Friday, 9 March 2012

Books for Friday (BFF)- Vampires are everywhere

Last night I attended my daughter's middle school production of Dracula. I was pleasantly surprised at the skill level of the young actors and dancers and the multi-media approach to modernising this ancient tale. In the program, the director encouraged us to read the classic by Bram Stoker. I have started it but never finished so it is on my list of books to read so I can see the connections between it and the modern day proliferation of vampire stories.

The first vampire book I ever read was for my book club, "The Historian" by Elizabeth Kostova. A long, lush book filled with historical detail (in my mind, way too much detail), where a young woman is drawn into the same quest as her father before her- to find Vlad the Impaler. The novel travels to Budapest, Istanbul and the depths of Eastern Europe, blending fact, fantasy and history. Although I thought much of the novel could have been edited out, the sense of foreboding that permeated the novel had me only reading it during daylight, when I read at night I had awful dreams. Our book club had mixed reviews- some loved it- I only rated it two stars on my Goodreads account.

Having a pre-teen daughter I was drawn into the Twilight series as I like to read before she does to determine appropriateness. My enjoyment of these novels centred more around bonding with my daughter and we loved watching the movies together.

Last summer I stumbled upon the "Blue Bloods" series by Melissa de la Cruz and read several back to back. Yet another YA vampire series but I loved that the rich New York city blue bloods, were blood-sucking vampires. A fast, escapism read, perfect for the beach.

I am curious about the fascination so many have with vampires. Is it their supernatural strength, their immortality that draws us, or the thrill of skirting fear by reading about such evil, similar to the draw of roller coasters and other thrill-inducing activities? My daughter who is actually quite a timid personaility is captivated by them.

The other vampire guilty pleasure I've indulged in is the TV series, "Vampire Diaries". I know what the appeal of these vampires is- young and sexy, pure soap opera. But a 43 minute episode is a great way to keep me on the treadmill!

Are you a vampire lover or a would-be-vampire slayer? Any other series out there you would recommend?


  1. I re-read Dracula recently and loved the imagery. I do strongly recommend Anne Rice's vampire series. They can be read individually and out of sequence is enjoyable although beginning with Lestat, Interview with a Vampire.

    As far as lover or slayer, I am on the fence. The aspect of being able to act as an observer for centuries appeals to my inner nerd. Then again the hunting appeals to some basic instinct to hunt. Odd, the prey hunting the predator?

    Happy reading!


  2. I keep thinking I need to read Anne Rice- how did she go from Vampire writer to the Jesus series? Have you seen the movie? We tried to listen to the audio book when we moved west years ago but it was too noisy in the old VW.

    Living for centuries-I was envious of how much they could learn! Imagine.

  3. I do enjoy reading fantasy of all kind, which brings me to vampire stories quite often. Did you know that there was a whole website on Vampire Novels!
    Worth looking through and finding a good one!