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The History and Folklore of Vampires Audiobook

The History and Folklore of Vampires: The Stories and Legends Behind the Mythical Beings

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Publisher's Summary

People have always been afraid of the dead. Since the dawn of humanity, people have both cared for those who are deceased yet also tried to keep them away. There are a myriad of legends and beliefs about the dead coming back, and one of the more persistent ones is of the vampire.

Everyone has heard of vampires, but few people are truly familiar with the history and folklore that have made the mythical beings so popular. Indeed, there are so many legends from so many cultures that it is difficult to come up with a hard definition. And folklore is by its very nature unscientific, but most people in the Western world think of vampires as those who come back from the grave to suck the blood or life essence from the living.

This common understanding of vampires actually obscures many European and most non-European traditions of bloodsucking monsters. For example, in China, Japan, and the Middle East, there are spirits that will drain the life force of an unwary person, but these magical beings were never mortal humans. In African and Native American traditions, there are monsters that do the same, but while they are supposed to be of this Earth, they, too, are not human beings.

Furthermore, folklore changes over time, so the vampires people are familiar with today (and the ones some people claim to actually meet) bear little resemblance to the vampires of early modern Europe. Stories change, fiction turns to fact and vice versa, and beliefs are constantly reinvented. Ideas are adopted, adapted, and presented as true. All the while the legend of the vampire remains.

The History and Folklore of Vampires chronicles how vampires became so popular.

©2012 Charles River Editors (P)2015 Charles River Editors

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  •  
    Kenna Brentwood, CA, United States 07-19-15
    Kenna Brentwood, CA, United States 07-19-15 Member Since 2013
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    "Vampire Folklore for Dummies"
    Would you listen to The History and Folklore of Vampires again? Why?

    I would. I learned a few things I didnt know, but like any good book reading/listening to it again you always pick things up that you missed the first time.


    Have you listened to any of Jack Chekijian’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Ive listened to a few of Jack's books. He does well in all of the books.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Moved? No, but there were a few things items that I didn't know and a few things that set the record straight.


    Any additional comments?

    This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    DabOfDarkness Ojo Caliente, NM, United States 06-28-15
    DabOfDarkness Ojo Caliente, NM, United States 06-28-15 Member Since 2011
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    "Informative and fun!"

    In this informational book, Charles River Editors looks at the history of vampiric folklore world wide, with a strong focus on Europe. The vampires of modern literature and cinema are not the vampires of the ancient past. Indeed, those beings that have been called ‘vampire’ often bear little resemblance to Bran Stoker’s version. This book explores the folklore, the history to the modern version of vampires, historic figures, and a biological explanation of why some corpses may be accused of being vampires.

    Charles River Editors has given us another informative book. I have listened to several of these short histories and each one has been quite impressive in the depth of information that can be imparted in just over an hour. I have read a little on vampiric folklore and history and yet, there was more for me to learn from this book. I especially like that there is an emphasis on the original meaning of the vampire and the powers of vampires in ancient folklore. In many tales the vampire would be the spirit of a dead person who was determined to feed on the life force of a living being. There are a variety of world folklore shared in this book, including those about the chupacabra. Many of these tales have evolved over time, especially since the popularity of Bram Stoker’s Dracula hit Europe.

    A chapter is devoted to historic figures that became wrapped up in the vampire folklore. Of course, this included Vlad ‘The Impaler’ Dracula. Vampire hunters are also discussed. Indeed, plenty of detail is provided about historic events where people dug up bodies, believing them to be vampires slumbering away the day, and the various ways the vampires were dispatched. This was a fascinating topic and I can only imagine that contagion was sometimes spread by those hell-bent on destroying vampires. Everyone today knows it is unsanitary to play with corpses.

    I think this would be useful to those wanting a primer on vampire folklore as it definitely gives you a list of places, events, and people to research further, should you be inclined. I found it fascinating because it demonstrates how human behavior and beliefs have kept this myth alive for centuries.

    I received a copy of this audiobook at no charge via the narrator in exchange for an honest review.

    The Narration: Jack Chekijian has given another worthy performance. There were several hard to pronounce proper nouns in this book, mostly places, and Chekijian did a great job not stumbling over them. I am sure there are a few myths (goat sucker?!?) that must have made the narrator giggle a little the first time he read them. However, none of that came through in the final product. He treated each myth with seriousness.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Deedra United States 06-26-15
    Deedra United States 06-26-15 Member Since 2015

    I am at that half a century mark in years. I enjoy audiobooks,cats,rats and most days my family,not necessarily in that order!lol

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    Jack Chekijan does a wonderful job of narrating this history of the vampire.I found this a most interesting book.I thought I knew nearly all the lore of the vampire but I did learn quite a bit.The fact that every culture seems to have a vampire type figure to frighten them is interesting. The difference in beliefs around the world are myriad.Non seem to be based on a real person until we get to Vlad the Impaler.His cruelty was like no other.
    "I was provided this audiobook at no charge by the author in exchange for an unbiased review via AudiobookBlast dot com."

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Terri United States 06-24-15
    Terri United States 06-24-15
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    "Wow, so informative!"

    I received this audio book as a gift in exchange for a honest and unbiased review.

    Wow, this book is so informative! I recently started reading paranormal romances about vampires in the last year. Before that, I wouldn't read or watch anything about vampires because they scared me. I still won't watch any vampire movies. I never knew there was so much background info about vampires. I especially never knew it went back centuries. I always thought it was something made up in the last 100 years er so.

    While this is a short read, it is packed with information on beliefs by different countries and throughout many, many centuries, how alleged vampires were handled. I was floored to hear how many times they dug up bodies and mutilated them because of illnesses.

    The author, Charles River Editors did a great job in his research on this book. While it is non fiction, I really feel I learned a lot from it. The narrator, Jack Chekijian once again does a great job delivering this book flawlessly as always!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Teresa 06-09-15
    Teresa 06-09-15

    It makes me happy to wake up everyday and look forward to listening. Many times I listen while doing artwork. I find it very relaxing.

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    "A Comprehensive Overview of Vampires"
    What did you love best about The History and Folklore of Vampires?

    I really enjoyed the in depth look at vampires from medieval times to the present. The history of the name origins, the rituals of the ridding of vampires, and vampires in pop culture.


    What did you like best about this story?

    What I liked best about the story was how through the ages, the folklore has changed. For instance, the way the Eastern Europeans, other European countries and Americans have viewed vampires. I also liked the part of the story where the seventh son of a seventh son would either be a vampire or vampire killer.


    Have you listened to any of Jack Chekijian’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Yes I have listened to other work by Jack Chekijian and found his performance excellent. He has a nice flowing voice and always speaks clearly with perfect pronunciation.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes I listened to this book all in one sitting.


    Any additional comments?

    I received this audiobook in exchange for an unbiased review.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark Mackey 05-15-15
    Mark Mackey 05-15-15
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    "The History and Folklore of Vampires review"
    Would you listen to The History and Folklore of Vampires again? Why?

    Yes because it's very informative on the subject matter.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    This being a non fiction book, there's no main character. Still I like vampires even more now since this is what it's about.


    What does Jack Chekijian bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    NA.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes definitely.


    Any additional comments?

    A fantastic non-fiction book

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jan United States 05-14-15
    Jan United States 05-14-15 Member Since 2013
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    "Vampires from Medieval times to the present"

    In less than an hour and a half we reap the benefits of someone else's hard work of digging through historical accounts and assembling into a comprehensible text. Information presented not only of the standard European fare, but of similar undead from around the globe. European depictions evolve from the oral folklore to 20th century movies, to a 2012 publicity venture.
    JC has the voice quality, intonation, and fluidity to keep it entertaining as well as instructional. Much better in his narration than the scholarly thesis that it is.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    erobbins33 08-28-15
    erobbins33 08-28-15 Member Since 2016

    I love audiobooks!!!

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    "Interesting and informative!"
    Would you listen to The History and Folklore of Vampires again? Why?

    Yes, I gained a lot of knowledge about the origin of the vampire myth. This is a valuable resource!


    What did you like best about this story?

    I liked that everything is backed up with documentation, and the facts are given concisely.


    What does Jack Chekijian bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    He makes it easy to listen to. I am pretty picky about narrators, and even more so with non fiction. He is the Morgan Freeman of audiobooks.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes, and I did.


    Any additional comments?

    Anyone who likes popular vampire fiction should read or listen to this book. It gives you an idea where it all originated.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    william 11-17-16
    william 11-17-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Solid"

    well laid out book. the only reason i gave 4 stars is because the narrator sounded sometimes like a text to speech machine.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carolyn 11-12-15
    Carolyn 11-12-15 Member Since 2005
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    Would you listen to The History and Folklore of Vampires again? Why?

    Yes I would listen to this book again. The old folklore stories and the beliefs people used to have are fascinating. The author did a wonderful job finding old facts and putting them together in a very informative yet entertaining book.


    What other book might you compare The History and Folklore of Vampires to and why?

    I cannot compare this book to any other I have read. I have never read any about this subject but I would be happy to read others like it if I could find them.


    Have you listened to any of Jack Chekijian’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I have listened to him before and I enjoy his voice, it is pleasant and very unique.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes. It is short so it was easy to listen to all at once.


    Any additional comments?

    I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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