution was lacking. For a book about vampires in pop culture, the analysis runs between "not-particularly-original-but-okay" to "kinda-painful." It was usually closer to "kinda-painful" whenever race or sexuality was brought up, mostly because the analysis was too shallow to explore these intersections in any interesting way but also because it didn't seem like the author was comfortable with these discussions. For an example, look at the paragraphs talking about how some scholars believe Bram Stoker might have been in love with other men... I agree with a lot of the points raised by the author yet these paragraphs smack of "no-homo" and left a bad taste in my mouth. The author also repeatedly misgenders one of his interview subjects in one of the earlier chapters, which is just... no. Sometimes the sarcastic and self-deprecating humor is funny, but other times it feels overdone. It's also hard to side with the author when he portrays many of his interview subjects as bizarre (and I'm not just talking about the IRL vampires he interviews but some of the scholars and Dark Shadows fans too) when his book opens with him trying to drink his own blood. There was enough interesting tidbits that I kept reading, but this pop culture stuff never felt like it went anywhere and the memoir stuff didn't particularly grab me.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Carrie

    Full disclosure here: I am friends with the author of this book, and, as I really have absolutely no interest in vampires, I can't say I would have read it but for that. I also have to admit to a little trepidation in reading it in this age of social networking — by putting it in my currently-reading shelf, I'd announced to the world (primarily everyone on my friends list) that I was reading it, and what happened if I didn't like it? Thank goodness I really enjoyed it. Yes, it's a book about vamp Full disclosure here: I am friends with the author of this book, and, as I really have absolutely no interest in vampires, I can't say I would have read it but for that. I also have to admit to a little trepidation in reading it in this age of social networking — by putting it in my currently-reading shelf, I'd announced to the world (primarily everyone on my friends list) that I was reading it, and what happened if I didn't like it? Thank goodness I really enjoyed it. Yes, it's a book about vampires, their lore and their lure, but it's as much about the journey to find out about them. And that journey is at times hilarious, ironic, and a little scary, but mostly it's a lot of fun to read. So there's my verdict — you can not really care about vampires at all, and still enjoy this book. If you ARE interested in vampires, then absolutely snap this one up.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    oh, i don't know. as a throw-yourself-into-vampire-culture-memoir, i really enjoyed it. the author is hilarious. however, i didn't buy the book for a memoir. i was hoping to engage my strange love for vampires and increase my useless knowledge of said interest. on that level, i was a bit disappointed. out of the 256 pages--i'd say 200 of them were devoted to the history of bram stoker and bela lugosi. i guess i was hoping to learn more about the variations of vampires in lore and pop culture. th oh, i don't know. as a throw-yourself-into-vampire-culture-memoir, i really enjoyed it. the author is hilarious. however, i didn't buy the book for a memoir. i was hoping to engage my strange love for vampires and increase my useless knowledge of said interest. on that level, i was a bit disappointed. out of the 256 pages--i'd say 200 of them were devoted to the history of bram stoker and bela lugosi. i guess i was hoping to learn more about the variations of vampires in lore and pop culture. that said...after doing extensive research on my own back in college (for a rather extensive sociology project), my knowledge regarding vampire history and culture is rather, well, extensive. i probably would have enjoyed it more had i not already completed a lot of the same research. oh-- and the book totally made me want to watch the buffy series.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Tessa

    Given my own obsession with ridiculous vampire romance novels, I was drawn to the tongue-in-cheek exploration of vampire culture promised by the book jacket and I was not disappointed. It's fitting that there is a Chuck Klosterman endorsement for the book, because it reads very much like Kloserman's own work. Despite the ridiculous situations and people he encounters, Nuzum's narrative simply goes along for the ride. Is it possible for someone to be pleasantly patronizing? I think this book gets Given my own obsession with ridiculous vampire romance novels, I was drawn to the tongue-in-cheek exploration of vampire culture promised by the book jacket and I was not disappointed. It's fitting that there is a Chuck Klosterman endorsement for the book, because it reads very much like Kloserman's own work. Despite the ridiculous situations and people he encounters, Nuzum's narrative simply goes along for the ride. Is it possible for someone to be pleasantly patronizing? I think this book gets extra stars from me for practically printing what runs through my head as I indulge in my own guilty pleasure of vampires. I do wish to hear his take on the current Twilight horde. But the book came out just a few years too early.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Ryan

    A great read for anyone who's ever loved tales of vampires and likes to bore their friends with little bits of pop culture minutia (like the fact that Bela Lugosi had to phonetically sound out his lines in the stage production of Dracula because he hadn't learned English yet, to name just one). His research often results in moments of hilarity, but he covers a lot of ground in this book, including the history of our fear of vampires as well as our captivation with the subject.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Scott Rhee

    Eric Nuzum's nonfiction book "The Dead Travel Fast" is a sober, disturbing, hilarious, and uplifting book about our culture's fascination with vampires. If you think about it, vampires are everywhere (from "Twilight" to breakfast cereal: Count Chocula), and popularity of bloodsuckers has not really wavered since Bram Stoker published "Dracula" over a hundred years ago. Love them or hate them, vampires provide a plethora of topics to discuss, which Nuzum does very entertainingly in this book.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Noran Miss Pumkin

    i will write a complete review later--there was some things lacking, as well as many gems with this book, which I thought was going to suck, and discovered it had some great depth, but missed the mark on other areas. Needed to Include the often mentioned Vampire film list in the back of the book.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jen

    I never really thought about vampires as Eric does. Then again, who would? I especially like where he lies in a coffin to see what it's like. Great read, especially in the fall. Boo! I interviewed the author for Washingtonian.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Chuck

    Nice social history of vampirism.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Tim

    I found this book a very fun book about vampires. The author meets some interesting people in his quest to understnad why society is so fascinated with vampires. I especially enjoyed the trivia.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Charlie

    I'll start with the positive. Nuzum can be a very fun writer and there is a section of the book where he travels to Transylvania on a vampire tour. What follows is a wacky fish-out-of-water sequence with one zany scenario after another. That type of travelogue where the narrator finds themselves out of sorts is fun reading but it's really not what I was hoping for about vampire mythology and pop culture. Most of the book is spent describing how awful every vampire book and film is and how strange I'll start with the positive. Nuzum can be a very fun writer and there is a section of the book where he travels to Transylvania on a vampire tour. What follows is a wacky fish-out-of-water sequence with one zany scenario after another. That type of travelogue where the narrator finds themselves out of sorts is fun reading but it's really not what I was hoping for about vampire mythology and pop culture. Most of the book is spent describing how awful every vampire book and film is and how strange and unseemly every person obsessed with vampires is. Nuzum will point out time and again that vampires are a significant part of our culture and hold a great deal of symbolism bound up in our fears and desires but when he runs down every single piece of vampire fiction it just gets a little wearisome. The way he treats the people he interviews was what really soured me on the experience. He is (in my opinion) openly rude and hostile to several of the people he interviews. Part of the book also depends on the idea that we think Nuzum is hoping to actually meet "real" vampires (as opposed to mere mortals who dress up like them). But this conceit doesn't work because at no point is the reader thinking "I wonder if he will find a real vampire." There are many books on vampires, I picked this one up because it was quoted in Margot Adler's Vampires R Us and I was interested in the fact that it seemed to cover modern fiction and films. Ultimately this one was a waste for me.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Ondine

    Picked this up at half-priced books because I was looking for a fun quick read, and it mostly delivered. I'm not familiar with any of Nuzum's other work. Some of the hijinks he got into while doing research on vampires were a lot of fun to read (glueing his mouth together while putting in false fangs, going on a campy tour of Romania with a bus full of weird people, trying to become a vampire in 6 easy steps). I also enjoyed the historical background around vampire lore, particularly all the det Picked this up at half-priced books because I was looking for a fun quick read, and it mostly delivered. I'm not familiar with any of Nuzum's other work. Some of the hijinks he got into while doing research on vampires were a lot of fun to read (glueing his mouth together while putting in false fangs, going on a campy tour of Romania with a bus full of weird people, trying to become a vampire in 6 easy steps). I also enjoyed the historical background around vampire lore, particularly all the detail about Vlad Dracul, Bram Stoker's personal life and legacy, and Bela Lugosi's career. There were times where I was painfully aware of the authors' white straight guy way of seeing the world---- like, why was it so remarkable that he met a group of Black vampires? Being around a bunch of Black folks into goth shit is "Weird" probably cause this guy has never reflected on his racial bias and preconceived notions about what Black folks are like. And while I laughed during his description of working for an evening as a vampire in a haunted house (the ab crunching was funny), I wasn't feeling it when he described the group interviews for the haunted house because it felt like he was looking down on working class folks. So yeah, sometimes the book was a little cringey. As I said at the beginning though, good quick read if you want to be entertained.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Lindsey

    The author spent a fair chunk of this book complaining that no one would let him interview them. Pro tip: when writing a book about a particular subject, try not to be such a smug dick about (a) your belief that it's stupid and valueless and (b) your belief that the people who enjoy it are losers and rejects. That attitude is why the author got zero useful interviews. people who enjoy things that are generally mocked by dude-bros (of which I'm convinced the author is one) typically don't appreci The author spent a fair chunk of this book complaining that no one would let him interview them. Pro tip: when writing a book about a particular subject, try not to be such a smug dick about (a) your belief that it's stupid and valueless and (b) your belief that the people who enjoy it are losers and rejects. That attitude is why the author got zero useful interviews. people who enjoy things that are generally mocked by dude-bros (of which I'm convinced the author is one) typically don't appreciate said assholes invading their safe spaces and pestering them with snide, dickish questions. Also, the author desperately needs a fact checker. The plot details of many of the works he discusses (the section on Buffy being the worst offender) contain glaring and easily corrected inaccuracies. To top it off, the author is one of those condescending twats who like to pat themselves on the back for being such good intellectuals that they don't own a television, unlike the rest of us IQ-deficient plebes. Hard pass.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Zally (ZenithMeridian)

    I have always been a fan of vampire mythology....wait maybe I should rephrase that.... *cough* I have been OBSESSED with vampires since my youth. My first toy as a baby was a stuffed count and my mother (a history professor) started letting me teach vampiric folklore lectures to her college students when I was 12. I would later teach the same content for high school and college kids in my area for over a decade. This book, to put it bluntly, is something I wish I had done. A nonfiction book about I have always been a fan of vampire mythology....wait maybe I should rephrase that.... *cough* I have been OBSESSED with vampires since my youth. My first toy as a baby was a stuffed count and my mother (a history professor) started letting me teach vampiric folklore lectures to her college students when I was 12. I would later teach the same content for high school and college kids in my area for over a decade. This book, to put it bluntly, is something I wish I had done. A nonfiction book about the history and culture around vampires all over the world. As Eric wrote about his travels, his experiences, and his work uncovering all things vampire I couldn't help but smile. This is a great adventure into European vampire mythology, subcultures, and entertainment media and I would suggest this read to anyone who likes nonfiction with a dash of dark humor. The only thing I really wished was that he had learned more about the vampire myths outside of Europe. There are some truly great ones in Asia and the Americas waiting for someone to discuss more in depth.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Joshua

    Not what I expected, beginning was good, then about midway through I lost interest and painfully finished. Good book if you are wanting a lot of facts and thought on the pop culture side of it (tv, books, etc)

  21. 4 out of 5

    Giselle

    I just started this book. Found it on Bloor st in one of those " books lying on the street" sales. The owner wasn't there to take my $2 so I just took it. So far I'm glad I stole it.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Samantha

    'Denn die Todten reiten schnell' Leonora: 1796 (Revolution and Romanticism, 1789-1834) I hope it doesn't sound too pretentious to say that, when it comes to vampires, Eric Nuzum knows his stuff. (Because the obvious, conceited corollary to that implies that I, also, know my stuff. I know, right? Arrogant!) He doesn't really cover the vampiric legends of non-euro cultures (which I guess I really shouldn't have expected from him, but still, waaah!), but the stuff he shares about our modern percepti 'Denn die Todten reiten schnell' Leonora: 1796 (Revolution and Romanticism, 1789-1834) I hope it doesn't sound too pretentious to say that, when it comes to vampires, Eric Nuzum knows his stuff. (Because the obvious, conceited corollary to that implies that I, also, know my stuff. I know, right? Arrogant!) He doesn't really cover the vampiric legends of non-euro cultures (which I guess I really shouldn't have expected from him, but still, waaah!), but the stuff he shares about our modern perception of vampires and the way we came to this view is pretty interesting. The book really shines when Mr. Nuzum is inter-weaving his disection of the history of Bram Stoker's Dracula and the known history of Vlad Tepes. Nuzum deftly ties in fascinating historical asides and trivia with the little folks know of Bram Stoker himself and the history of the book and the movie based on the book. He also examines the effect both have had on western society and popular culture. His research is attentive, thoughtful and presented in a thoroughly engaging fashion. His travelogue was also delightfully entertaining and his descriptions of his treks through Romania and England are vivid and well-written. Unfortunately, as wonderful as I found his historical observations and research to be, I can't say his attempts to probe the modern vampire-related culture were nearly as successful. He never appears entirely comfortable with the people and groups he contacts, but rather, seems to mantain a carefully aloof posture with his interviewees, casting sly glances at his readers, assuring us that, yes, he knows these folks are weirdos. This feels especially pointed to me when he attends a Dark Shadows convention. He manages little sympathy for the 'pathectic' and 'socially stunted' attendees, his obvious disdain manifest plainly in his writing. He writes of his frustration at his contacts' unwillingness or inability to answer his probing questions, but I can't help but feel if he had approached them with a more open or kind-hearted spirit, he could have managed some insightful interviews with some fascinating subjects. As is, he simply walks away from each live experience, a wry and knowing smile in place of any actual connection. This, of course, might also just be me showing my initial umbrage at one of his opening statements, that The vampire is the only monster that people actually want to be... No one ever wants to become a ghost or werewolf. I almost closed the book right then and there. What a patently ridiculous thing to say! Halloween monster costume count? Werewolf: 3. Vampire: 0. You're just darned lucky you didn't say anything mean when you brought up Buffy. Darned lucky. Regardless, I really enjoyed this book. Whatever talents Mr. Nuzum lacks in relating to the weirdies and the kooks he more than makes up for in his research and tale-telling. By way of warning, the language is definitely of the R category, if such things concern you, and there is some brief naughtiness. All-in-all, though, a fun, fast read perfectly suited for the beginning of the fall season.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Sara

    This book was under my recommendation since I read Sundays with Vlad: From Pennsylvania to Transylvania, One Man's Quest to Live in the World of the Undead a few years ago, which I really enjoyed. However, this did not come anywhere close to enjoyment. I'm not sure the author liked his subject or people in general. He starts off the book with the plan to drink blood, which has very gross results. He wants to work in a haunted house and is surprised he doesn't get the role since everyone else isn This book was under my recommendation since I read Sundays with Vlad: From Pennsylvania to Transylvania, One Man's Quest to Live in the World of the Undead a few years ago, which I really enjoyed. However, this did not come anywhere close to enjoyment. I'm not sure the author liked his subject or people in general. He starts off the book with the plan to drink blood, which has very gross results. He wants to work in a haunted house and is surprised he doesn't get the role since everyone else isn't college educated and are surely felons. He follows this by calling the manager every week to wear down his will. We get the list of every vampire movie and tv show, but he doesn't like any of them. He tries to meet up with people who call themselves vampires, who most of the time don't appear, and when they do, you're subjected to some cringe-worthy moments on race. Nuzum even makes a trip to Romania, but all we seem to learn is Butch Patrick, of Eddie Munster fame, falls asleep everywhere and likes to hit on young women and there was a woman named Elaina, a vegetarian who only eats Pizza Hut and no one seems to like. The chapter is followed up with a discussion on a vampiric adult revue in Las Vegas. There's some more bashing of tv and movies. I decided I would bump up a star because I did like the bit about the early myths of Greek vampires and there was a brief bit on Victorian literature, mostly Bram Stoker. The last quarter or so of the book I skimmed to the end and couldn't understand why the author wrote this book unless he just ultimately wanted to rant on the subject.

  24. 5 out of 5

    T. Frohock

    In his “Ridiculously Unnecessary Author’s Note,” Eric Nuzum makes sure the reader understands that although the events are real, some scenes are composite scenes; however, these composites do not change the basic facts. He also changes the names of real people and alters a few facts about these people so they won’t be embarrassed. Nuzum does make it perfectly clear that:   "This is not a James Frey thing, I do not claim to have spent time in jail, saved drowning kittens, prevented a revolution, o In his “Ridiculously Unnecessary Author’s Note,” Eric Nuzum makes sure the reader understands that although the events are real, some scenes are composite scenes; however, these composites do not change the basic facts. He also changes the names of real people and alters a few facts about these people so they won’t be embarrassed. Nuzum does make it perfectly clear that:   "This is not a James Frey thing, I do not claim to have spent time in jail, saved drowning kittens, prevented a revolution, or whatever.It is what it is."   The Dead Travel Fast simply is one of the most refreshing and hilarious books on vampires and vampire lore that I’ve read in some time. What began as a desire to write a history of the vampire soon turns into a quest to experience the vampire in all its cultural forms. Nuzum examines the vampire movement from top to bottom, juxtaposing fact with humor to look at why we are so fascinated by the vampire.Nuzum informs the reader of the making of the novel Dracula and intersperses history with one of the most entertaining travelogues I’ve read in years. If you read nothing else, you must read the chapter entitled “I Don’t Believe in God: The Crucifix is to Keep Away Vampires” where the author travels to the land of the vampire and along the way deals with dog attacks, floods, possible amputation, and running out of hand sanitizer. Nuzum goes to Transylvania on a Dracula-themed tour with some unpredictable results.It’s not all fun and games; Nuzum knows when to get serious as he chronicles vampire-themed murders across the globe. As the outsider looking in, he assesses the Goths who feel empowered by the vampire lifestyle they seek to emulate. Nuzum attends Goth clubs, Buffy the Vampire marathons, and haunted houses in his quest for what it means to be a vampire.Check out the undead and the company they keep.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Rocky

    A book about vampires and the lengths people will go to to indulge their fascination with them. A good peek into various strains of vampire subculture. African American vampires from northern Virginia? I must have hung out and shared poetry with some of these folks at some point. Truly. I didn't recognize any names though. Usually when I am reading a book that describes Aleister Crowley as a "Satanist", I stop reading because the author's depth appears to be wading-pool. Nuzum does talk about how A book about vampires and the lengths people will go to to indulge their fascination with them. A good peek into various strains of vampire subculture. African American vampires from northern Virginia? I must have hung out and shared poetry with some of these folks at some point. Truly. I didn't recognize any names though. Usually when I am reading a book that describes Aleister Crowley as a "Satanist", I stop reading because the author's depth appears to be wading-pool. Nuzum does talk about how hard it is for a researcher to get accurate info with such a flood of -facts- out there that turn out to be wrong, and I totally agree, and this isn't a nuclear science book, world economics, or a religious manifesto, so slack given. But I hope this guy's source material isn't mostly christian alarmist. He doesn't seem the type. I'll always be interested in his next book, and I hope it has a chapter about how "Satanist" is more of an easy label than an accurate one for Crowley. I'm juss sayin. Books that are about personal adventure but deliver it in a way that's not shouting it at you, those are the ones that absorb me. Good job here. I did skim over some of the Transylvanian history, but you, a more experienced reader, will have better patience. I've got the dyslǝxia. If I read large chunks of any book, that means the author is doing something right. I read most of this one. Extra points for mentioning the vampire's #1 obsessive compulsive disorder, and a favorite vampire movie of mine that is super absurd and nearly too slow to sit through but somehow worth it: Zoltan, Hound of Dracula. It's mad genius, that film. ...actually, let me see it again before you pin me to that statement. Somebody was a dog lover, though, and the charm in that is salute enough. ...But we're not talking movies, we're talking books. This one available at Anne Arundel County Public Library.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Tess

    It seems like this is a book about vampires by someone who hates all things vampire. The author goes about his "research" with such slathered condescension in his tone that I can't imagine how he got even a couple of vampire enthusiasts to talk to him. If you can get past the cynicism and the "oh I'm so above all this cringe-worthy gothness" attitude, you'll still feel like you're reading a teenagers' diary because of the disjointed, disorganized manner of the writing itself. I thought this book It seems like this is a book about vampires by someone who hates all things vampire. The author goes about his "research" with such slathered condescension in his tone that I can't imagine how he got even a couple of vampire enthusiasts to talk to him. If you can get past the cynicism and the "oh I'm so above all this cringe-worthy gothness" attitude, you'll still feel like you're reading a teenagers' diary because of the disjointed, disorganized manner of the writing itself. I thought this book would delve into why vampires are such a lasting archetype and why we're still obsessed (increasingly so, it would seem) with them after all these years, but really it was about a snarky dude who rolls his eyes at his supposedly adored topic. Once or twice he offers some actual insight, so let me just type out those passages here so you don't have to read the book: "When people hear that I am writing a book about vampires, they all have the same first question: 'So, are they real? Is there any such thing as vampires?' That amazes me, because by asking it's apparent that these people are still holding on to a thread of possibility that dead people return from the grave, hunt humans, drink blood, and have superpowers. Anyone who things that faith and optimism are dead in our modern world need only look into the eyes of a grown, rational adult asking me that question." "The problem with understanding [Dracula's:] subtexts is that so little is known about Stoker's intentions. Because of this, scholars and critics have a tendency to dump what little is known about Stoker into the book, assuming that there has to be some sort of connection. There doesn't. Dracula could have been a vehicle for all sorts of dark creepiness running around in Stoker's brain. Equally, it could have no meaning at all."

  27. 5 out of 5

    Clare Richardson

    Once again, a book that made me snigger on the train ride to and from work. I need to stop reading funny stuff on the train. I liked the book a lot, though I did not feel it was very in depth at all-- my favorite bits (of course) were when the author went tracking down Vlad Dracula and went to England to research Bram Stoker. It was clear the guy did his research, but the book is short and written more for humor than as an in-depth study; the philosophical bent seems more tacked-on than anything. Once again, a book that made me snigger on the train ride to and from work. I need to stop reading funny stuff on the train. I liked the book a lot, though I did not feel it was very in depth at all-- my favorite bits (of course) were when the author went tracking down Vlad Dracula and went to England to research Bram Stoker. It was clear the guy did his research, but the book is short and written more for humor than as an in-depth study; the philosophical bent seems more tacked-on than anything. The last few pages read like giving up, when he admitted how laborious writing the book had been-- it sort of ruined the whole thing for me, thinking he hadn't liked the experience as much as I'd liked reading his book. When he was funny, he was damn funny. I also felt like he was a bit all over the place; the writing is kind of disjointed. Again, informative, but not very smooth. "Once I was a vampire in a haunted house and did you know vampires dislike the smell of garlic because apparently vampires had rabies and anyway so I was working in this haunted house and they held down the lid on my coffin and also once Bram Stoker wrote a long mash note to Walt Whitman and people think he's kinda gay and that Whitman was the basis for Dracula." Seriously, that's kind of how it felt. But it was still fun to read. Favorite bits: the Orthodox monk on the lake in Romania, driving around in his powder-blue dinghy; the Poli-Grip; the Bite show in Las Vegas; his being spoiled for every episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Mell

    3.5 stars Nuzum's examination of the all-things-vampire craze is a funny, pop culture journey with many fun historical and cultural facts included. It's also the most enjoyable book I've read during my current Vampire Reading Spree. The author is at his best when he recounts his self-depreciating perspectives of his odyssey to explore the origins, foibles and possible joys of being vampire-obsessed. He isn't afraid to reveal his own dipshit actions, which include drinking (and then hurling up)his 3.5 stars Nuzum's examination of the all-things-vampire craze is a funny, pop culture journey with many fun historical and cultural facts included. It's also the most enjoyable book I've read during my current Vampire Reading Spree. The author is at his best when he recounts his self-depreciating perspectives of his odyssey to explore the origins, foibles and possible joys of being vampire-obsessed. He isn't afraid to reveal his own dipshit actions, which include drinking (and then hurling up)his own blood, enacting a supposedly easy six-step process to becoming a vampire, and watching lots of bad vampire movies. I enjoyed his sometimes stream-of-conscious writing style, where he interrupts his own narrative to inject relevant (or not so)facts and thoughts related to the people he;s talking to or the places he's visiting. While I enjoyed Nuzum's sarcasm, his humor does have a sharp edge, and he doesn't hesitate to apply it to people, books, and films. I thought he was a bit harsh on the Dark Shadows fans, who he seems to think are total losers. Forking over cash to sit in a conference room and watch TV clips in the dark doesn't seem to be hurting anyone. I think he could ease up a bit. After all, he did track down fresh chicken livers for his vampire ceremony. That's no "weirder" than loving Dark Shadows.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Pamster

    Liked: Lots of good Bram Stoker info, like I didn't know he was in love with Walt Whitman. I also enjoyed the interview with the head vampire actor in the Las Vegas topless review Bite - "For some people, they take the Hollywood version. For me, I think our souls are eternal and rather than drink blood, I feed off energy. Some do it because it's cool. For me, the energy of the vampire is the eternal soul and connecting with everyone. I've always been interested in the darker aspects of things." Liked: Lots of good Bram Stoker info, like I didn't know he was in love with Walt Whitman. I also enjoyed the interview with the head vampire actor in the Las Vegas topless review Bite - "For some people, they take the Hollywood version. For me, I think our souls are eternal and rather than drink blood, I feed off energy. Some do it because it's cool. For me, the energy of the vampire is the eternal soul and connecting with everyone. I've always been interested in the darker aspects of things." Omg, me too! Also the author went on a DracTour of Transylvania & the celebrity host was Butch Patrick, who mainly liked to sleep and party. And I loved his observation that goths and vampires really seem to like chain restaurants like Dennys. Did not like: He watched Buffy all the way through and liked it but didn't love it. Tard. Also there was a completely tired dynamic woven throughout about his wife reluctantly putting up with his obsessions. And he said a few dumb things about women. Sigh.

  30. 4 out of 5

    James

    disclaimer: if i could, i'd give this book a 3 1/2. it's not quite good enough for a 4, but not quite bad enough for a 3, but i'm game enough to give it the benefit of the doubt. i think my biggest issue with the book was that it wasn't quite as informative as i was looking for. i learned some new things, some interesting facts and tidbits, and some about the vampire's place in popular culture, but i was looking for more. there was also a bit too much of the author in the book. normally, i don't h disclaimer: if i could, i'd give this book a 3 1/2. it's not quite good enough for a 4, but not quite bad enough for a 3, but i'm game enough to give it the benefit of the doubt. i think my biggest issue with the book was that it wasn't quite as informative as i was looking for. i learned some new things, some interesting facts and tidbits, and some about the vampire's place in popular culture, but i was looking for more. there was also a bit too much of the author in the book. normally, i don't have a huge problem with that. in fact, i think it's a valid form of writing/journalism, and have enjoyed quite a few other books and articles written in that style. the problem is that as often as he's funny, he can sometimes come off as a bit of an ass. i guess i was looking for something more along the lines of stiff by mary roach, and while that's not what i got, i still enjoyed the book, and will in all likelihood read any more of eric nuzum's books that come out.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.