Friday, October 23, 2009

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Last Halloween I picked my favorite three vampire films. Today I figured I should pick my fave three vampire books. These are in order, but can be changed from emotion to emotion, or night to night. In lieu of my upcoming trip to New Orleans, Anne Rice’s brat prince comes in at numero uno vampiro.


#3 is Bram Stoker’s Dracula. He is, after all, the king of vampires, the “Sacred Ancestor”. While werewolves and zombies have been trying to take a bite out of his omnipresent undead ass as the king of pop culture horror for years now, it’s still his and the children of the night’s party, this holiday we call Halloween. And no single book or character has been as influential in the deluge of Hollywood films and literature the past several decades as the daddy of them all. Dracula is absolutely as iconic as Santa Clause, the Easter Bunny, or perhaps more appropriate, the Devil himself.


#2 Vampire Hunter D Volume 2: Raiser of Gales is my Lord of the Rings, my Star Wars and Harry Potter all rolled into one uber-dork fest of vampire novels. It’s Sci Fi, fantasy and horror rolled into one, and this combo makes for one hell of a cool story. D can be a bit one-dimensional at times, with his talking hand stealing most of the scenes, and especially since the volumes are into the teens, but that’s his meal ticket, and the baddies throughout these stories talk about him in the past tense as they hold him in the same regards as a god, as the father and king of all vampires, Dracula. The little things make this novel special to me and it’s the way that Hideyuki Kikuchi presents the infinite vampire science as magic. That’s what made the hairs on my arms stand on-end as I read this story. The translation by Kevin Leahy is outstanding, but I only wish I could read it in the native Japanese…

#1 The Vampire Lestat, of course, is my favorite vampire book to sit by warm candlelight with a bottle of pills – I mean bottle of wine – and read the night away. Like I’ve mentioned elsewhere before, I can put the homo eroticism aside and enjoy the story for what it is: a fantastic vampire tale spanning centuries. No where has there ever been a group (or coven, as it were) of vampires that are so depressed with their Dark Gift, i.e. immortality. Some people just don’t know how good they got it! But it’s the way that they all attract each other, and yet repel one other so much that defines their existence. Loneliness is personified in Lestat in that he has an insatiable appetite for knowledge, and smugly believes that the secrets of the universe are owed to him simply because he is preternatural. And it’s this vanity which ultimately brings God and the devil to his doorstep.