Such a vast topic and yet such a narrow book. I bought Dr Gregory L. Reece‘s book “Creatures of the Night” (isbn 978-1-84885-385-0) on sale in the beloved free-shipping Book Depository site. It cost around two euros at the time, so I figured – another book that mentioned Dracula will not be of harm.
As the greatly scribbled on cover claims – this books grabs on the topic of “so where where the hell did all the vampires, werewolves and demons come from”? Why are we afraid of them? And since we know we are – why do we keep telling stories of them? Don’t expect many answers, for author, sadly, bit off more than he could chew.
Through the well broken chapters we visit ghosts, vampires, werewolves, demons and religions that might or might not worship the devil himself. It starts pretty well too, much alike to the famous series Supernatural – all well and good, demons and shit, but a few seasons/chapters in and suddenly we find ourselves torn between heaven and hell. I mean, don’t get me wrong, author himself asks all the right questions: why Lord Byron is so very alike Lord Ruthven, the famous vampire? Or how Mary Shelley, this admirable woman, wrote something like Frankenstein? Again, I found no valid answers beside one: We’re irrational beasts. We’re scared and we want more. We don’t know what scares us, but we want more. And when we do know what scares us, we turn into beasts of terror ourselves and then, obviously, we want more. Our heartbeat dictates how many movies of Dracula we shall see and which religion we shall turn to, apparently.
All in all, I’d say that the literature and movie list this book provides is of a lot greater value than the book itself. Yet I’m happy I bought it. Sure, I’m more happy I only paid a couple of euros for it, but am happy nonetheless. I’ll give it a 3 out of 5, for it wasn’t all that bad, lots of great quotes and sources are given and author was thorough, if narrow.