Brian Ledwell

Some guy and a tagline

Bill The Vampire, by Rick Gualitieri

Subtitle: A manual on how NOT to build a man."

Narrated by: Christopher John

“Killing a hot chick is like clubbing a baby seal”

If your ok with that quote then you’ll enjoy the book. The book paints programmers and geek culture with a huge brush. It assumes that most of them are game playing, bros before hoes, doll (action figure) collecting, social rejects one step away from the cave. Id say they talk about women as adolescents would but that assumes that boys are born with these beliefs. Out of the men in the book not one of them shows respect for or talks highly of any women unless their referencing their appearance. Bill and his friends are all about how women look or how they can get laid by them. The book is awash in stereotypes. Misogyny might be taking it too far but its certainly something that needs to be thought about. The strongest female character in the book helps Bill acquire power and keeps him from getting killed and his attitude is one of entitlement. "What more will she do for me?". They even make fun of it, Bill assumes that the female lead was a stripper because she’s beautiful (in this book you can’t be pretty and not be a stripper or hooker). She takes offense and begins to tell him that she was pursuing her PHD before she was turned. Then while Bill is trying to come up with an apology she tells him she’s kidding and that she really was a stripper.

Im bothered by the message that books like this send. We have enough problems attracting women and girls into technology related fields without encouraging and promoting a flat out hostile environment. Its such a huge part of the story that its hard to ignore. Its one comment after another.

Now for rest of the book.. I like that Bill is snarky. He’s the kind of guy that id like to be if I was getting the crap kicked out me. Rather than whining about how painful a steel toed boot to the head is Id have a quick come back that would make the beating worth it. Thats kinda how Bill is. I laughed a bit at some of his quips listening to the book. I also like that Bill can’t keep his mouth shut about being a vampire. All his friends know and its cool that they don’t freak out about it and help him keep his secret. The narrator has a good voice for Bill as well.

A question I ask. Is this book worth listening to if the result is that it violates my own since of ethics? I donno, for now I’m going to assume that Bill is going to learn and grow. Im hopeful that he will change. As for my recommendation. There are plenty of books with awesome snarky characters out there I can recommend that don’t treat women as the next lap dancer. Look at the “Dresden Files”, or “IronDruid”, or the “Greywalker series”. They have great female characters and any of those books will be enjoyable and without the possible misogyny you’ll get here.