Kevin Jackson - Bite (3 stars)

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Kevin Jackson - Bite

Less than filling vampire handbook

The symbolic breadth and depth of the vampire has long been the cultural analyst’s wet nightmare. Blood-suckers have variously stood for capitalist tyranny, dictatorial communism, Freudian repression, drug addiction, social Darwinism and sexuality in all its forms. With such a rich field of reference to plunder it’s a shame, then, that Kevin Jackson has produced a quickfire if compulsive handbook rather than giving us something to really get our teeth into.

Down the ages, there have been more iconic vampire figures than you could shake a blooded stake at, and Jackson features them all: Vlad the Impaler, the vampire bat, Nosferatu, Dracula, Blacula, Deafula (yes, Deafula) as well as the hunter heroes Buffy and Van Helsing. But any rhythm which gets going is stunted by a massive overuse of parenthesis (much of which is quite unnecessary) and some howling typos, giving the stark impression that this may have been rush-produced to catch the Hallowe’en market.

(Portobello)

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