My Top 5 Vampire Books

Goat Leader

Hey kids!

We’re in the middle of winter in the UK – that truly delicious and crispy time of year when the days are dark and cold. There’s no season greater. I love nothing more than opening my curtains to find the sun is already setting! So, what better time than the dark months to talk about my favourite vampire books?

Without further ado, here are my Top 5…

5. KETCHUP ON EVERYTHING – by Nathan Robinson

“For the past twenty years, Elliott Tather has been living a life of mourning that almost destroyed him. After losing everything he held dear and bound by a consuming sorrow, Tather travels the country attempting to fix a wrong that haunts his every waking and dreaming moment. But one evening after pulling into a roadside diner to settle down with a simple cup of coffee, the door opens and everything changes.” 

I’m a long-time Nathan Robinson fan and have never been disappointed reading one of his books – only delighted! This is no exception, but it is a little sad. Perfect winter reading, but make sure you have a hot cup of something to wash down the lump that’s bound to rise in your throat.

4. N0S4R2 – by Joe Hill

“Victoria McQueen has a secret gift for finding things: a misplaced bracelet, a missing photograph, answers to unanswerable questions. On her Raleigh Tuff Burner bike, she makes her way to a rickety covered bridge that, within moments, takes her wherever she needs to go, whether it’s across Massachusetts or across the country.

Charles Talent Manx has a way with children. He likes to take them for rides in his 1938 Rolls-Royce Wraith with the NOS4A2 vanity plate. With his old car, he can slip right out of the everyday world, and onto the hidden roads that transport them to an astonishing – and terrifying – playground of amusements he calls “Christmasland.”

Then, one day, Vic goes looking for trouble—and finds Manx. That was a lifetime ago. Now Vic, the only kid to ever escape Manx’s unmitigated evil, is all grown up and desperate to forget. But Charlie Manx never stopped thinking about Victoria McQueen. He’s on the road again and he’s picked up a new passenger: Vic’s own son.”

If there’s a perfect Christmas horror novel, it’s this. I love Joe Hill – he writes a little like his dad (naturally), but with much more fantasy infused in the horror. This story is expansive but never felt too long for me. The villain, the perversion of Christmas, the toothy kids – ah! It’s so good!

3. KING CARRION – by Rich Hawkins

“In a town in southern England, people are going missing. Mason, a homeless ex-con, arrives in the town to beg his wife for a second chance and atone for past mistakes. A vampire god once worshipped by ancient Britons has awoken from hibernation and plans to turn Great Britain into a vampire isle. But first, people of the town must be converted, and the gospel spread. Within a week, the town is quarantined by the military, and the nights belong to the undead. There will be no escape for the survivors.”

If you follow me on social media, you’ve probably seen me raving about this book. I read this after a spell of reading several vampire novels in which the vampires just weren’t scary. Well… these vampires are scary as s***. This is one of those books that I never stop talking about because it sincerely upsets me that everyone hasn’t had the pleasure of reading it.

2. SALEM’S LOT – by Stephen King

“Thousands of miles away from the small township of ‘Salem’s Lot, two terrified people, a man and a boy, still share the secrets of those clapboard houses and tree-lined streets. They must return to ‘Salem’s Lot for a final confrontation with the unspeakable evil that lives on in the town.”

You didn’t think I’d have a vampire list without Salem’s Lot included, did you? I listened to the audiobook late at night, whilst cleaning my house. I gotta say, any book that can strike fear into my soulless heart while I’m cleaning out the fridge is definitely worthy of a high rank in a “favourites of all time” list. The atmosphere is just so heavy and creepy, it gave me chills.

1ST PLACE – I AM LEGEND – by Richard Matheson

“Robert Neville is the last living man on Earth… but he is not alone. Every other man, woman and child on the planet has become a vampire, and they are hungry for Neville’s blood. By day he is the hunter, stalking the undead through the ruins of civilisation. By night, he barricades himself in his home and prays for the dawn. How long can one man survive like this?”

This book is so special to me, possibly my favourite book of all time.

I was in an independent bookshop with my mum, browsing Anne Rice books because I was a teenager with birthday money to spend, when she drifted over with I Am Legend in her hands.

“You should get this,” she said. “You’ll love it.” And so I bought it, and read it as soon as I got home, and then went downstairs and bored her to death talking about it. She probably regretted suggesting it to me.

That scene when Robert realises his watch has stopped… oh my gosh. I think I actually started sweating whilst reading that part. I Am Legend is a work of art that was way ahead of its time, and nothing in the genre has come close.

So, riddle me this… why the f*** can’t they just make a decent adaptation of it? There are three films that I know of, and not that they don’t each have their merits, but it’s baffling to me that screenwriters/producers keep swapping the best elements of the book out with lesser ideas. Every time someone brings up the most recent adaptation, my blood starts bubbling a little bit. Willy McSlappy gave an amazing performance but those stupid CGI zombie people were just… not… they… they were not the terrifying presence that I loved in the book.

Anyway, I can’t recommend it enough.

Happy Cold Dark Days Season, everyone!

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