Have you read The Dracula Book? Remember when all the vampire movies, books, and shows mimicked Dracula? Does this make Dracula the all time favorite? It is, after all, the main vampire book by which we rate all other vampire books.
What? You have not read Dracula?? How can one possibly appreciate the fabulous culture of vampires created by Anne Rice in the The Vampire Chronicles or Stephen King's Salem’s Lot? Or Charlaine Harris' Sookie books? Or Kelley Armstrong’s take on the species?
Oh yes, by all accounts, well almost all accounts, vampires are a separate species. Of course there is the odd hypothesis that vampirism is acquired from a virus transmitted at the time of a bite from said vampires.
But think of a time when Dracula, the original vampire, was the only Vampire known intimately. Hollywood did Dracula to death. Verbatim. They continue with this take on Vampires today in Hollywood with “Van Helsing” to mention one relatively recent take on the vamp we all love to hate or hate to love as the case may be.
The first vampire who made me want to sympathize, until he donned his monster overbite, was “Fright Night”, a silly B movie that came out when I was a teenager. Now, Chris Sarandon made a frightfully sympathetic vampire; “Fright Night”, to me, was a welcome yarn which deviated at least a little from Bram Stoker’s Vampires, even if it was a bit low budget. “Salem’s Lot” by Stephen King, was another unique take on vampires and came out around the same time as “Fright Night“.
What’s the common thread here. What is the one measure of a vamp book or movie that is uniform. You got it. Bram Stoker‘s, “Dracula”, based on a legendary leach of the people. I never really thought about it before, but based on the fact that I regularly use the “Dracula Book” as a measure of 1-10 like/dislike a book or movie I read, I have to say its my favorite. It’s the foundation upon which all other vampire books are read and judged. If you love the blood suckers of Laurell K. Hamilton, Charlaine Harris, Kelley Armstrong and all the other contemporaries… you owe it to yourself to read the original. Only after reading Stoker’s classic masterpiece, the Dracula Book, can you sufficiently appreciate the superb cultural and historical references of Anne Rice’s vampires or the powerful magic’s of Laurell K. Hamilton’s vamps or the classic presentation in Stephen King’s, “Salem’s Lot”.
Whether you like your vampires steamy or monstrous… haughty and pompous… or just plain gloomy and sad, then do yourself a favor and pump up your bibliography. Give a read to the great-grandfather of all vampire books: Bram Stokers “Dracula” and see where it all began.
"There are far worse things awaiting man than death." -- Dracula, Count Dracula