I have to admit that I had given up on the world of vampire literature. Thanks to a suburban housewife in America, vampires had become a race of sulking, bloodless, pedophiles who glittered in the sun like cheap dime store jewellery.
In the sun??
Growing up on a steady diet of Hammer Horror (and yes the capitals are required) and discovering films like Near Dark, The Hunger, Fright Night, et al; I was disgusted at the thought of a “tween” vampire written by someone who did not even like vampires. It was a joke with a bloodless punchline that left a foul taste in one’s mouth.
I had given up hope of ever reading a vampire tale that would affect me so much that I had to sleep with the light on and nervously peer into darkened corners or jump, heart pounding, at every creak and pop as the house settles for the night.
I had not counted on Horror Master (again the capitals are required) Michael West to collect such an array of brilliantly bloody and violent “old-fashioned” vampires. Vampires who: cannot walk in the sun and don’t look like a tawdry bit of moving glitter dust when they do, rip out throats, are cruel and vicious, have super-human strength and require a stake, and a hammer to kill.
It appears that I am not alone in my disgust at the current fad of foppish, shiny, reflective pompadour wearing sweetie-cakes who’d rather starve than rip out a throat and glut themselves on human blood. It appears that Mr West also longed for the more “traditional” Dracula type vampire and set out to find a collection of short stories where the vampires don’t sparkle…they kill.
He offers, for our entertainment and enjoyment (and terror) fifteen different stories about blood ingesting, super-human creatures who yearn for your blood from fifteen different contemporary authors. There is even a robot vampire! But all these stories have one thing in common, apart from the fact that all the vampires in them are actually scary and would not appeal to any “tween” that I know of; these stories suffer from originality.
They also have a wonderful Dionysian pathos that is admirable. I will admit that when I finished this blood-drenched work of art I felt (apart from uneasy about the fact that night had fallen) quite sated; akin to a tick or leech or even a mosquito after a long leisurely feast of blood from a victim. Because the vampire is a blood sucking creature whose bodily fluid intake and exchange is as primal as the act of sex.
Michael West prefaces this collection of stories stating two things. The first is his dismay about what vampires have become in popular fiction. The second is his personal catharsis in dealing with two people who are near and dear to him being stricken with cancer.
One was a good friend and colleague who lost her battle against the horrible disease, the second is his wife, who has won her fight against this merciless killer. It is because of his personal involvement that he has donated a portion of the proceeds from the sales of this collection. He will be doing the same for his future anthologies.
If you love more traditional vampires grab this book with both hands and read it. In a world of 2 and 3 star books and vampires who really aren’t, this collection is a real 5 star glorious bloodsucking creature of the night read.
I will leave you with Michael’s own statement about the book: “Stephenie Meyer stole this monster from Bram Stoker. We’re stealin’ it back!”
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17 thoughts on “Vampires Don’t Sparkle by Michael West: A Blood-soaked Bonanza”
Great article! I love traditional vampire tales. Will definitely be adding this one to my reading list. The Hammer Horror movies are the best. Thanks!!
These vampires are definitely more like the Hammer vamps that’s for sure! Thanks for commenting and I hope you like the book as much as I did! Cheers mate!! 😀
I’d buy a copy for the title alone 😀
Praise the lord!
And pass the ammunition! LOL
You got me already with the title! I don’t do vampire novels much but maybe…There’s always a first time for everything, including reading new genres of literature 😉
This is one great anthology of vampire stories! It’s definitely worth a read! or two!! LOL
This sounds like a winner. I’m on a literary diet until I catch up with my reading! I have reviews to write and I haven’t done my homeword 😦 Bad Marilyn, Bad Gir!! No biscuit. But I’m putting it on my list anyway ’cause vampires DON’T sparkle!
Nice write up. You know I have to admit regardless of film or book, I’ve never been a huge vampire fan. Sure there are stuff I love, but as a whole not my thing. As for books I actually loved Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter and ‘salem’s Lot, but that’s as far it goes novel wise
Thanks mate! I do love me a good vampire story! Always have. Thanks for sharing your thoughts mate! 😀
One day I’ll make a list of favorite vampire films. Book wise I wouldn’t be able to make a list. If I like a vampire film or book I love it! But as a whole I’m normally like ah…