80 books like The Vampire

By Nick Groom,

Here are 80 books that The Vampire fans have personally recommended if you like The Vampire. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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

Philip Ball Author Of The Modern Myths: Adventures in the Machinery of the Popular Imagination

From my list on vampire myths and their cultural fascination.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have written more than 20 non-fiction books on a wide range of topics. I was trained as a chemist and physicist, and as both an author and a journalist I am mostly concerned with the sciences and how they interact with the broader culture – with the arts, politics, philosophy, and society. Sometimes that interest takes me further afield, and in my new book The Modern Myths, I present a detailed look at seven tales that have taken on the genuine stature of myth, being retold again and again as vehicles for the fears, dreams, and anxieties of the modern age. Ranging from Robinson Crusoe to Batman, this list also inevitably includes Bram Stoker’s classic Dracula – leading him to examine how we have used the legend of the vampire in the past and present.

Philip's book list on vampire myths and their cultural fascination

Philip Ball Why did Philip love this book?

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.

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…


Book cover of Our Vampires, Ourselves

Philip Ball Author Of The Modern Myths: Adventures in the Machinery of the Popular Imagination

From my list on vampire myths and their cultural fascination.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have written more than 20 non-fiction books on a wide range of topics. I was trained as a chemist and physicist, and as both an author and a journalist I am mostly concerned with the sciences and how they interact with the broader culture – with the arts, politics, philosophy, and society. Sometimes that interest takes me further afield, and in my new book The Modern Myths, I present a detailed look at seven tales that have taken on the genuine stature of myth, being retold again and again as vehicles for the fears, dreams, and anxieties of the modern age. Ranging from Robinson Crusoe to Batman, this list also inevitably includes Bram Stoker’s classic Dracula – leading him to examine how we have used the legend of the vampire in the past and present.

Philip's book list on vampire myths and their cultural fascination

Philip Ball Why did Philip love this book?

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.

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…


Book cover of The Cambridge Companion to 'Dracula'

Philip Ball Author Of The Modern Myths: Adventures in the Machinery of the Popular Imagination

From my list on vampire myths and their cultural fascination.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have written more than 20 non-fiction books on a wide range of topics. I was trained as a chemist and physicist, and as both an author and a journalist I am mostly concerned with the sciences and how they interact with the broader culture – with the arts, politics, philosophy, and society. Sometimes that interest takes me further afield, and in my new book The Modern Myths, I present a detailed look at seven tales that have taken on the genuine stature of myth, being retold again and again as vehicles for the fears, dreams, and anxieties of the modern age. Ranging from Robinson Crusoe to Batman, this list also inevitably includes Bram Stoker’s classic Dracula – leading him to examine how we have used the legend of the vampire in the past and present.

Philip's book list on vampire myths and their cultural fascination

Philip Ball Why did Philip love this book?

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.”

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…


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

Brian E. Crim Author Of Planet Auschwitz: Holocaust Representation in Science Fiction and Horror Film and Television

From my list on the history of horror and science fiction.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a historian of twentieth century Germany and the Holocaust, but I am also a voracious consumer of popular culture. How do I justify spending so much time watching and analyzing horror and science fiction film and television? Well, write a book about it, of course. The first thing I realized is that many other brilliant scholars have thought about why this imagery permeates contemporary culture, even if I asked different questions about why. I hope you are as inspired and enlightened by this book list as I was.

Brian's book list on the history of horror and science fiction

Brian E. Crim Why did Brian love this book?

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.

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…


Book cover of Blood Fury

Selene Kallan Author Of Huntress Prey

From my list on vampires with a unique, spicy bite.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a paranormal fantasy author who loves vampires. They’re my favorite supernatural creatures. I think my obsession with vamps started when I saw Underworld for the first time. I had watched Blade before and thought, “I’d like to see a movie with just as much action but also romance” and voila! Some prefer the darker, less romantic vampire stories in which the bloodsuckers are monsters, but I prefer to read and write stories where they’re more than just their hunger. So if you’re like me and like a good combination of vampire action and seduction, you will probably enjoy the books on my list. 

Selene's book list on vampires with a unique, spicy bite

Selene Kallan Why did Selene love this book?

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 ;)

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…


Book cover of The Tale of the Body Thief

Katy Foraker Author Of Memories, Lies, and Other Binds

From my list on a fresh new take on urban fantasy.

Why am I passionate about this?

I watched my first episode of Buffy: the Vampire Slayer at 12 years old, and I’ve never been the same. It introduced me to the world of urban fantasy, with monsters and magic that exist in our world, and I’ve been devouring everything and anything in the genre since then. I work as a CPA for my day job, so I think I love all things supernatural because it offers a true escape from the ordinary world. I hope you enjoy the books on this list, along with my own book’s take on urban fantasy. If you ever want to chat, you can find me on Instagram at @katyforaker. 

Katy's book list on a fresh new take on urban fantasy

Katy Foraker Why did Katy love this book?

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. 

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.…


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

Kurt Amacker Author Of Bloody October

From my list on making you a true vampire scholar.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a comic book writer, novelist, and vampire aficionado. I always want to learn the truth of a matter. I’ve moved in and out of the gothic subculture for years and spent time with members of the vampire subculture. I’ve found that most people’s understanding of vampires (and really, everything) is influenced by fiction. Even if you point out that their beliefs are only as accurate as a movie, they will still argue for them. As much as I love a good vampire movie, I want to shatter illusions and explore the myths and folklore that reflect our human experience in all of its horror and glory.

Kurt's book list on making you a true vampire scholar

Kurt Amacker Why did Kurt love this book?

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…

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.…


Book cover of The Moth Diaries

Amanda Desiree Author Of Smithy

From my list on creepy epistolary horror novels.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always admired epistolary novels—stories told in the form of diaries, letters, or other mass media. They seem so real and so much more believable than plain narratives. When dealing with fantastic subjects, like paranormal phenomena, any technique that can draw the weird back into the real world helps me become more invested as a reader. It’s a quality I’ve also tried to capture as a horror writer. Moreover, the epistolary format pairs well with unreliable narrators, often filtering stories so as to make them more ambiguous and disturbing. From the many epistolary works I’ve read over the years, here are my picks for the most compelling—and creepy.

Amanda's book list on creepy epistolary horror novels

Amanda Desiree Why did Amanda love this book?

Of all the epistolary horror stories I've yet encountered, this is the most bizarre and puzzling, thanks to a disturbed, unreliable, maddening, yet pitiable narrator.

Is the young diarist insane, or is she the only person who can see the truth of what’s happening in her sheltered boarding school? Is the new girl, Ernessa, a vampire? Is Ernessa even real at all? I couldn't tell, but I kept wondering.

I thoroughly enjoyed the mystery and the experience of trying to determine what was actually going on.

By Rachel Klein,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Writing in the form of a journal this novel tells the story of odd goings-on in a girls boarding school in the late 1960s. The unnamed narrator is a student at the school, she is intellectual and somewhat aloof and associates with an intense clique of girls. When Dora (one of the strangers) is found dead one night, a tragic accident is at first suspected. But then the rumours begin to circulate about Ernessa, the loner of the group. Is she a bad influence? A spoiled brat? Or is she a vampire?


Book cover of Blood: The Last Vampire

C.R. Fladmark Author Of The Gatekeeper's Son

From my list on urban fantasy with Japan-focused themes.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been interested in Japanese culture, mythology, and martial arts since I was a teenager. My favorite books are those where I become completely submerged, losing myself in the story and forgetting where the main character ends and I begin. Stories that focus on an ordinary person who gets pulled into another world while remaining firmly planted in their current world. Stories where the character has to learn new skills or discover special talents; a connection to the past or to another realm; or becomes part of some mysterious group operating outside of society. When I couldn’t find enough books that fulfilled my hunger for this specific genre, I decided to write some myself!

C.R.'s book list on urban fantasy with Japan-focused themes

C.R. Fladmark Why did C.R. love this book?

When I watched Blood: The Last Vampire, a Japanese horror film based on manga by Mamoru Oshii, I was hooked. I discovered Saya, and manga. Saya is a fierce and beautiful vampire killer who wears a modest Japanese school uniform while hunting. The vampires mostly look like normal people. Some are scared and run, others fight back. Either way, they die. I liked the contradicting image of the innocent-looking schoolgirl who is a ferocious killer, but the story was also thought-provoking. When Saya makes a mistake and kills an innocent person, it showed a dilemma most ‘hero’ stories don’t address. Are we either completely good or always evil? Saya is the inspiration for Shoko, the lead character in my novels, and she struggles with this. Can you serve the gods and also be a killer?

By Mamoru Oshii, Camellia Nieh (translator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

At Yokota Base in Japan, American soldiers stand guard at the brink of the Vietnam War. Although they fear the enemy outside their base, an even more dangerous enemy waits within - bloodthirsty vampires walk among them. Appearing human, the beasts lurk in secret among the soldiers, waiting for the moment to attack. Saya, a fierce and beautiful vampire hunter, is sent to lead a team of undercover agents whose mission is to decide who is human and who is not, and wipe out the vampires before they can wipe out the base. But even though Saya is a powerful…


Book cover of The Incurables

Avily Jerome Author Of The Breeding

From my list on urban fantasy books to explore if magic were real and in the world.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love urban fantasy and all the associated genres, like paranormal and horror. I love the question of “what if” and exploring how things would work if certain rules of magic or the supernatural were real. I love the variety and scope of world building that can be done parallel to and within our world through urban fantasy. That “what if” question is at the center of my own writing, and especially when I read non-fiction on topics like parallel universes and aliens and demons, I get so much inspiration for stories and worlds and what might be happening just beyond our view. 

Avily's book list on urban fantasy books to explore if magic were real and in the world

Avily Jerome Why did Avily love this book?

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. 

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…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in vampires, folklore, and the Age of Enlightenment?

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