Zombies are the middle children of the otherworldly family. Vampires are the oldest brother who gets to have a room in the attic, all tripped out with a disco ball and shag carpet. Werewolves are the youngest, the babies, always getting pinched and told they're cute. With all that attention stolen away from the middle child zombie, no wonder she shuffles off grumbling, "Marsha, Marsha, Marsha."

- Kevin James Breaux

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Book Review: DARK BANQUET by Bill Schutt

Bill Schutt is an associate professor at C.W. Post College of Long Island University and a research associate in Mammalogy at the American Museum of Natural History in New York whose non-fiction book Dark Banquet: Blood and the Curious Lives of Blood-Feeding Creatures at first allows him to discuss his main research subject with is the vampire bat but also allows him to delve into all the other world’s blood feeding creatures which includes leeches, bugs, and even a bird that feeds on blood.  
An entire book about blood-feeding creatures may not be for everyone but Schutt keeps the style very user friendly dropping the entire technical pretense that could have bogged down the information or made it too informal to enjoy.  It is very apparent that his true expertise is in the vampire bat as his spends more time in the book with these creatures than any other and he has more personal stories to tell (which are sometimes very humorous).  What Schutt really wants to do is dispel all the misinformation about bats and all blood-feeding creatures as there is a lot of information out there that is incorrect.

He also goes into the historical background of blood-feeding creatures especially in the chapters on leeches which have had medicinal usage for centuries.  He also delves into the ecological balance that these creatures have which goes a long way in explaining to the general populace why we need blood-feeding creatures and why they are so important and beneficial.

Dark Banquet is an eye opening book that explains both the negative and positive impact of blood-feeding creatures that will change your ideas on them while also dispelling the fears that you may have.

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