Author Kevin Jackson recently wrote about his top ten favorite vampire novels over at guardian.co.uk. We here at OBS thought we’d share it with you.
1. I Am Legend by Richard Matheson
In the wake of a global war – probably a nuclear conflict – Robert Neville finds himself apparently the last man alive in all the world. But there are plenty of undead people, and every night when the sun has gone down, they attack his fortress home.
2. Fevre Dream by George RR Martin
A highly atmospheric period piece, set mainly on board a steamboat, plying its trade throughout the southern states of America during the 19th century. Now widely considered a modern classic of the form, Martin’s novel has been neatly described as an ingenious compound of Stephen King and Mark Twain.
3. Doctors Wear Scarlet by Simon Raven
An unusual digression into the horror genre by a writer more often associated with mordant satire than the biting of jugular veins.
4. Fangland by John Marks
A recent, well-constructed thriller written as a self-conscious homage to Dracula. Mark’s novel has been optioned as a movie, and at last report was already in pre-production.
5. Salem’s Lot by Stephen King
Stephen King’s only major venture into vampire territory, and a masterpiece of its kind.
6. Suckers by Anne Billson
This debut novel by Anne Billson was highly praised by Salman Rushdie and others as a sharp and witty satire on the greedy 1980s.
7. Anno Dracula by Kim Newman
Kim Newman’s series of novels about an alternative universe in which vampires are the aristocrats, politicians, power brokers and opinion-formers of the modern world is a delicious mixture of wild invention, scholarship, lateral thinking and sly jokes.
8. The Moth Diaries by Rachel Klein
A sophisticated exercise in unreliable narration: the novel purports to be a memoir written some 30 years after the event by a former psychiatric patient who witnessed some terrible events at the exclusive girls school she attended.
9. Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist
A story of friendship and love between Oskar – a lonely, sad, bullied boy – and Eli, the girl (or is she?) vampire who comes to be his protector.
10. Dracula by Bram Stoker
A masterpiece of myth-making, comparable only to the works of Mary Shelley and Conan Doyle.
Oddly I have only read four of these. I say that is odd because I actually have a whole room dedicated to my collection of vampire books. So I’d like to share with you some of my favorites in no particular order.
1. Snow, Glass, Apples by Neil Gaiman
Though technically a short story it is one of the most brilliant interpretations of the fairy tale Snow White that I have ever encountered. You can find it in Neil’s collection Smoke and Mirrors.
2. The Vampire Tapestry by Suzy McKee Charnas
Edward Weyland is far from your average vampire: not only is he a respected anthropology professor but his condition is biological — rather than supernatural.
This ranks very highly on my favorite books list. The character of Edward Weyland is at once a scientific enigma and at the same time a character study of humanity as seen by someone who lives within it and yet outside of it.
3. The Light at the End by John Skipp and Craig Spector
An adrenaline-charged tale of unrelenting suspense that sparks with raw and savage energy
Another favorite of mine that I have often wished was made into a film.
4. Drink My Blood by Richard Matheson
Another short story which can be found in the collection The Midnight People in which a young boy becomes obsessed with the novel Dracula. This is a must read in my opinion for anyone who grew up with a love of vampires because it captures the voraciousness of youth and it has a wonderful twist ending.
5. Bunnicula: A Rabbit Tale of Mystery by Deborah and James Howe
Okay, laugh at me but this is the first “vampire” book I ever read and it will always be a classic in my eyes.
Happy reading and Happy Halloween and don’t forget to tell us what your favorites are!