October 30, 2008

Vampire Thursday

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My Friend Amy had a great idea: Vampire Day. I've always had a fascination with these mythical creatures. What is it about them? Maybe it's the idea of being ageless forever. Is it a blessing or a curse?

Where did the story of the vampire come from? Leslie Klinger attempts to answer this question here in this Seattle Times article for her annotated version of Dracula: The Annotated Dracula.

My introduction to the vampire came in the form of all those cheesy Dracula flicks from the 60 and 70's. Many are just terrible, some are campy (Once Bitten) but I think Dracula may have gotten back some respect with Coppola's lush 1992 version Bram Stoker's Dracula. Finally, Stoker was back with his creation. However, Coppola just couldn't stop making a romance between Mina and the Count. If you've ever read Stoker's novel, you'll know there is no love between the two.


Before reading Bram Stoker's novel, I had read Salem's Lot (Stephen King), and all of Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles. Reading Dracula was an experience. I had a lot of preconceived notions about vampires by then and was surprised at the creature in the story. He had evolved from Stoker's monster to the charming and suave being in the movies. What a strange transformation for the vampire.

I had given up on vampires after that, until recently. A few years ago, I read The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova. Dracula was back and terrorizing the modern world. Kostova combines the folklore of the Eastern European vampire with Stoker's Dracula, throws in an endearing heroine and create a fast paced tale for the 21st century.


As a blogger, I've reviewed a few vampire related books:

*50 Ways to Hex Your Lover- Jazz is a witch with a love/hate relationship with a vampire.

*The Rest Falls Away- Victoria Gardella fights vampires in Regency England.

*I Am Legend- The last man on earth, Robert Neville, battles humans turned vampires by a horrible plague. (I Am Legend inspired apocalyptic zombie films.)

Although the vampire is always changing to suit the needs of the audience, I don't think they are going to go away anytime soon. Maybe they will live forever.

What are your favorite vampire novels or movies?

15 comments :

  1. Right now my favorite vampire books are the Twilight Saga. I just completed the series and am still in LOVE! I am partial to the movie The Lost Boys.

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  2. Although I love vampire books I can't believe I've never read Dracula! One of these days I have to fix that.

    For now one of my most favorite vampire books is still Interview With the Vampire.

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  3. The whole idea of vampires has always been terrifying for me - when I was a kid, I used to have a recurring nightmare that there was a nightmare on the loose in our town, and every time this certain creepy music played on the radio, we had to hide and hope he didn't find us. LOL

    Because of this, the Twilight books were the first vampire books I've ever read, and I only gave in because of all the bloggers great reviews. I loved them, of course, and now I'm trying to get up the nerve to read Dracula.

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  4. Oh my god, above commenter totally just reminded me of the film The Lost Boys, which was fabulous! I'd forgotten about that film!

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  5. I find vampires fascinating too. Dracula is one of my favourites. I first read it in my early teens, and it sparked a very long obsession. Shortly thereafter I discovered Anne Rice, and I spend my teens reading and re-reading her Vampire Chronicles. Though I'm not too fond of the latter ones, a lot of those books are still among my all time favourites. And for me, vampires don't get much better than Lestat, Marius or Armand.

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  6. I've always been enamored of vampires every since I was a little kid. I read YA vampire books from Christopher Pike and L.J. Smith (foremother to Twilight, if you will). I'm still in love with YA vampires (Meyer and Claudia Gray), but I've read the other stuff too: Salem's Lot, some of Anne Rice's novels. I haven't picked up The Historian yet, but I'm feeling the itch. I even watched a bio of Bram Stoker this morning! That was really interesting.

    I definitely don't think they're going anywhere, and I can't wait to read about the next incarnations. :)

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  7. Besides Twilight... I love The Historian and Dracula. But one of my all time favorites is Sunshine by Robin McKinley. LOVE that one!

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  8. I liked The Historian, but what really got me into the vampire scene was The Silver Kiss by Annette Curtis Klause and (of course) Anne Rice's Interview With a Vampire!

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  9. Shelburns- haha! I watched Lost Boys just a couple of weeks ago. I remember watching it many, many times in my teens. (Those Coreys!)

    Iliana- Yes, you have to read it!

    Carrie- Oh that's scary! I'll sometimes have nightmares about them too.

    Michelle- Yeah, what a blast from the past!

    Nymeth- Aw yeah, Armand. He was the best.

    Andi- Funny, I don't remember reading any YA novels about them (accept for a Build Your Own Adventure one).

    Suey & Lana- Two I haven't heard of. I must check them out.

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  10. I really enjoyed The Historian, but my favorite vampire-related things are the television shows Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel. Some of the best television ever!

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  11. I love the vampire as a concept, but have never really been impressed with any book about them. I did like Coppola's take much more than the book, even though Keanu was it.

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  12. I never got into Rice's Vampire novels, though her Mummy book was great! But I think you can't beat the original Dracula by Bram Stoker. I still like to reread it and still enjoy Salem's Lot, too.

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  13. I love the funny side of the vampire myth -- books like You Suck and movies like Love At First Bite.

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  14. I love the idea of Vampire Thursday! I hope to read The Historian next year as I love vampire novels. My favourites are probabily still Anne Rice. They are cruel and sensual at the same time. There are so many around at the moment though as urban fantasy and paranormal romance are big.

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  15. Lol - The first vamp I encountered was from Once Bitten, what a cheese-fest! But I have loved so many vampire books and movies. When Buffy first came out I refused to watch it, but I will admit that last year I received the first 3 seasons on DVD and they are now my guilty pleasure.
    My all time favorite vampire series is Anita Blake (books 1-9)

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