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Blood Thirst: 100 Years of Vampire Fiction [Hardcover]

Leonard Wolf
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Sept. 1 1997
In the past hundred years, since the publication of Bram Stoker's infamous book, no literary figure has enjoyed a more horrific resiliency than Count Dracula. In film, television, novels, and short stories, he keeps coming back to life, fed by the vital imaginative energies of a world-wide audience that cannot seem to resist his abominable charms. Aristocratic and urbane, deeply erotic and profoundly evil, Dracula's bloodsucking savagery has cast a mesmerizing fascination not only over his victims but over his readers as well. And, as Leonard Wolf suggests, "Vampire fiction...exerts an amazing pull on readers for a reason that we may find disturbing. The blood exchange--the taking of blood by the vampire from his or her victim is, all by itself, felt to be a singularly symbolic event. Symbolic and attractive!" Now, in Blood Thirst: One Hundred Years of Vampire Fiction, Leonard Wolf brings together thirty tales in which vampires of all varieties make their ghastly presence felt--male and female, human and non-human, humorous and heroic--all of them kin to the dreadful bat. From Lafcadio Hearn, Mary E. Wilkins-Freeman, Edith Wharton, August Derleth, and Ray Bradbury to such contemporary masters as Anne Rice, Stephen King, Joyce Carol Oates, John Cheever, and Woody Allen, and in settings as diverse as rural New England and outer space, this collection offers readers a dazzling compendium of vampire stories. Wolf organizes the collection into six categories--TheClassic Adventure Tale, The Psychic Vampire, The Science Fiction Vampire, The Non-Human Vampire, The Comic Vampire, and The Heroic Vampire--which allows readers to see the many guises Dracula's descendants have assumed and the many ways they can be interpreted. In his penetrating introduction, Wolf argues that such an arrangement enables us to see the evolution of the vampire from an unmitigated evil to a creature we are more likely to identify with. "In a century in which God and Satan have become increasingly irrelevant in the popular arts, there has been an accompanying secularization of the vampire idea. And, as the stories in Blood Thirst will show, sympathy for the vampire has grown as we have become increasingly interested in the workings of the mind." Indeed, the vampire's ability to change over time, to draw into itself such a richness of symbolic meanings, to conjure itself into so many diabolical shapes, may account for the enduring appeal of the literature written about it.Here, then, is a definitive collection for aficionados and novices alike, and whether readers find the vampires who inhabit these pages sympathetic or horrific, psychologically intriguing or spiritually repellent, morbidly seductive or comically absurd, Blood Thirst gives us all something to sink our teeth into.

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From Library Journal

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the publication of Bram Stoker's Dracula. The infamous count is probably the best-known nosferatu, but many tales centering on the undead have been written. Editor Wolf (Dracula: The Connoisseur's Guide, Broadway, 1997), who has written extensively about Dracula, has assembled a collection of short stories and novel excerpts that show the variety of vampire villains and even heroes that populate the genre. Novel excerpts include Stephen King's Salem's Lot and Richard Matheson's I Am Legend. Some of the short stories, such as F. Marion Crawford's "For the Blood Is the Life," have been anthologized in several collections, but others, such as Leslie Roy Carter's "Vanishing Breed," are more difficult to find. Wolf has put together an interesting mix of vampire tales that would serve as an excellent introduction to the literature. Recommended for public library and supernatural collections.?Patricia Altner, Information Seekers, Bowie, Md.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews

A roundup of over two dozen vampire tales illustrating the evolution of the genre since Bram Stoker, gathered by Wolf, our tireless annotator of terrorlit (Dracula, p. 372, etc.). What, Wolf asks, makes vampires so attractive today? He notes in his cogent Introduction that vampire tales draw from the gruesome in mainstream horror, the pulsing eroticism of bodice rippers, the supernatural in sword-and-sorcery. But blood is the primary metaphor, Wolf says, drawing on folk knowledge and traditions from Cain and Abel to Christ and transubstantiation, while the modern blood exchange brings on a kind of sexual dream- bliss beyond the facts of intercourse. Illustrating the classic adventure tale is Wolf's exciting excerpt from Stephen King's only vampire novel, Salem's Lot (1975), with good guy Mark versus a whole townful of bloodsuckers. Mary E. Wilkins-Freeman's ``Luella Miller'' draws the ``psychological vampire'' as a thief of energy rather than a blood drinker. The science-fiction vampire in C.L. Moore's ``Shambleau'' indulges in monstrous, slimy couplings, while the immortal woman in the excerpt from Whitley Streiber's erotically powerful ``The Hunger'' blesses her victims with lives that last for 200 years. The nonhuman vampire in Hanns Heinz Ewers's ``The Spider,'' a beautiful woman in a window, hypnotizes her victims into the supreme delight of suicide (she is, literally, a spider). The heroic vampire in Anne Rice's ``The Master of Rampling Gate'' remains invisible except to the heroine. Also on hand: Joyce Carol Oates, John Cheever, and E.F. Benson. And don't miss Woody Allen's ``Count Dracula.'' A bedtime book with a bite to it. -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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A long time ago there lived, in the Koishikawa quarter of Yedo, a batamoto named Suzuki, whose yashiki was situated on the bank of the Yedogawa, not far from the bridge called Naka-no-hashi. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A must for horror/vampire fans April 3 2000
Format:Hardcover
This novel brings together works of so many amazing talented writers: Stephen King, Richard Matheson, Anne Rice, Tanith Lee, Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, Algernon Blackwood, Joyce Carol Oates...just to name a few! Be on the lookout for "Count Dracula" by Woody Allen; whether you love him or hate him, this short story is a hoot!

This one lets you sink your teeth into some quick, sometimes chilling, sometimes humorous, sometimes just plain weird vampire stories. It will also introduce you to some incredible authors, and I bet you'll race to buy more of their works. Wolf breaks down this collection into categories: The Classic Adventure Tale; The Psychological Vampire; The Science Fiction Vampire; The Non-Human Vampire; The Comic Vampire; and The Heroic Vampire. Horror and vampire fans will recognize some of these stories (King's is an excerpt of SALEM'S LOT) from other novels or collections. But this one is a tasty treat (yes, all puns intended) that I found delightful!
Was this review helpful to you?
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Collection of Stories July 15 1998
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
I great collection of modern vampire stories. Several of the stories are actually chapters from longer novels, which only entices the reader to read those novels too. Wonderful read, but with the lights on!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must for horror/vampire fans April 3 2000
By mellion108 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This novel brings together works of so many amazing talented writers: Stephen King, Richard Matheson, Anne Rice, Tanith Lee, Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, Algernon Blackwood, Joyce Carol Oates...just to name a few! Be on the lookout for "Count Dracula" by Woody Allen; whether you love him or hate him, this short story is a hoot!

This one lets you sink your teeth into some quick, sometimes chilling, sometimes humorous, sometimes just plain weird vampire stories. It will also introduce you to some incredible authors, and I bet you'll race to buy more of their works. Wolf breaks down this collection into categories: The Classic Adventure Tale; The Psychological Vampire; The Science Fiction Vampire; The Non-Human Vampire; The Comic Vampire; and The Heroic Vampire. Horror and vampire fans will recognize some of these stories (King's is an excerpt of SALEM'S LOT) from other novels or collections. But this one is a tasty treat (yes, all puns intended) that I found delightful!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best vampire compilation of all time March 22 2008
By Staci - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I have a problem. I love vampire short stories. I'm not gothic or even (overtly) weird, but I am well on my way to having read every scrap of vamp short fiction ever written. So profit from my mis-spent youth, and buy this collection because it is by far the best of the best of what this genre has to offer.

There literally is something here to suit every taste. Other reviewers have been kind enough to list individual stories and how the various pieces are organized, so I will not repeat their work. Suffice it to say, even authors you think you know will surprise you.

I read Salem's Lot (the novel) and was not the least bit scared or even impressed, yet Stephen King's short story based on the same novel gave me chills and had me sleeping with the covers over my head. Tanith Lee delivers my favorite story in the anthology with a poignancy and beauty uncommon to the genre, and Anne Rice writes a superb gothic romance with more quality than even her earlier works.

More than the novel, the short story allows the reader of vampire fiction an undiluted taste of each author's true talent that leaves you more scared, more satiated, infected and thirsty for more.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for the Vampire within Jan. 25 2007
By Michael Valdivielso - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Thirty tales of vampire fiction, from the classical blood sucker to science fiction monster to the comic relief. From such great authors as Anne Rice and Stephen King, to interesting choices such as Woody Allen and Hanns Heinz Ewers, and authors I love such as Tanith Lee and Richard Matheson (who are also great), we get a ton of vampire literature. If there is a style of vampire story you like this is the book to get and the best part is if you discover a new author who pushes your buttons you can go find their works. And if they don't push your button you have 29 other stories to make you happy.

Read! Feast! Enjoy!
7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Collection of Stories July 15 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I great collection of modern vampire stories. Several of the stories are actually chapters from longer novels, which only entices the reader to read those novels too. Wonderful read, but with the lights on!
5.0 out of 5 stars this was a gift April 4 2012
By lisa - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
my brother wanted this so much. i received it in perfect condition. i LOVE AMAZON!! we both love vampire and ghost stories.
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