True Blood and Philosophy: A Book Review

May 29, 2010 by  

I just had the pleasure of reading True Blood and Philosophy: We Wanna Think Bad Things with You, published by John Wiley & Sons. It’s a great book, and one that I think is something all True Blood fans should add to their bookshelves. True Blood and Philosophy takes many aspects of True Blood and breaks them down into several sections, then takes those sections and breaks them down further into singular arguments that are left open for you to think about.

The first section of True Blood and Philosophy regarding Vampire/Human Ethics, and is further broken down into the ethics of a vampire turning a human, vampires assimilating into human culture, and the life forms in the True Blood world and their interactions. In this section, I had one major problem with the first chapter. Though it made many good points, it harped on Bill turning Jessica without explaining the reasons behind that incident. For me, that kept me from giving my full attention to the chapter, even though it made several good points both for and against vampires turning humans. Other than that, I found myself completely enjoying this section of the book.

The next section of True Blood and Philosophy discusses Vampire Politics. This section breaks down into Social Contracts between humans and vampires, whether or not vampires can be good citizens, and about the “artificiality” of vampires and them becoming involved in human politics. Once again, this was a great selection to read, and everything written had me questioning both True Blood and my own beliefs in real life.

Following Vampire Politics in True Blood and Philosophy is a section about the Eros, Sexuality, and Gender in True Blood, and more specifically discusses the Coming out of the Coffin/Coming out of the Closet perspective of the show, Sookie and Feminism, and Sookie and Freud. For me, the section discussing Freud and the Edible complex was the hardest thing for me to get through, but I really loved the first part of this section, since it also discussed one of the characters in the Sookie books (that we have not met on True Blood) and how when it comes to his sexuality, he’s a double-entendre. That section also discusses the use of “God Hates Fangs” as it’s used in the opening credits of True Blood. Once again, it made me think about what I was reading and the meaning behind it all.

The fourth section of True Blood and Philosophy is about the Natural, Supernatural, and Divine, and is broken down further into a section about sacrifice, scapegoats, and good times, another section questions whether vampires are natural or not, and a third section is devoted entirely to whether or not God hates fangs. My favorite part of this section was the piece discussing the “naturalness” of because it brought up the excellent point about how we as humans define the term natural.

The final section of True Blood and Philosophy covers the metaphysics of supernatural beings, and breaks it down further into a vampire’s ability to love, keeping secrets from Sookie, and also about how personal identity works for supernatural creatures. In this section, I really enjoyed the final part of this section, as it talked about how we’re still the same, even if we are change some of our views. After all, whether a vampire, shifter, were, or human (or anything else), we all have a special kind of magic within us.

True Blood and Philosophy is a pretty short book (it’s only about 235 pages), but it’s filled with tons of information. My best suggestion when reading True Blood and Philosophy is to take your time and read it section by section. Then, take a break and let what you just read, and your own opinions on the topic simmer in your mind before going on to read the next part. This way, you won’t become overwhelmed by the whole book. No matter what, True Blood and Philosophy is a great book, so get a copy and enjoy! And once you read it, let us know what are your thoughts of True Blood and Philosophy.

  • Antonio

    There are several books on philosophy and different film wisdom
    1 of my favorites was Christian wisdom of the Jedi A pretty good read deep of course A lot of these books are probably written by people who have high degrees in the subject.
    There are also philosophical treatises on Harry Potter,Narnia,Lord of the Rings~~~How could we miss the philosophical/spiritual aspects of This) Twilight and Now True Blood I suppose.
    The Twilight philosophy book takes an indepth look at Vegatarianism and what friendship and loyalty really mean.
    It also asks the questions Could You Really love someone who was a Vampire?? Are You listening,Sook?

    1 thing makes me think though
    in the Twilight philosophy book it talks about the prospect of becoming a vampire for “love”. Would Bella Really give up her mortal life to be with Edward? What would That entail precisely?
    Good points good questions..
    1 Thing? Sookie,It seems Never has to deal with This…Why?
    Could it be that she never feels she should discuss this with her beloved Bill? How does He feel about this?
    If Bill does Not drain or turn her then she will remain subject to the constraints of the mortal world which means that 1 day she will die. Edward “turned” Bella to save her life..He never would have otherwise even though she begged him repeatedly to do so. Wouldn’t Sookie’s talents and abilities be that much more intense…In other words,Wouldn’t she be 10x as powerful as she is now? Think of it! If Bill Or Eric were to turn her
    then her telepathic abilities would be That much stronger!
    She could not only hear others thoughts~~~perhaps after becoming Vampire she Could hear Bill’s thoughts~~ Glamor would be quite a weapon for her!
    OK OK If Sookie “marries” Bill(or Eric) but never becomes 1 like them then whats the point?
    Wouldnt it be hurtful and cruel for Sookie to say “I love you but i do not wish to become like you?
    Does not the lover Always wish to join the beloved??
    Think about it! She “loves” Bill but she wants No part of his “life”?
    Just thinking isnt That what this is all about?

  • EricLuv

    OMFG … ROFL are you talking about Freud’s “Oedipus Complex”?

    Wipes tears … sorry.

    • LOL, nope. However, when you brought up the infamous Oedipus Complex, my mind went DIRECTLY to the song Oedipus Rex by Tom Lehrer! *giggling*

  • Thanks, sounds very interesting indeed. I read another book in this series called “Pink Floyd and Philosophy”, which made me look on aspects of the band in a completely different way. I imagine this book will do the same for True Blood.

    • Yes, it’s a very interesting book. It’s one I’ll probably nose though section by section again in the near future.

  • lizzie

    Thanks Isis. This book is on my list of things to get.

  • Sheila

    Hi, as always, thanks for the info, I did not know there was such a book, and now, I may go and add it to my collection of Vamp and Supernatural reads. I think I should come back as a Vamp and it will be all good!

  • Olooshia

    Thank you very much for your article; I had not idea there even was such a book. Too bad though that in my country it costs quite a lot for a book this short. Still, it seems so interesting, I think Im going to buy it anyway. Cheers!