Saturday, October 31, 2009

Top ten vampire novels

Kevin Jackson's childhood ambition was to be a vampire (“you’d get to live in a castle – how cool is that!”) but instead he became the last living polymath. His colossal expertise ranges from Seneca to Sugababes, with a special interest in the occult, Ruskin, take-away food, Dante’s Inferno and the moose. He is the author of numerous books on numerous subjects, including Fast: Feasting on the Streets of London (Portobello 2006), and reviews regularly for the Sunday Times. His new book is Bite: A Vampire Handbook.

For the Guardian, he named a top ten list of vampire novels.

Number One on the list:
I Am Legend by Richard Matheson

Probably the single most influential vampire narrative written between Dracula in the late 1890s and Interview With The Vampire in the 1970s, (Anne Rice needs no plugging here; nor does Stephenie Meyer, nor Charlaine Harris ...), this was the novel which dragged vampires out of the gothic world of superstition and into the potentially even more terrifying world of science fiction. In the wake of a global war – probably a nuclear conflict – Robert Neville finds himself apparently the last man alive in all the world. But there are plenty of undead people, and every night when the sun has gone down, they attack his fortress home. There have been three film versions to date., most recently the big-budget production starring Will Smith, which had its moments; but none has captured the nihilistic chill of the original.
Read about another vampire novel on the list.

Also see Lisa Tuttle's top six vampire books.

--Marshal Zeringue