Visions of the Vampire: Two Centuries of Blood-Sucking Tales

British Library. Apr. 2021. 304p. ed. by Sorcha Ní Fhlainn & Xavier Aldana Reyes. ISBN 9780712353922. $24.95. HORROR
This academically framed anthology begins with John William Polidori’s novella, which marks the beginning of the vampire menace trope in 1819; it ends with a John Ajvide Lindqvist tale from 2011. The anthology illustrates how vampire literature has served as entertainment and as commentary on universal human issues and concerns. Many of the included authors are names today’s readers will know, such as Bram Stoker, Robert Bloch, and Angela Carter, while others are creators whose names have largely been erased from the canon. The editors’ focus was on finding hidden gems or stories long out of print; tales that when strung together highlight the subgenre’s breadth of tone and storytelling style.
VERDICT An enlightening and broad introduction to the popular vampire menace trope, this fun read is a perfect anthology for most libraries. It presents plenty of treasures for fans new and old to discover.
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