King on Vampires et al.

Stephen King on putting the bite back into vampires.

Top 10 Vampire novels--

Agree with Number 1, 2, 5. Anno Dracula--really?  What about They Bite among a plethora of others more worthy.  But at least in these a Vampire is still a vampire--evil, relentlessly destructive, and despite all of that (or perhaps because of it) seductive.


  1. _Dracula_, _I am Legend_, and _Anno Dracula_ all belong in the top five.

    The SF group I belong to read _Fevre Dream_ several years ago. Several of the members are George RR Martin fans, but they agreed with the rest that _FD_ was a disappointment, aside from the atmosphere which was quite well done. In addition, there's a plot problem regarding the birth process as found in the vampires. If I read that correctly, I don't see how the vampire race exists.

  2. Dear Fred,

    Did I leave _Dracula_ off the list? That was inadvertent. Can't agree on either _Anno Dracula_, which I thought an interesting and good book, but not playing the vampire card particularly well, nor on _Fever Dream_ which reads very much like a fever dream, conjuring up the most nightmarish aspects of both its time and the vampire legend. Whether or not they could come about by the mechanism detailed is, in my opinion, entirely beside the point. I'm not reading Vampire stories for scientific accuracy but for sheer fever-pitch experience of evil, and in this _Fever Dream_ works beautifully--as do Salem's Lot and _They Thirst_ among some of the others you've detailed above.

    Another example that I liked a lot (but thought had a somewhat muddled ending) was Elizabeth Kostovo's The Historian. Nothing new on the Vampire front, but, like Anno Dracula, interesting story and history.

    (By the way, my initial reaction to Anno Dracula was because of an association with quite a different set of vampire books--more of the Anne Rice kind. Don't know how I got them confused.)



  3. Steven,

    Anno Dracula, I thought, did a good job of showing societal changes and adjustments that were brought about by the emergence of the vampire. One striking and startling example was the incident at a party when the hostess told a servant to allow the vampire to take some blood from her wrist, in lieu of a cocktail.

    The sex and seduction elements attached to the vampire, however, were not much in evidence, as far as I can remember.

    The setting of Fevre Dream was excellent, and, the atmosphere more dreamlike or nightmarish than that of Anno Dracula. Normally I don't fuss much about minor inaccuracies either, but the birth problem seemed to be major issue in the development of the vampire species, and that's why I paid more attention to it.


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