VAMPIRES: Two Centuries of Great Vampire Stories by Alan--Ed. Ryan

VAMPIRES: Two Centuries of Great Vampire Stories

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The Count himself would be well pleased with these 33 vampire tales and novel excerpts selected by horror anthologist/novelist Ryan (Dead White). Unfortunately, Ryan's slipshod introduction (he glosses over the primary erotic appeal of the vampire) fails to do justice to the wealth of vampiria that follows; he does, however, usher in each piece with a useful note on its author. His choices run chronologically, beginning with Lord Byron's notorious (and dull) ""Fragment"" of a vampire novel (1816) and ending with Tanith Lee's poetically intense ""Bite-Me-Not"" (1984). In between, he offers work by the best, and the most important, authors in the subgenre, generally using less well-known writings, and featuring a generous sprinkling from contempory authors (including himself, in an eerie tale linking vampirism and Christianity). Along the way, we are treated to stories by such vampirologists as Brain Stoker, M.R. James, Fritz Leiber, Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, and Ramsey Campbell, and excerpts from such classic novels as Rymer's Varney the Vampire and Charnas' The Vampire Tapestry, with only a few too familiar and too fat nuggets (Le Fanu's Carmilla, for example) used as padding. An idiosyncratic list of recommended vampire books and films (Ryan manages to leave off the juiciest vampire film of all, 1986's Fright Night) appends the collection. By dint of its length (61 8 p.) and high-caliber content the definitive vampire compilation.

Pub Date: June 19th, 1987
Publisher: Doubleday