I feel like vampires are a recurring theme in literature, and have I ever talked about them? Nope. I decided it was time to remedy that, and present to you some of my favourite books that involve vampires.
Vampires have been present in folklore internationally, although not always under the same name. They’re usually defined as undead people who thrive upon the blood of the living. It’s pretty grim, really.
There’s been a lot of debate as to where the word ‘vampire’ actually came from, and I actually just read a really interesting essay here! Some people look to the Slavonic synonym ‘upyr’, which is a derivative of the word for witch. Interesting, right? The perception of this creature has changed so much over time, to the point that we no longer really fear it but heavily romanticise it (okay, Twilight – that was your shout-out.)
I haven’t read a great deal about these creatures, but I really really liked the ones I’ve picked to talk about today, so I hope you enjoy!
1. Dracula – Bram Stoker Duh. The vampire story to end all vampire stories – need I say more? I love the kind of quaint British characters, and the creepy trips to Romania. Vampires make awesome villains!
2. The Infernal Devices – Cassandra Clare This is a little YA urban paranormal trilogy, so while vampires aren’t really the main focus, they do play a vital part in the plot. In these books, vampirism is a demonic illness, which I think is the major difference between them and a more traditional blood-sucker. Also – these vampires aren’t automatically ‘bad guys’, just saying.
3. I Am Legend – Richard Matheson This is a great one! Here there’s not just one vampire, or even a clan, but a whole freaking apocalypse of them. The story follows the last remaining human, holding his own against the sun-fearing monsters. What’s different about this take on the vampire is that it’s very scientific – there’s no real para-normality; the whole thing is more like a virus. Again, these guys are pretty villainous.
4. The Bloody Chamber – Angela Carter This is actually a collection of short stories that are re-tellings of fairy tales and folkloric beasts (vampires included). The female vampire in ‘The Lady of the House of Love’ has a papery beauty and calculated seductiveness, but what makes her different to the other vampiric interpretations mentioned above is her dependence. She relies not only on her maid, but on the people she feeds upon, and this gives her a kind of twisted innocence.
What other great books about vampires can you recommend? Have you read any of the ones I mentioned?
Thanks for reading, and have a lovely day!