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The Best Vampire Fiction

by Cally Carswell 

Tags: books and publishers, vampires, vampire novels, The Vampire Tapestry, Open Letters,


Halloween is just around the corner and what better way to get in the spooky spirit than by digging into a good vampire novel? Sharon Fulton, writing for Open Letters, says vampire fiction has been “taking America by storm lately.” She attributes the surging interest in vampires to movies like Interview with the Vampire and TV shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer. And rounding out her theory on America’s vamp obsession is this: “I believe that a majority of teenagers today were turned into soulless vampires by rogue government agents working on behalf of the CW, and so their intense interest in the genre is perfectly understandable.”

Fulton has taken it upon herself to sort through the vampire titles flooding shelves, scoring the books on a one-to-five fang scale. She finds that while there are quality books in the vampire genre, there are also many "that are only trying to profit from the public’s seemingly insatiable craving for men with fangs." The only book receiving five fangs is The Vampire Tapestry, by Suzy McKee Charnas, originally published in 1980, but reprinted this year. The story, told in five parts by different narrators, centers on Dr. Edward Weyland, an anthropologist, academic, and vampire. Fulton says “its themes and observations will interest people who don’t spend all of their time fantasizing about tall, dark, and handsome blood-drinkers,” concluding that the book “glances at humanity from an alien, monstrous, and, yes, anthropological viewpoint.”