Why did I love this book?
This was a breakthrough in our (and my) understanding of vampires as an explanation for disease in the context of pre-industrial, agrarian societies. Everyone understood that there were (and to some degree, are still) persistent folk beliefs about vampires around the world, with Slavic and Balkan variants having gained a foothold in the popular imagination. Paul Barber explains the intricacies of belief, the particulars of that folklore, and illuminates one of humanity’s oldest tendencies that lies at the root of vampire stories—to blame death on the dead. There are gruesome anecdotes aplenty and Barber explains the logistics of vampire “attacks” down to every last, bloody detail.