Non-Sparkly Vampire Books

Today’s Must Read post on books on Horror comes from Sudarshan.

Everyone of us has heard of Twilight by now – the bestselling Young Adult series by Stephenie Meyer, who took an old genre – Vampires – and turned them into something that teenage girls will enjoy. The storytelling is great, and the movies based on the series are a hit, too. But old-school horror fans may feel offended that vampires, once creepy, insidious creatures of the night, are now romantic, sparkly, heart throbs.
For those horror fans, and for those interested in vampires beyond Twilight, here’s a list of must-read books.

Dracula, by Bram Stoker: What, you haven’t read this yet? The book that started it all, the story of the immortal Transylvanian count and his nemesis, Van Helsing, still has the power to make you look over your shoulder at night. Whether you’re a horror fan or a serious classics reader, this is a must.

Let the Right One In, by John Ajvide Lindqvist: Sweden may be known for its amazing crime fiction, but Lindqvist is famous for his horror novels. Let the Right One In is the story of a 12-year-old boy and his neighbour – a centuries-old vampire girl. The book. besides being scary as hell, also talks of disquieting themes like existential anxiety, bullying, and pedophilia, and was made into movies in Swedish and English (Let Me In, released in October 2010).

Fevre Dream, by George R.R. Martin: Martin takes the vampire legend into Mark Twain territory- among the steamboats of the Mississippi river. Beautifully plotted and very atmospheric. Martin is better known among Fantasy fans as the writer of the hit A Game of Thrones series, and he brings the same skill to this book as well.

Salem’s Lot, by Stephen King: I remember reading this book in college, alone in my room at night, and then getting creeped out for weeks afterwards. This was Stephen King’s second novel after Carrie, and here he brings vampires into a small town in Maine, USA. He also answers the old question: if everyone bitten by a vampire gets turned into one himself, wouldn’t all humans in the area eventually be converted?

Agyar, by Steven Brust: Brust takes away the horror from the legend and turns a vampire into a tragic, lonely figure with only a ghost for company. Although a short book, the character of Agyar stays with you for a long time. Brust, again, is known for his fantasy series (it looks like every fantasy writer has one great vampire book in him!)

The Strain, by Guillermo del Toro: The Strain begins with a Boeing 777 landing at JFK airport, and coming to a dead stop on the runway. Everyone on the flight is dead, their bodies drained of blood. There is a coffin filled with earth in the cargo hold… The popular fantasy movie director put in a lot of thought into reinventing vampires plausibly in this book: instead of fangs, they have stingers in their tongues; they are by nature nasty, brutish, carnivores, and they would laugh in the face of an urbane count-dracula-type-vampire – and then tear him into shreds.

Ed. : We are soon going to add the books from this list that we currently don’t have. In the meantime, you can check out our already significant (horrifying? 🙂 ) collection on Horror. Please use the comments section below to share your opinion on Sudarshan’s list. Drop us a note if you would like to do a guest post on a topic of your choice.


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