Friday, October 25, 2013

Pick Three: Vampires

It's almost Halloween. Let's talk vampires!

Here it is: Stephen King's Salem's Lot is the best horror novel. I don't just mean the best vampire book, I mean of all the stories of monsters and murders and evil that stalks the night, this is the best. No "vegetarian" vampires consumed with angst here; these are old school vamps. The kind that lurk outside your window in the dead of night and tap tap ever so softly, begging to be let in. The kind you think of when the pine tree outside your window goes tap tap on the glass and you sit up in bed all night with the light on, waiting to be devoured. It's fantastic horror and it's a fantastic story.  

I know I just made fun of contemporary vampires, but I'm a product of the '90s. While I might despise the "sparkly" variety, I'm no purist either. My vampires wore trench coats, fought crime, and brooded. Christopher Pike's The Last Vampire series was a staple of my middle school life. A powerful, ancient female vampire killing baddies and trying to overcome demons from her past? With the added bonus of Hindu deities? What's not to love? The series has subsequently been reissued with less...colorful...covers, but Christopher Pike without neon just isn't right.

I know, I know. Hear me out. Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter, is a great read. Grahame-Smith hasn't just peppered someone else's story with "and then vampires attacked". He's done the research and worked through a compelling alternate-universe...that just happens to involve blood drinking. Vampires as slave-owners makes so much sense that I'm surprised I hadn't seen it used before. This is one of those rare books that my mother, my father, my younger brother, and I all enjoyed.

And those are my three quick picks for vampires books! I considered doing the same for werewolves, only to realize the sole werewolf-involving book I've ever read is Twilight. Ouch.

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