Review: Sundays with Vlad

Paul Bibeau is a man who has pondered all things vampire — usually Vlad-related, but he has gone farther afield from time to time.  Those thoughts, vapor trails and experiences are what form Sundays with Vlad, a book with wit, charm and heart.

It starts with living in an ancient, creepy house with an older sister.  (And the sibling is the scary part!)  It continues with his youth and, finally, involves his wife.  In fact, the book begins with an affidavit in which his wife takes full responsibility for the decision to honeymoon in Transylvania.  (When he regaled the audience with that fact at the 2008 Virginia Festival of the Book, we all had to buy the book just because it was true.)

Bibeau has a very good sense of humor about the entire situation: of course he's obsessed with Vlad, of course history is going to fight him on this, of course a developing nation will want to approach its own folks tales in its own way.  Dressing up like garlic and getting lost in Romania is just part of the trip. He also presents his information, both personal and "professional," with good, solid and interesting writing.

I also do not mean to malign his "professional" information.  If anything, this was the best part of his book. I am all about memoir, but pulling in diverse bits of information regarding psychology, economic development and history gave it a great foundation.

However, what makes this book fun also takes it dangerously close to excess: all things vampire can get a little, er, excessive.  Don't get me wrong: I enjoyed it.  I just read it all at once, and it got a little overwhelming.  I suggest to fellow readers to restrain their enthusiasm and limit themselves a chapter or two at a time.

So read this book and don't be surprised if you find yourself looking longingly at your tattered copy of Dracula on the bookshelf.  (Of course you have one.  Go look.  See?)  It's the cost of doing business with a good book.

This is a book on my Fill in the Gaps list.  Click here to find out more about the Fill in the Gaps program.


  1. You are most welcome! Thank you for such a great book. I hope there's more Bibeau on the horizon!


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