|David Ryckaert III, Dulle Griet (Mad Meg), 17th century|
Are you feeling a bit drained from all the vampires around you? Ok, maybe they're not actually sipping from your arteries, but the psychological weight of being surrounded by so many vampire books can be intense. The genre has grown rapidly in the past few years and it can be daunting to make a choice. To help you wade through all the options, I've compiled a list of books and movies with a description of each. In this post, I'll list some of the older (pre-2000) vampire stories, let's call them retro-classic vampires. Nearly all of these titles have been made into movies, but consider reading the originals - they're all great!
Salem's Lot by Stephen King. Things are going wrong in a small New England town.... King combines his usual cast of small town characters with a classic psychological thriller. Considered by many to be one of King's best books, this title has stood the test of time.
Dracula by Bram Stoker. Not the first of the vampire stories (they go back centuries!), but the first that made a literary and cultural impact. Creepy and mysterious as only a Victorian novel can be, this classic is easy to read and will leave you chilled.
I am Legend by Richard Matheson. Written in the mid-50's, this book popularized the concept of apocalypse due to a man-made disease; a common theme in many novels today. Both vampire and zombie fiction owes much to this story, as the infected have qualities of both. A suspenseful read.
The Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice. In the first book of a long and popular series, Interview with the Vampire introduces us to Lestat, who shows up in many of the authors other works. Told from the point of view of Louis, one of Lestat's vampiric children, the story relates both the glamour and desolation of a vampire's life.
My Soul to Keep by Tananarive Due. A typical American family has to cope with Dad's supernatural past when Mom finally pieces all creepy hints together. Due is skilled at weaving together storylines from past & present, supernatural entities and strong female characters; this is one of her best works.