Adventures in Reading

The Deluxe Transitive Vampire by Karen Elizabeth George
November 19, 2007, 1:45 pm
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“We all ended up somewhere with our various uncertain lives flapping about us in tatters and our pockets full of foreign coins.”

I had great hopes for Karen Elizabeth George’s The Deluxe Transitive Vampire: The Ultimate Handbook of Grammar for the Innocent, the Eager, and the Doomed (1984). A Gothic grammar companion – what could be more appealing? While most grammar usage books are not exactly the most riveting of reads The Deluxe Transitive Vampire barely comes in at slightly amusing (and that is only because of the amazing images in the book and the odd peculiar and delightful example). I first saw George’s book some months ago and was delighted by the idea of bodice ripping, vampires, and dusty cobwebs misleading me into learning grammar. Instead what I found is a straightforward and no nonsense traditional view of grammar with mostly horribly repetitive examples. (If she used somnambulist – one of my favorite words – one more time I was going to throw the book!)

If you are looking for a straightforward (and bland) review for English grammar George’s book may be ideal for you. (Though do look for it in paperback as the $24 hardback price is a bit steep.) If you have a friend with an unhealthy adoration for grammar and vampires by all means purchase them this book for Christmas. If you are looking for more user-friendly books I suggest Woe Is I and Grammar Snobs. George is working with a terrific ideal, but it falls short from the promised “lively gothic narrative,” and the reader is left with just another tedious grammar guide. However, if you are looking for a book that exclusively focuses on grammar (and thus excludes spelling and punctuation) The Deluxe Transitive Vampire is worth looking through.



I actually have “Grammar Snobs [Are Great Big Meanies]” on my Christmas list! Have you read it? Is it good?

Comment by Claire C. Cake

Claire: Grammar was never so funny until I picked up a copy of “Grammar Snobs,” and I cannot wait until Casagrande’s second book “Mortal Syntax” comes out. It is a user friendly guide, informative, amusing, and sets anyone at ease who has ever doubted her (or his) grammar skills. I adore the author and have asked her various questions over at her blog. Definitely check it out:

Comment by bookchronicle

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