Reading is one of the many things I enjoy, and every time I put down a book I like, I have a multitude of thoughts swirling about my mind regarding everything I had just taken in. As a result, I tend to write my thoughts on such things, and this is one of those such texts.
Everyone deals with the concept of the vampire in a different way, altering and fashioning them as they see they should be. Over the centuries, they have evolved, and today I want to take a look at three books I randomly pulled out from my collection – Salem’s Lot, Interview with the Vampire, and The Awakening. Already I know it is not entirely fair to compare the latter to such classics, but let us see how Stephen King’s more traditional entities of evil and Anne Rice’s romantic fiends from the 1970’s, and Lisa Smith’s modern monsters of the early 1990’s fare anyway, shall we?
‘Salem’s Lot (1975), Stephen King
Before going back to the likes of Sheridan Le Fanu’s Carmilla and Bram Stoker’s Dracula, which is undoubtedly inevitable, let us take a look at some more modern vampires. Let us begin with Stephen King.
The first thing you will notice about Stephen King’s world of bloodsuckers is that they truly seem as though some unearthly evil – animated dead bodies without souls that continue to roam the earth with the sole purpose of making life miserable for those still living. Because they are the ‘Evil’ that walks the earth however, they shy away from that which is ‘Good’ such as sacred items and other apotropaics, as we note when we watch Matt sitting quietly in his home, waiting for anything to happen:
“His mind ran over the old protections for an unmentionable disease: garlic, holy wafer and water, crucifix, rose, running water.”
Perhaps due to their existence as the ‘Evil’ of the world, they also boast a variety of abilities that would be impossible for a simply ‘undead’ human to accomplish – the ability to seemingly float above the ground, to turn into some form of shadow that allows passage through the smallest of cracks, and to temporarily influence a mortal human into doing their bidding.