10 books like The Vampire

By Nick Groom,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like The Vampire. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Vampyres

By Christopher Frayling,

Book cover of Vampyres: Genesis and Resurrection: From Count Dracula to Vampirella

Frayling’s book is very much a forerunner of Groom’s, being one of the first serious (but also immensely readable) studies of the vampire in culture. This one keeps its sights trained more on the nineteenth-century vampire. It begins with The Vampyre, the story written by John Polidori at the Villa Diodati at the same infamous gathering that spawned Marty Shelley’s Frankenstein. Polidori was Lord Byron’s physician, but the two men fell out badly, and Polidori’s aristocratic bloodsucker Lord Ruthven is widely regarded as modeled on Byron. Although now little remembered, The Vampyre began the Victorian craze for vampires that culminated in Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Frayling is the perfect guide, being not only a cultural historian of wide learning but also a splendid communicator.

Vampyres

By Christopher Frayling,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Vampyres as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Christopher Frayling has spent 45 years exploring the history of one of the most enduring figures in the history of mass culture - the vampire. Vampyres is a comprehensive and generously illustrated history and anthology of vampires in literature, from the folklore of Eastern Europe to the Romantics and beyond. Frayling recounts the most significant moments in gothic history, while extracts from a huge range of sources - including Bram Stoker's detailed research notes for Dracula, penny dreadfuls and Angela Carter's The Bloody Chamber , new to this edition - are contextualized and analysed.
This revised and expanded edition brings…


Our Vampires, Ourselves

By Nina Auerbach,

Book cover of Our Vampires, Ourselves

Auerbach’s book takes the vampire story into more contemporary territory and, some might say, into more treacherous waters. Although beginning again with Polidori, she follows the evolution of the vampire tale through to Stephen King’s Salem’s Lot, Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles, and Tony Scott’s 1983 film The Hunger (starring an elegantly wasted David Bowie). She shows how homoeroticism has been a part of the vampire narrative since its nineteenth-century inception, notably with Sheridan Le Fanu’s 1872 novella Carmilla, and how readily the narrative lent itself as an allegory of the 1980s AIDS epidemic. I don’t agree with all of Auerbach’s interpretations, but she has some zinging one-liners.

Our Vampires, Ourselves

By Nina Auerbach,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Our Vampires, Ourselves as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Nina Auerbach shows how every age embraces the vampire it needs, and gets the vampire it deserves. Working with a wide range of texts, as well as movies and television, Auerbach locates vampires at the heart of our national experience and uses them as a lens for viewing the last two hundred years of Anglo-American cultural history.

"[Auerbach] has seen more Hammer movies than I (or the monsters) have had steaming hot diners, encountered more bloodsuckers than you could shake a stick at, even a pair of crossed sticks, such as might deter a very sophisticated ogre, a hick from…


The Cambridge Companion to 'Dracula'

By Roger Luckhurst,

Book cover of The Cambridge Companion to 'Dracula'

Although this book focuses on just the most famous vampire narrative of all, you don’t need to look far into Dracula to find universal vampire themes: sexuality, paranoia, misogyny, xenophobia, psychoanalysis, and the sacred power of blood. This collection of essays also sets Stoker’s tale within the wider context of the Victorian vampire boom, and looks at what became of his tale on stage and screen. It shows how Stoker was tapping into richer, deeper seams than even he realised, making Dracula “one of the most obsessional texts of all time, a black hole of the imagination”, in horror expert David Skal’s words. “The most frightening thing about Dracula’, says Skal, “is the strong probability that it meant far less to Bram Stoker than it has come to mean for us.”

The Cambridge Companion to 'Dracula'

By Roger Luckhurst,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Cambridge Companion to 'Dracula' as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Bram Stoker's Dracula is the most famous vampire in literature and film. This new collection of sixteen essays brings together a range of internationally renowned scholars to provide a series of pathways through this celebrated Gothic novel and its innumerable adaptations and translations. The volume illuminates the novel's various pre-histories, critical contexts and subsequent cultural transformations. Chapters explore literary history, Gothic revival scholarship, folklore, anthropology, psychology, sexology, philosophy, occultism, cultural history, critical race theory, theatre and film history, and the place of the vampire in Europe and beyond. These studies provide an accessible guide of cutting-edge scholarship to one of…


The Living and the Undead

By Gregory A. Waller,

Book cover of The Living and the Undead: Slaying Vampires, Exterminating Zombies

Before you can understand contemporary manifestations of zombies and vampires in shows like The Walking Dead or The Strain, it helps to know the long and varied cultural history of these monsters. Gregory Waller explores how each generation imagined and interpreted zombies and vampires, both in print and on-screen. How do they speak to our fears and prejudices, or even desires? I found it very helpful in writing Planet Auschwitz.

The Living and the Undead

By Gregory A. Waller,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Living and the Undead as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

With a legacy stretching back into legend and folklore, the vampire in all its guises haunts the film and fiction of the twentieth century and remains the most enduring of all the monstrous threats that roam the landscapes of horror. In The Living and the Undead, Gregory A. Waller shows why this creature continues to fascinate us and why every generation reshapes the story of the violent confrontation between the living and the undead to fit new times. Examining a broad range of novels, stories, plays, films, and made-for-television movies, Waller focuses upon a series of interrelated texts: Bram Stoker's…


Blood Fury

By J. R. Ward,

Book cover of Blood Fury: Black Dagger Legacy

Again, it’s so hard to choose between all the amazing books in The Black Dagger Brotherhood, and the Black Dagger Legacy series, but Blood Fury has one of my favorite M/M romances ever. Ruhn and Saxton aren’t even the main couple, but gods, do they steal the show! I got all the feels. I shivered and teared up, laughed, and swooned. Ruhn is a gentle giant, and Saxton has had his poor heart broken in quite a spectacular way, but they find each other, and… I’ll stop because I’ll spoil the awesomeness. The spice is hot as hell too, so don’t read in public ;)

Blood Fury

By J. R. Ward,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Blood Fury as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In this sexy paranormal romance novel set in the world of the Black Dagger Brotherhood, #1 New York Times bestselling author J. R. Ward tells the story of two couples - both fighting to find love in the midst of the war with the Lessening Society.

A vampire aristocrat, Peyton is well aware of his duty to his bloodline: mate with an appropriate female of his class and carry on his family's traditions. And he thought he'd found his perfect match - until she fell in love with someone else. Yet when his split-second decision in a battle with the…


The Tale of the Body Thief

By Anne Rice,

Book cover of The Tale of the Body Thief

My teen years were spent in the early 2000s, so Anne Rice was the OG to me for urban fantasy. Tale of the Body Thief is my favorite story of hers. Like my novel and current city, it also takes place in DC (Georgetown!) and I love retracing Lestat’s footsteps through the novel as he visited notable places like Martin’s Tavern. The plot focuses on Lestat body-switching with a human who ends up stealing the vampire’s body. If you’ve seen Interview With the Vampire, you don’t really need to have read the other books in the series to read this one. For me, I love that it’s a fun literary ride with familiar characters and setting. 

The Tale of the Body Thief

By Anne Rice,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Tale of the Body Thief as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“Rice is our modern messenger of the occult, whose nicely updated dark-side passion plays twist and turn in true Gothic form.”—San Francisco Chronicle

In a gripping feat of storytelling, Anne Rice continues the extraordinary Vampire Chronicles that began with the now-classic Interview with the Vampire. For centuries, Lestat—vampire-hero, enchanter, seducer of mortals—has been a courted prince in the dark and flourishing universe of the living dead. Now he is alone. And in his overwhelming need to destroy his doubts and his loneliness, Lestat embarks on the most dangerous enterprise he has undertaken in all the years of his haunted existence.…


Slayers and Their Vampires

By Bruce McClelland,

Book cover of Slayers and Their Vampires: A Cultural History of Killing the Dead

Whereas Barber expounds upon the anthropological origins of the vampire myth, McClelland focuses on the practices, principles, and logistics of killing the dead. The most familiar form comes in the unearthing and mutilation of bodies. McClelland explains the whys and wherefores of that practice, but he also gives their killers more than their due, explaining the role of vampire slayers as shamans, village elders, and quasi-religious figures during Europe’s transition from its pagan roots to modern Christianity. He demonstrates that vampires fell into an uneasy space between a fading system of peasant folklore and the organized religious rituals and beliefs that ultimately took their place. There are no vampires in the Bible, so where was the church during the vampire hysteria of the 1800s and how did they regard these mythical creatures? McClelland answers that and more. He also includes an overview of our modern conception of vampire slayers from…

Slayers and Their Vampires

By Bruce McClelland,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Slayers and Their Vampires as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In contemporary Western popular culture, the vampire has evolved into one of the most recognizable symbols of evil. Yet, less has been said - and even less has been understood - about its nemesis, the vampire slayer. ""Slayers and Their Vampires"" is the first work to explore how the vampire slayer began, and it goes further to ask why the true history of the vampire slayer has been so long ignored. Author Bruce McClelland describes how the literary and screen dramas obscured the darker nature of the slayer, whose persecution of a corpse is accepted as heroic rather than corrupt.…


The Incurables

By Stevie Claxton,

Book cover of The Incurables

I’ve always been a fan of vampire stories and the related lore. From Dracula to Buffy to Anne Rice, I love all the different takes on vampire mythology, so The Incurables was a really neat book to discover. It takes a different approach to vampire lore, making it a viral disease that affects certain people based on their biology. The main character, Eveleen, contracts the disease and is put in an underground bunker with other infected, as the government tries to cure them, but there are much darker forces at play, and conspiracies to uncover and escapes to plan. The story was dark and twisty with threads of romance and really high stakes, and basically everything I love about vampire stories. 

The Incurables

By Stevie Claxton,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Incurables as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Eveleen Spellman has a good job, a good boyfriend-a good life. Until she starts showing symptoms of the deadly Cava-V20 virus. A new strain of the virus has the medical community baffled, and at the first sign of symptoms, Eveleen is shipped to the Hollow, a treatment facility, to be quarantined.

But there is more to the virus than anyone knows, and Eveleen soon learns the horrifying truth of her condition-she's turning into a vampire. Eveleen struggles to accept the fate the doctors tell her is inevitable, and with other patients in the Hollow, forms a plan to fight back…


Vampires, Burial, and Death

By Paul T. Barber,

Book cover of Vampires, Burial, and Death: Folklore and Reality

This was a breakthrough in our (and my) understanding of vampires as an explanation for disease in the context of pre-industrial, agrarian societies. Everyone understood that there were (and to some degree, are still) persistent folk beliefs about vampires around the world, with Slavic and Balkan variants having gained a foothold in the popular imagination. Paul Barber explains the intricacies of belief, the particulars of that folklore, and illuminates one of humanity’s oldest tendencies that lies at the root of vampire stories—to blame death on the dead. There are gruesome anecdotes aplenty and Barber explains the logistics of vampire “attacks” down to every last, bloody detail. 

Vampires, Burial, and Death

By Paul T. Barber,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Vampires, Burial, and Death as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In this engrossing book, Paul Barber surveys centuries of folklore about vampires and offers the first scientific explanation for the origins of the vampire legends. From the tale of a sixteenth-century shoemaker from Breslau whose ghost terrorized everyone in the city, to the testimony of a doctor who presided over the exhumation and dissection of a graveyard full of Serbian vampires, his book is fascinating reading.

"This study's comprehensiveness and the author's bone-dry wit make this compelling reading, not just for folklorists, but for anyone interested in a time when the dead wouldn't stay dead."-Booklist

"Barber's inquiry into vampires, fact…


Blood Tears

By Raven Dane,

Book cover of Blood Tears

Wow! Talk about meaty and juicy with substance! I bought this book in paperback and it is the definition of a tome! When I first read it, it reminded me of a good gothic literature tale with a dash of the beautiful world-building of Anne Rice’s Interview With the Vampire sprinkled with the language of Gabaldon’s Outlander book. It’s another book that deals with life through the paranormal characters’ lives in a human world which I can never get enough of. 

Blood Tears takes place across the centuries throughout the large world wars and other historical events that nicely tie into our real timeline. Every time I cracked open the book to read just a little bit I would find myself entranced in the story and the characters.

Blood Tears

By Raven Dane,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Blood Tears as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A foreign child - taken to live under Azrar's protection as his ward.
But what strange ability does this girl possess, that so terrified her own people it led them to abandon her in Isolann's wolf-ridden forests?
And will it aid in Prince Azrar's destruction or his survival?


5 book lists we think you will like!

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