I have always loved the idea of vampires, they are the one fictional character I still harbour a secret desire to meet in real life, and no not the vegetarian sparkly kind although I am a Twilight fan, but the proper vampires; I’m not stupid, I’d  be protected with my crucifix and garlic cloves of course. My preferred vampires are darkly dangerous, inhuman and truly horrifying vampires who don’t want you to love them, just entertain and feed them. With that in mind here are The Top Five Vampire Novels in the World according to me.

1, Salem’s Lot – Stephen King

I think this was the first ever vampire fiction I ever read and I don’t mind admitting I thought it was pant wettingly scary, and I’m still unnerved by it today. Stephen King at his finest brings you the stuff of nightmares and will have you garlanding your windows with garlic and holy water.
The Marston House in Jerusalem’s Lot has long been the subject of speculation and gossip, Ben Mears has returned in the hope of laying a few of his own demons to rest. Of course, this being King, you know it’s not going to be an easy ride.

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2, Interview With The Vampire – Anne Rice

I only read this a short time ago at the urging of many of you who follow us on our Facebook page. Why did I wait so long? Anne has managed to make vampires both horrifyingly frightening and desperately pitiful all at once and the introduction of Claudia, an ancient and worldly wise vampire trapped forever inside the body of a child is a real touch of genius. Not only that but this is the first in a series of (soon to be) 14 books, what more could you want?

 

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3,  Dracula  – Bram Stoker

No list of vampire literature would be complete without including the original novel. I read this over and over when I first had it, to the point of my copy falling apart and I never bored of it, I still haven’t. I loved the language, I loved the terrifying build up as Harker  voyaged to Transylvania and I loved the naughtiness. So many fictional creatures are improved upon as time passes but for me, Stoker’s Dracula will always be the best.

 

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4, I am Legend – Richard Matheson

Have you seen the film with Will Smith? You have? Forget it, the book absolutely wipes the floor with it and then kicks dirt in its face. I read this because I’d watched the film and quite enjoyed it. I read the book and was smitten!  Robert Neville is the (probable) sole survivor of a plague that has  left the rest  of the world rabid vampire like creatures of the night with an insatiable hunger and dwindling prey. Seriously if you loved the film, read this book, if you liked the film, read this book, Hell if you hated this film, read the book. You won’t be disappointed.

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5, Blood Brothers – Brian Lumley

The sixth Necromancer novel but the first in the Vampire World trilogy, this book will take you to alternate universe of Starside/Sunside and the eternal battle between the Wamphyri and the Szgany. Here we are lead to believe the vampires are defeated, all dead but as we all know, vampires have a tendency to not stay dead forever.  A really refreshing and truly horrifying take on the vampire genre.

 

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Those are the five that are my personal favourites but when it comes to vampire fiction I am always on the hunt for new material so if you have any that you think are missing from my list, please let us know in the comments.

The Sharp Wit of A.A. Gill

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A.A Gill was born Adrian Anthony Gill on the 28th of June 1954 and died on the 10th of December in 2016.  The British writer and renowned critic was best known as The Sunday Times’ restaurant reviewer. He also wrote for various magazines and publications including Vanity Fair, GQ and Esquire. As a published author he released many books concerning what he encountered or learnt on his travels, and some fiction.

Always ready with astute observations and sharp wit, Gill had numerous intelligent quips to share.

Here are ten of our favourites.

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8 Books J. K Rowling Recommends

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We all love the Harry Potter books created by J. K Rowling and many adult readers have also been enthralled by the Cormoran Strike series by the author, written under pseudonym Robert Galbraith. In fact, Jo Rowling is responsible for writing many of our favourite books, but what are her favourites?

Over the years at various interviews, press releases and readings, Rowling has talked about her own love of literature and has recommended many books that she loves. Today we’re going to feature eight of those books and the reasons the author loves them so. Read More

10 Literary Pet Peeves

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BBC Radio 4’s Open Book asked their listeners for their ‘literary pet peeves’. What really annoys you when you read a book? For me, it has to be lazy or dull writing and overuse of similes and metaphors.

Open Book’s guests on the 20th of June 2017 were literary critic Peter Kemp and historical crime novelist Antonia Hodgson. They were asked about the literary devices that make their cringe glands flare up. Their answers included stories told through a foggy memory, or animal narrators.

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Octavia E. Butler: Quotes on Writing

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Octavia E. Butler was an American science fiction writer born on 22nd June 1947, an only child. The loss of her father when she was 7 meant that Butler was raised by her mother and maternal grandmother in what she would go on to recall as a strict Baptist environment.

From an early age Butler suffered from crippling shyness making her awkward, as a result she passed her time reading at the Pasadena Central Library, and writing realms and realms of pages in her ‘big pink notebook’. It will come as no surprise to her fans to learn that she quickly evolved from reading fairy tales to reading science fiction magazines. Read More

Authors for Grenfell Tower Fire Charity Auction.

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At around 1a.m. on the 14th of June, 2017, a fire broke out in a residential tower block in West London. It took hold quickly and spread to overwhelm the building.

The entire block of 120 flats in the building were destroyed, despite the efforts of the heroic fire service.

Survivors have lost their homes, and the deaths of the victims is still rising as bodies are slowly being identified.

Authors for Grenfell Tower is an online auction focussed on raising money for the British Red Cross London Fire Relief Fund, in honour of residents affected by the Grenfell Tower fire.

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10 Great Salman Rushdie Quotes

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The British Indian novelist and essayist, Sir Salman Rushdie, was born on the 19th of June in 1947

He won the Booker Prize in 1981 with his second novel, Midnight’s Children, which was said to be “the best novel of all winners”. Generally his fiction is set on the Indian subcontinent and combines historical fiction and magical realism.

His fourth novel, The Satanic Verses was published in 1988 and was the subject of a major controversy in Muslim societies. Many Muslims protested the book and death threats were made against Rushdie.

His works remain as popular, and as controversial, today and we cannot deny his quotes have depth and wisdom to them.  Read More