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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, 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;The Classic 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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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, 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;The Classic 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.

30 review for Blood Thirst: 100 Years of Vampire Fiction

  1. 5 out of 5

    Mir

    You know what I would include if I were editing a collection called "100 Years of Vampire Fiction"?! The freakin' publication dates of the stories, that's what. I think I may have read this years ago, when I was more into vampire fiction. I remember almost all the stories, and the ones I don't recall are by authors I tend to not like, so I may have skipped them. This collection is organized into six categories. The Classic Adventure Tale -"The story of Chugoro" from Kwaidan via Lafcadio Hearn (c.19 You know what I would include if I were editing a collection called "100 Years of Vampire Fiction"?! The freakin' publication dates of the stories, that's what. I think I may have read this years ago, when I was more into vampire fiction. I remember almost all the stories, and the ones I don't recall are by authors I tend to not like, so I may have skipped them. This collection is organized into six categories. The Classic Adventure Tale -"The story of Chugoro" from Kwaidan via Lafcadio Hearn (c.1900). A young servant is enamored of a lovely aquatic vampire. -M.R. James constructs a very traditional yet effective ghost-like vampire story about foreigner who doesn't heed local warnings about the crypt of an evil figure of local history. -I found the frame narrative of the friends dining on the tower more intriguing than the actual, rather sad, vampire story in"For the Blood is the Life" by F. Marion Crawford, which is about an unfortunate servant girl who is murdered and buried and becomes a vampire. -"Drifting Snow" I read many years ago, before I had otherwise heard of August Derleth. Solid, although I am always slightly annoyed by stories in which the plot hinges on characters either refusing to give warnings or refusing to heed them. -I read this except from 'Salem's Lot to see if I wanted to read the novel. I don't. I think I even tried it once before. The Psychological Vampire -Mary Wilkins-Freeman's effective "Luella Miller" is in SO MANY anthologies. I assume you've read it somewhere and I don't need to talk about it. -"The Transfer" is an odd, creepy story that was quite different from most of the Algernon Blackwood I've read. Except I guess having an evil plot of ground is kind of a Blackwood thing. -I think Leiber's "Girl with the Hungry Eyes" was made into an episode of Night Gallery or some such program. A mysterious model makes an unsuccessful photographer's career, but at what cost? -"Torch Song" by John Cheever is ambiguously vampiric. A man and woman, unrelated, move from Ohio to NY where they become friends. He narrates; she has a series of lovers who always die or become ill or fail somehow, usually after abusing her. It's never clear what, if anything, she does to them of if she gets sustenance or this is purely psychological. -This excerpt from Bellefleur must come later in the book as I read the first third or so and don't recall it. Although it was very extensive book with many characters so maybe I forgot. I don't remember anything overtly supernatural in the part I read (which was a disappointment to me). The Science Fiction Vampire "Shambleau" is a fairly famous sexual-danger story by C.L. Moore. Encountered this one in a number of collections. I read a little of the excerpt from Whitley Strieber's The Hunger. I don't think his prose interests me. --The excerpt from I Am Legend Richard Matheson I skipped, as I plan to read the novel at some point. --"Vanishing breed" by Leslie Roy Carter describes a generational clash between a "traditional" long-cape-wearing, flying as a bat through the window vampire and one more adapted to modern life. -- I'm pretty sure I read a different part of Unicorn Tapestry by Suzy McKee Charnas long, long ago and it seemed obvious that he really was a vampire. Here the author seems to be keeping the reader in doubt, but maybe that's only the perspective of the POV character, a psychiatrist. The discussions felt kind of dated, or maybe I'm just not interested in psychiatry, I dunno. I think I've only liked Charnas' fiction for younger readers. --"A Child of Darkness" by Susan Casper is mostly interesting for its structure. It opens with the protagonist, Daria, in jail. What's she done? In flashbacks we learn about earlier problems, her treatment by doctors and psychiatrists. Is she a vampire or merely ill? The Non-Human Vampire -Hanns Heinz Ewers' "The Spider" is unusual. Thread imagery aside, she is not exactly spider-like. More like a mesmerist? Don't forget that when mesmerism first came into vogue people believed that it was done by some invisible but physical mechanism, threads of magnetic fluid or something of that nature. I suspect that's what Ewers had in mind. -You gotta be careful how you fling that Church Latin around or things that Negotium perambulans will come get you! Oh wait, that wasn't E.F. Benson's main point. The point was... um, don't be blasphemous, I guess. Well, that's an old-fashioned horror story for you. -"The stainless steel leech" is the particular story that led me to this collection, because I was looking in the library catalog for Roger Zelazny (of whom they have tragically little!). It is short and not one of his best but still stands out in terms of originality and emotional impact. Zelazny, wow! -"Bite-me-not, or, Fleur de feu," or as I call it, "Read-me-not, or, fuck that prose is purple." Man, I don't know what exactly it is but me and Tanith Lee are just oil and water. Her blurbs often sound great, and many of my friends write reviews that make her books sound appealing, and then I pick one up and read a few pages and go, "Ugh" and am hung up forever never moving on to the next story in the collection. And not just in case like this where I am distracted by how the entire concept makes no sense, whatever, it's surrealism or mythopoesis or some such, but also I just don't care, and also that pretty much every trope she employed here is one I hate. We have the girl whose beauty is entirely unnoticed until she is dressed up fancy, and then she falls in love with the vampire on first sight because he is So Beautiful (they never speak), and she kills a bunch of guards so he can escape but never mind the redshirts, and she tries to Sacrifice herself for Love, and oh, that rape that was mentioned only in passing. The Comic Vampire : Blood / Frederic Brown -- Futuristic flash-fiction. Mildly funny? Blood brother / Charles Beaumont -- A vampire going to a shrink! Ha! Not actually funny, unless you think talking therapy is inherently silly. The twist was amusing. -Apparently "Count Dracula" is an inept idiot. Kind of like Woody Allen here seems to be an inept comedian. Sigh, eye-roll. The Heroic Vampire <--Not sure about the choice of "heroic" here. I've read much more 'heroic' vampires than an of these characters. --I read a bit of Yarbro here and there in my middle school supernatural phase and wasn't into them, but the MC at least fits the category more or less. -Hey, "Good Kids"! You are the story I read once in middle school and never came across again. Edward Bryant pits a traditional Dracula-type against a overnight care home of tweens. Things aren't as unequal as one might expect. --Anne Rice's "Master of Rampling Gate" is another that seems to get anthologized pretty often. -I was a tad surprised to see Laura Anne Gilman in this collection. She is more chronological recent and less classic than the rest of the authors. Nothing against her, I'd just never include her on a list of important stories of any kind. This was more Literary than I'd seen her being before, but not impressive.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Lynn

    I am still reading the stories but had to stop and post this comment about the author Tanif Lee: Her short story was: Bite-Me-Not or, Fleur De Feu. I couldn't believe how fabulous of a writer she is Fantasy/SyFy. You should read this short story and see what you think about her writing. Check out all the ratings of her books on Goodreads - you'll be surprised. Blood Thirst; 100 Years of Vampire Fiction. Which at first I thought would be simply vampire stories, but it turns out the author actually I am still reading the stories but had to stop and post this comment about the author Tanif Lee: Her short story was: Bite-Me-Not or, Fleur De Feu. I couldn't believe how fabulous of a writer she is Fantasy/SyFy. You should read this short story and see what you think about her writing. Check out all the ratings of her books on Goodreads - you'll be surprised. Blood Thirst; 100 Years of Vampire Fiction. Which at first I thought would be simply vampire stories, but it turns out the author actually conducted detailed research on the authors, their stories, then chose the stories from his research. Before each story he wrote brief overview of the author, their publications/awards and why he chose this particular story. The he categorized the stories into: The Classic Adventure Tale; The Psychological Vampire; The Comic Vampire; The Non-Human Vampire; The Heroic Vampire etc.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Kathryn McCary

    27 stories, of which more than a third are well worth reading. That makes this an excellent anthology in the ghost/horror genre. The vampires here are not all traditional--in fact, the traditional vampire stories are the least interesting (OK, actually, the humorous vampire stories are the least interesting for me--I don't have that kind of sense of humor). But the psychological vampire stories, particularly John Cheever's "Torch Song" (a top-ten-all-time-favorite-short-story for me)and Fritz Lei 27 stories, of which more than a third are well worth reading. That makes this an excellent anthology in the ghost/horror genre. The vampires here are not all traditional--in fact, the traditional vampire stories are the least interesting (OK, actually, the humorous vampire stories are the least interesting for me--I don't have that kind of sense of humor). But the psychological vampire stories, particularly John Cheever's "Torch Song" (a top-ten-all-time-favorite-short-story for me)and Fritz Leiber's "The Girl With the Hungry Eyes," and a couple of the stories Wolf classes as Science Fiction Vampires ("Unicorn Tapestry" by Suzy McKee Charnas, and "A Child of Darkness" by Susan Casper), along with Edward Bryant's "Good Kids" and Laura Anne Gilman's "Exposure," are more than worth the price of admission.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Angela Maher

    A really good collection of vampire fiction, with a high variety of authors and styles. Definitely a book worth sinking your fangs into!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Florbela

    Great book! Although I'm not a short stories fan. My favourites stories were "The Spider", "Blood Brother" and "Count Dracula". Great book! Although I'm not a short stories fan. My favourites stories were "The Spider", "Blood Brother" and "Count Dracula".

  6. 5 out of 5

    Brian Sammons

    If you're into vampires at all, then this book is a must have. If you're into vampires at all, then this book is a must have.

  7. 5 out of 5

    A. Shaskan

    From the terrible cover art to the poorly written introduction to the string of uninspired stories, Blood Thirst is an unusually terrible anthology, even for a book of vampire stories. 5s - o 4s - "Count Magnus," M.R. James; "Negotium Perambulans," E.F. Benson 3s - 5 stories 2s - 9 stories 1s - 7 stories, including the worst vampire story I have ever read, or could even imagine, "Blood" by Fredric Brown. Add to this mediocre showing several excerpts from novels, which are unratable on this scale and From the terrible cover art to the poorly written introduction to the string of uninspired stories, Blood Thirst is an unusually terrible anthology, even for a book of vampire stories. 5s - o 4s - "Count Magnus," M.R. James; "Negotium Perambulans," E.F. Benson 3s - 5 stories 2s - 9 stories 1s - 7 stories, including the worst vampire story I have ever read, or could even imagine, "Blood" by Fredric Brown. Add to this mediocre showing several excerpts from novels, which are unratable on this scale and intrinsically unsatisfying, and you have one godawful collection. How was this published by Oxford? Did anyone there actually read any of it?

  8. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    Currently enjoying the heck out of this short story anthology! I greatly enjoy reading about authors and who influenced them, who they were buds with, who they hated. It's awesome. Favorite stories: Count Magnus by M.R. James: for taking place in Sweden. Vampire in Sweden!! For the Blood is the Life by F. Marion Crawford: for being about gypsies, ghosts, and vampires simultaneously! The Drifting Snow by August Derleth: for being buds with HP Lovecraft and having the most obvious ready-for-the-movie- Currently enjoying the heck out of this short story anthology! I greatly enjoy reading about authors and who influenced them, who they were buds with, who they hated. It's awesome. Favorite stories: Count Magnus by M.R. James: for taking place in Sweden. Vampire in Sweden!! For the Blood is the Life by F. Marion Crawford: for being about gypsies, ghosts, and vampires simultaneously! The Drifting Snow by August Derleth: for being buds with HP Lovecraft and having the most obvious ready-for-the-movie-version for this kick ass short story! Think Gosford Park plus vampires. It's that awesome. Then the middle of the book got very uninteresting. Guess I'm not a fan of fear of women, psychological vampire fiction. Comedic/non-human vampires also seemed like filler. Heroic vampires returns the awesome! The Master of Rampling Gate was an Anne Rice short story I'd never read. Nothing astonishing; typical Rice plot and heroine. Good Kids by Edward Bryant was fascinating! This would have made a good X-Files, Fear Itself, or Warehouse 13 episode. The final story, Exposure by Laura Anne Gilman, was ok. I would have ended on a stronger note, but alas.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Yasmin

    I didn't actually finish this book but I read the majority of it and claim completion therefore. There weren't too many good vampire stories in this collection, that may explain why I didn't read all of it. Which means of course I also didn't read the Ann Rice collection-or any part of it-not because I dismiss her as a writer, but I imagine her stuff came towards the end and as I've given up on this book then she will have to come later on I guess. The gothic/vampire stories that I liked were do I didn't actually finish this book but I read the majority of it and claim completion therefore. There weren't too many good vampire stories in this collection, that may explain why I didn't read all of it. Which means of course I also didn't read the Ann Rice collection-or any part of it-not because I dismiss her as a writer, but I imagine her stuff came towards the end and as I've given up on this book then she will have to come later on I guess. The gothic/vampire stories that I liked were done by writers quite some time back. What drove people and their fears, nightmares, supernatural has changed I suppose, not obviously, but I suppose in the way modern people relate to these things now. I don't know if it is technology, science, atheists or what exactly that has altered the way in which we look at the gloomy/maudlin side of our minds, our souls or whatever you want to call it that dregs up the supernatural/vampires, etc.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Lamprini

    ΤΕΛΕΙΟ! ΑΠΟ ΤΙΣ ΚΑΛΥΤΕΡΕΣ ΙΣΤΟΡΙΕΣ ΤΟΥ ΦΑΝΤΑΣΤΙΚΟΥ ΚΑΙ ΤΩΝ ΒΑΜΠΙΡ.ΠΑΡ'ΟΛΑ ΑΥΤΑ ΑΠΟ ΤΙΣ ΠΙΟ ΓΝΩΣΤΕΣ ΚΑΙ ΕΥΚΟΛΟ ΝΑ ΒΡΕΙΣ. ΔΕΝ ΘΑ ΕΛΕΓΑ ΟΜΩΣ ΟΤΙ ΕΙΝΑΙ ΑΠΟ ΤΙΣ ΠΙΟ ΑΤΜΟΣΦΑΙΡΙΚΕΣ.ΠΑΡΑΜΕΝΕΙ ΟΜΩΣ ΑΠΟ ΤΑ ΠΟΛΥ ΚΑΛΑ!!!! ΤΕΛΕΙΟ! ΑΠΟ ΤΙΣ ΚΑΛΥΤΕΡΕΣ ΙΣΤΟΡΙΕΣ ΤΟΥ ΦΑΝΤΑΣΤΙΚΟΥ ΚΑΙ ΤΩΝ ΒΑΜΠΙΡ.ΠΑΡ'ΟΛΑ ΑΥΤΑ ΑΠΟ ΤΙΣ ΠΙΟ ΓΝΩΣΤΕΣ ΚΑΙ ΕΥΚΟΛΟ ΝΑ ΒΡΕΙΣ. ΔΕΝ ΘΑ ΕΛΕΓΑ ΟΜΩΣ ΟΤΙ ΕΙΝΑΙ ΑΠΟ ΤΙΣ ΠΙΟ ΑΤΜΟΣΦΑΙΡΙΚΕΣ.ΠΑΡΑΜΕΝΕΙ ΟΜΩΣ ΑΠΟ ΤΑ ΠΟΛΥ ΚΑΛΑ!!!!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    Interesting anthology with categories such as classic adventure vampire story, science fiction, humor. Most were good, some were very dated but still interesting.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Booklover

    Like the story by John Cheever about the psychological vampire.

  13. 4 out of 5

    D

    OH BOY!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Levi Bergsma

  15. 5 out of 5

    Arshpreet

  16. 5 out of 5

    Sukh Sran

  17. 4 out of 5

    Isla

  18. 4 out of 5

    Samantha

  19. 5 out of 5

    srija

  20. 5 out of 5

    Benjamin

  21. 5 out of 5

    May Agana

  22. 5 out of 5

    Zachary Harless

  23. 5 out of 5

    Kristin Hrudka

  24. 4 out of 5

    DeCarabas

  25. 4 out of 5

    Angela Grace

  26. 4 out of 5

    Lisa dawn cheasty edmunds

  27. 4 out of 5

    Mizuki

  28. 4 out of 5

    Rudy

  29. 4 out of 5

    Latasha New

  30. 4 out of 5

    Douglas Reedy

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