Review by Davis Farnsworth, submitted on 29-Jul-1991

VAMPIRE$ by John Steakley, published by Roc, a division of Penguin Books, USA, Inc. copyright 1990.

This is the story of a small US corporation, Vampire$, Inc., that hunts and destroys vampires for a living. They appear to be rough and tumble mercenaries (with hearts of gold,) but they are also secret agents against evil who report directly to the Pope. Yes, that's right, the head of the company flies off to Vatican City from time to time to discuss matters directly with His Holiness, the Pope! The story line follows them through some incredibly difficult times as the tables are turned on them and they become the hunted instead of the hunters. The plot twists were fine - some I expected and some surprised me. The writing flowed well, not getting in the way of the story, but nothing too beautiful either. It moved along quickly enough to be entertaining, and had some rather nice character developments along the way. In fact, that was the most interesting part of the book, the development of the two main male characters. (The female characters are not really developed at all - either motherly or sweetly attractive; no other role allowed. Even the female vampires are overshadowed by the male vampires.)

There are two distinct classes of vampires in this book. Those who die after being drained suddenly by any vampire become zombie-like vampires themselves. There is another class of intelligent, articulate, and extremely evil vampires that pass as humans and have the ability to control the first type. This type of vampire must be recruited carefully and it evidently takes some considerable time to transform a human into the more elite type of vampire.

I found this to be a very Catholic book, a fun change from most other vampire books. That is because this is the first time that I have found a book with an anti-vampire crusade that is actually sponsored by the Church. Usually, the vampire hunters have to find and recruit a priest ( Salem's Lot for example). I would recommend this book for relatively light entertainment. It's not great, but it is readable and if you like vampire books, it's fine. I would not rate it as high as Salem's Lot or Nightblood, but it is about as good as I, Vampire, although not as imaginative as Brian Lumley's works with their sci-fi overtones. I hope that gives you some idea of its relative value.

Fanged Films

From the Library

As the 20th century evolved, rational man turned to science to explain mythology that had pervaded for thousands of years. How could a man be mistaken for a vampire? How could someone appear to have been the victim of a vampire attack? Science, in time, came back with answers that may surprise you.Anemia
A million fancies strike you when you hear the name: Nosferatu!N O S F E R A T Udoes not die!What do you expect of the first showing of this great work?Aren't you afraid? - Men must die. But legend has it that a vampire, Nosferatu, 'der Untote' (the Undead), lives on men's blood! You want to see a symphony of horror? You may expect more. Be careful. Nosferatu is not just fun, not something to be taken lightly. Once more: beware.- Publicity for Nosferatu in the German magazine Buhne und Film, 1922  

Drawn to Vamps?

Vol. 1 No. 50
Remarkable Lives
Vol. 1 No. 22
... This Vampire Must Die!