Best Vampire Book: Looking for the Best of the Last 100 Years!
If you love vampires then you probably know that one of the most influential books for the entire horror genre is coming up on a big anniversary. This March will see the 100th anniversary of the death of Bram Stocker, the author of the granddaddy of all vampire books – Dracula! To help celebrate this major landmark, the Horror Writers of America are going to award one book as the most influential vampire novel in the 100 years since the death of Bram Stoker. This make the time period we are talking about to be from 1912 to 2011.
They have already narrowed the choices down to six novels, all of which could easily in my humble opinion be worthy of the choice. It is really amazing to think of how many great vampire books have been written over the last 100 years and I would imagine that coming down with this final group of six must have taken some work and probably a certain amount of politics, with various members pushing for their favorite.
The Six Finalists
No matter how you look at it, these final six choices that the judges will vote on to decide the final winner are all winners already. I think it is fair to say that they would make a great “got to read” list for anyone who is coming to this site. Here are the six books they have winnowed it down, before the announcement in March:
Some may argue that this short story disguised as a novel isn’t even a vampire tale, since he doesn’t really state that is what they are. It is the basic tale of the earth being hit by an epidemic that leaves people acting like vampires, except for our hero. For many- this is the classic post-apocalyptic tale.
This is one of King’s earliest works, and it still packs a punch today. Of course, being King it takes place in a small New England town, and centers Kurt Barlow, a vampire who is running the town until a writer shows up in town to put things back the way they should be. Sorta. But it is classic King.
For many this is the book that introduced the modern interpretation of a vampire. Dark, gothic and more than a little homo-erotic, the tale of Lestat and how he became a vampire is told to a young reporter in flash-backs. The New Orleans setting doesn’t hurt the atmosphere, either.
This is from a wonderful series that has the vampire Count Saint Germain travelling through Europe (and time) as we follow his adventurous life. A great fun romp through history and a well told set of stories that bring a bit of fun to the vampire genre.
This is a classic tale of evil vampires taking over a small town, but done with such classic horror style as only Grant can do. It takes place in a small town in Connecticut as we follow the evil Count Braslov and his attempts to take over bend the population of the town of Oxrun to his will. It is part of a trilogy but is easily read on its own.
What if Dracula, instead of being defeated by Van Helsing, was to survive? What if he went on to marry Queen Victoria and in fact had a life full of adventures with other great historical and fictional vampires? That is the premise to this wonderful alternate world vampire tale. Published in the early 1990s, it went on to be so successful that Newman followed it up with The Bloody Red Baron and a few other fun little vampire alternate world concepts.
Making the Vote
So there you have it, the six finalists for the title of most influential vampire book of the past century as named by the Horror Writers of America. I even made sure to link them, in case you got curious and decided you just needed to read one of them once again. Or maybe even, for the first time! They are all great books, and some might have even been forgotten in the recent slew of vampire tales, so be sure to check them out.
As far as what I think is the best of the lot, well anyone who reads this site knows how partial I am to Anne Rice. That would be my vote for the most influential. So let us know – what would your vote be?