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Saturday, October 6, 2012

VampLit

Have been reminiscing about some of my favorite vampire literature and wanted to share some recommendations with you. I'm assuming you're already familiar with the popular texts, like Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles and Bram Stoker's Dracula, so I won't mention those (oops--I just did). The idea here is to recommend a few books and films that you may not have already read/seen but which I suggest are worthwhile.

Books
Fledgling by Octavia Butler - In this book, vampires are born and age really, really slowly. Sustenance and sex go hand-in-hand (so to speak), and for once it's not a hetero-centric thing. It was a sad, sad day when Butler died, and I was all the more upset because it meant she wouldn't be writing a sequel to Fledgling

The Silver Kiss by Annette Curtis Klause - A YA novel that I must've borrowed from the library not long after it came out, because I don't own it. Will have to rectify that soon. What this book adds to the vampire mythology is the possibility that an exchange of blood could also result in an exchange of memory and emotion.

The Last Vampire (series) by Christopher Pike - Love this YA series for its strong, level-headed but compassionate heroine. Vampires can charm their victims so they don't remember being bitten, and a little bit of vampire blood can close up those teeth marks in a jiffy.

The Vampire Diaries (series) by L. J. Smith - Be warned: if you're a fan of the TV show, this is completely different. Smith is a genius at sexual tension, and her heroines are always caught between two men: the wholesome, protective one and the seductive, dangerous one. The difference here is that even the wholesome one is a vampire.

Films & TV Shows
Buffy the Vampire Slayer - I'm talkin' 'bout the movie here. I have plenty of friends who are die-hard fans of the TV series, but I was never able to get into it. (Please don't stone me.) Anyway, this movie is HILARIOUS! It's not the least bit sympathetic to vampires, which is unfortunate, but I do love that the sassy, vapid valley girl turns out to be a rather competent vampire slayer. Plus: David Arquette, Donald Sutherland, Luke Perry, Rutger Hauer and Paul Reubens (Pee Wee Herman)! (Note: I just looked this up on IMDB and my mind is blown. I never knew the movie was also a Joss Whedon project!)

Blood for Dracula - Also known as Andy Warhol's Dracula. Another hilarious one. Between the moody vampire who keeps vomiting "impure" blood and the farm-boy rapist "hero," it's hard to know whose side you're on. I'm gonna go with the vampire on this one.

Vampire Knight - Anime series that takes place at a boarding school that's experimenting with night classes for vampires. Lots of school girl uniforms and a heroine, torn between two men (or whatever), who turns out to be a lot more powerful than she ever suspected.

Vampire Hunter D - Anime movie about a vampire hunter hired by a young girl to kill the vampire who bit her so she doesn't turn into a vampire. To be honest, I had to look the synopsis up on IMDB. All I remembered was that it featured a vampire hunter who was a vampire (turns out he was only half-vampire), that it was cool-looking animation and that I liked it.

What are your favorite less-well-known vampire books & movies?

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