The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires
Much like the gang’s unsuspecting Staten Island neighbors, a group of women in 1990’s Charleston, NC are equally unprepared when a mysterious newcomer infiltrates their book club. But once he’s been invited in, the book club members must band together to defeat a vampire. Book club depends on it!
So perhaps this pick is a bit on the nose (or, er…the neck) but if you’re interested in learning more about the foundational vampire lore on which many of the jokes are based, then reading the story of Count Dracula, the most famous vampire in literature, is a must-do.
The Shadows crew knows that roommates can be hell (imagine living for eternity with Colin Robinson!) and Chuck Palahniuk’s Damned features another rag-tag group of sinners who find themselves stuck together in hell—literally. This unlikely squad must put aside their differences and unite to confront the devil in this hilarious satire.
Edgar Cantero’s Meddling Kids may not be about vampires, but this novel that follows four teen detectives hits the same spooky/humor sweet-spot as Shadows. Years after four friends solve the mystery of Sleepy Lake, they must reunite to rectify a mistake and find out what really happened back in 1977.
If Colin Robinson were to launch a company, for the sole purpose of sucking energy from his employees, he would have created Zephyr Holdings, the corporate monolith in Max Barry’s Company. While I won’t spoil the incredible twist, most of what happens to the characters would have Colin cackling with glee.
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
In the same way that Shadows pokes fun at the Vampire trope, Hitchhikers lampoons the science fiction genre. Both share a set of four main characters accompanied by a long-suffering assistant, and both use their genre’s foundations to enhance their absurdist humor.
We are living through some dark times, and I’ve found no better distraction than Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi’s dark comedy What We Do In the Shadows. This farcical documentary-style show follows the lives of four vampires living together in a gothic mansion on Staten Island.
There’s Nandor The Relentless, a former warrior of the Ottoman Empire; the sultry Nadja and her husband Laszlo, a former English nobleman/musician/hat connoisseur; in the basement there’s Colin Robinson, an “Energy Vampire” who will remind you of every co-worker you’ve tried to avoid talking to; and Guillermo, Nandor’s long-suffering familiar who wants nothing more than to be rewarded for his loyal service by being made into a vampire.
What We Do In the Shadows harmonizes many notes and this list of books covers them all. From straight up gothic horror, to spooky comedy to genre satire, you’ll find something to feed on while you wait for season three.