Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Delicate Dependency: A Novel of the Vampire Life” as Want to Read:
The Delicate Dependency: A Novel of the Vampire Life
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Delicate Dependency: A Novel of the Vampire Life

4.24  ·  Rating Details  ·  266 Ratings  ·  48 Reviews
They are cool to the touch and alluringly beautiful in their ageless youth, and their fathomless eyes are the eyes which transfix..The secrets they guard are rendered in the iron doors and gothic traceries of Notre Dame. Their arts and science are the light of civilization. Their consciousness, so old, so vastly superior, stands vigil over human progress. They were the Ill ...more
Paperback, 406 pages
Published March 28th 1982 by Avon Books (first published 1982)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
'Salem's Lot by Stephen KingDracula by Bram StokerInterview with the Vampire by Anne RiceDark Lover by J.R. WardThe Historian by Elizabeth Kostova
Best Adult Vampire Books
175th out of 1,333 books — 7,202 voters
Dracula by Bram StokerTwilight by Stephenie MeyerDead Until Dark by Charlaine HarrisInterview with the Vampire by Anne RiceLiving Dead in Dallas by Charlaine Harris
The Best Vampire Books
33rd out of 223 books — 18 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 925)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Jul 28, 2014 Charlene rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars! This book was fantastic!

Set in the Victorian era, this story quietly kicks the crap out of the vampire novels of today. Beautifully written with an intriguing plot and unique characters, I can't say enough about how enjoyable this book was.

Doctor Gladstone, a scientist in London during the Victorian era, accidentally ran over a man who walked in front of his carriage. Due to this man's, (Niccolo's), resemblance to someone Doctor Gladstone once saw in a painting,(and due to his vague
Claudia Morales
Nov 30, 2014 Claudia Morales rated it it was amazing
This IS the best vampire novels I have read to date. I actually was Michael Talbots roommate in late 1980, living on the corner of 89th street and Central Park West in NYC, with his cats Niccolo and Lucretia (I forgot the other two cats names). He was a fascinating man to talk to. While I was living at the apartment he was still finishing up "the delicate dependency" and when the book came out he offered one to me with an inscription. He left that particular weekend as did our other two roommate ...more
Jul 29, 2014 Hudson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
** actual rating 4.5**

I absolutely loved this book. Somehow I missed this one along the way and I have no idea how that appened. Some people refer to it as a horror classic and I would not really have a strong argument against that. THIS is how vampires should be portrayed and I am happy to say that this book has nothing in common with "The Series That Shall Not Be Named Here".

This is the story of a doctor in Victorian times who becomes involved with vampires when they kidnap his autistic daught
Catherine Winther
Jul 22, 2014 Catherine Winther rated it it was amazing
I am always wary when I pick up a book that has ‘cult like’ status because I know my expectations are already heightened. As such, I have felt unduly disappointed with a book I felt ‘sure’ was going to be a treasure. Well, to start with, I am not sure why The delicate dependency has a ‘cult like’ status. Why doesn’t have the full rock star status of other world-class novels in this genre? This is easily one of the best vampire novels ever written.
Talbot’s writing is beautiful. The Victorian er
Aug 04, 2014 Pamellia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Recommended
Shelves: 2014
The Delicate Dependency: A Novel of the Vampire Life
by +Michael Talbot
Started July 27, Finished August 3, 2014
Read a friend's review and thought I'd like it

Think of it...a world filled with the vampire that our protagonist, Dr. John Gladstone, a Victorian physician, has recently discovered. But what exactly has he discovered and what has happened to his sweet younger daughter, Camille, not to mention his beautiful older daughter, Ursula. Will the vampire take them both before he can save them?
Jun 02, 2011 Brian rated it really liked it
These days, if you’re unlucky enough to stumble in a chain bookstore, you’ll likely crash into a veritable coven of questionable vampire paperbacks. So why would readers be willing to shell out hundreds of dollars for used, yellowed copies of a largely forgotten vampire novel when new undead material is always gushing onto the scene like so much arterial spray? Well, I’m not sure any early ’80s paperback really ought to command such sums (and it can be had for much less), but The Delicate Depend ...more
Dec 27, 2014 Gwen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic addition to vampire mythology. Very different take on "the work of the vampire". No sparkly, romantic, warrior vampires here but instead an ancient highly evolved species. Can't say more, don't want to tip their hand, but but they are here, have always been here... watching us, the rabble.
Oct 14, 2012 S.A. rated it it was amazing
I just re-read this brilliant book for the third time. What a wonderful twist on the vampire legend. I can't believe this is out of print. It's too enticing to forget.
This book took me for a ride and gave me a pounding. We had a raucous love-affair. I very rarely react to books with a jaw-drop, but this novel got both that and a, "WHAT?! WHAAAAT?!" out of me. My heart was actually racing at the end! I still break into mystified and enamored giggles when I think about this book. "Oh, you clever, clever thing!"

I will tell you what I can. This is a vampire novel, but forget about all the vampire novels you've read or the television series or movies you've seen.
Mika Lietzén
Apr 22, 2015 Mika Lietzén rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror
Now here's a classic that was out of print for a criminally long time. Michael Talbot's Victorian vampire novel is a majestic achievement, an epic alternate history about a world existing just beneath the surface, yet guiding and influencing everything.

Gone are the ghoulish Nosferatus and seductive Draculas; instead, Talbot's vampires are detached and alien (emphasized by their particular way of walking, different from men), driven by arts and science, serving as guardian angels to mankind.

It al
Wow. This is one of the best vampire novels I've read. The writing is lush and evocative, the plot is engaging and it's well paced. The vampires here are good but not nice, alien in their thoughts and mannerisms yet beautiful and captivating. I did flag a little during the chase/escape portions but overall I thoroughly enjoyed it and would recommend it to any vampire enthusiasts, or fans of more unusual and subtle horror.
Jan 16, 2015 Yolette rated it really liked it
I first read this book in 1982. Now with the reissue of this novel I felt compelled to re-read it. Over 30 years have passed since I entered this world built by Michael Talbot. The first time I read it, it became an instant favorite and I have gathered three copies of this old edition over time. I've recommending it to friends who are discerning readers and always intended to re-read it yet some newer books always always seemed to jump the cue.

The Delicate Dependency is a wonderful book with a
Courtney Williams
Jan 11, 2015 Courtney Williams rated it really liked it
Shelves: gord
The book: The Delicate Dependency: A Novel of the Vampire Life

The author: Michael Talbot, late American author of several books on "quantum mysticism" (plus this book, obviously).

The subject: A Victorian scientist is thrust into the world of vampires, powerful and intelligent beings who crave knowledge rather than blood.

Why I chose it: It is one of my boyfriend's favourite books and he implored me to give it a try.

The rating: Four out of five stars

What I thought of it: We all know it: vampires a
Sep 22, 2008 Diane rated it it was amazing
Shelves: vampires
Yes, the cover looks lurid, but you can't see the embossed orchid in this picture, which is an important aspect to this story. (It's also very hard to find.)

This is the one book Talbot wrote that was any good, but it's stellar. Some authors only have one good book in them. This is his.

If you liked Anne Rice, you'll find lots of influences, but wait! This book came out *before* Anne Rice! It has a number of elements that surprise, even if you've seen every change rung on vampires (and I've seen
Apr 14, 2016 A.R. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
You've got to stick with this one, because you can't know at first how amazing this novel is. It's all revealed at the end, where you realize how mind-boggling the genius and mounds of research it took to put this together this book is. Add to that the paranoia of anyone who crosses these creatures' path, and you have not just one of the greatest vampire tales of all time, but possibly THE best. It even makes you think twice about religion, that's how much of a mind-fuck it is. If I could, I'd g ...more
Dec 12, 2008 Teresa rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: yes
One of my favorite Vampire books. Has some unique premise about the origin and history of vampires. The vampires are elegant and romantic. I read it in the early 80's. It's difficult to get (although in recent years a few copies come onto Amazon occasionally) but definitely worth the effort for vampire book fans
Aug 30, 2015 David rated it really liked it
The Delicate Dependency is a rewarding novel for anyone who has also read Michael Talbot’s non-fiction work.
There are hints relating to his philosophy and scientific studies within the tale and these add a very unique and original element to the story and character of the book.

The initial story is reminiscent of Interview with the Vampire in terms of setting and time period. There are also parallels when it comes to the decadence and boredom of the vampire life and how living for centuries might
Nov 08, 2011 Anne rated it it was amazing
Waaaay before the current vampire craze, there was this book. It is absolutely one of the best books I have ever read...a masterpiece. It is hard to find now (used is all, I think..eBay). But what a book. I plan to read this book again. It has been a while...
Jan 03, 2011 Cindy rated it really liked it
A totally different twist on Vampires. I loved the book. I was lucky enough to have a friend let me borrow it. It's a very hard book to find.
I don't get it. So many 5 star ratings. Parts of the book were very good, but the author telegraphed every twist long before it hit. The final twist was a bit of a surprise, coming when it did, but not a stunner, because it had been telegraphed long before, and some of the resolutions were just way too convenient. I was annoyed that a lot of the simmering questions were just ignored in the end:

***possible ***SPOILER ALERT*** ***SPOILER ALERT*** Don't know how many times he mentioned Ursula gazi
Rachel Pollock
Sep 24, 2014 Rachel Pollock rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: grim
So, in the interest of full disclosure, i picked this book up because i saw that Jillian Venters wrote the foreword to the reissue, and she and I used to hang out in the same online milieux, so i thought i'd give it a spin.

And i really liked it, in the sense of old-school vampire stories, where the vampires are alien and sinister and bizarre and terrifying, and you-the-reader only find them compelling in any way if you yourself are somewhat alien, sinister, and/or bizarre. By which i mean, not n
Dec 20, 2014 Mira rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gothic-fiction
The Delicate Dependency's main task is tackling the attraction/danger dynamic inherent in modern vampire stories. In this case, while the vampires are fearsome adversaries, blood drinking itself is downplayed. In some ways, they resembled Tolkien's elves more than Stoker's undead- immortal beings assured of their perfection, beautiful and cold to humanity's attempts to keep up with them, guardians of the world from destruction. The way they accomplish this is unspeakably cruel, but I guess you c ...more
Feb 11, 2012 M— rated it it was ok
Shelves: reviewed
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 06, 2014 Cerisaye rated it it was ok
I am not sure why I was disappointed by this book given it ticks so many buttons (Victorian gothic, non-sparkly vampires, intriguing mythology) that ought to have made it fabulous reading for me, and it certainly comes well recommended with cult credentials in place. Yet the book just fell flat and I finished it as a chore not pleasure. Perhaps my problem lies in POV character Dr Gladstone? To be honest I found him rather dull, and would much rather have spent more time with Talbot's vampire cha ...more
Oct 20, 2015 Adrianna rated it it was ok
Shelves: dropped
Delving into this was like relishing the aroma of a fine brandy- or so I should imagine. It was pleasurable to my cranial senses, anyway. The writing is all beautiful imagery and soothing cadence; the story: intriguing... in the beginning. Somewhere about 1/3 of the way through, though, I was getting impatient for it to move along. Halfway through, I skimmed the ending and gave up. Not enough meat, and everyone seems crazy without reason.

So far, my Halloween reading list has been quite disappoin
Dec 02, 2015 Anthony rated it liked it
I remember enjoying reading the book, but it didn't make such an impression that I actively tell people they need to read it. It was some time ago that I read it, so I remember some details, even now, but not much about the overall plot.

I would recommend this is a good summer read.
Oct 23, 2015 Melinda rated it liked it
Three stars for the imaginative concept of vampires, the wonderfully descriptive writing, and the Victorian style. The story, for me, began to lose interest toward the end, and I'll bet I don't remember this book at all in a few more weeks. Interesting, though.
Apr 25, 2015 Joseph rated it really liked it
4.5 stars. I really enjoyed this book. If you're looking for Anne Rice-ish type vampires, look somewhere else. This book is a fantastic and new way to experience the genre. It's more of a thriller with the pace building page by page. I've read my share of vampire novels, and this is up there with the best.
Jan 27, 2015 Casey rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 14, 2012 Tacey marked it as abandoned
This was on a list somewhere (EW?) as one of the best Vampire novels ever. It is out of print and I had to do an inter-library loan to get a copy (used copies of the paperback are going for over $35 online... forget it).

Due to the Gothic setting and pacing and maybe my current frame of mind, I just couldn't get into it. And you can't renew ILL books. So I had to turn it back in, unfinished. I doubt I will try for it again. It didn't seem that wonderful to me. It was interesting, but not so fant
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 30 31 next »
  • Burden Kansas
  • Eternal Vigilance (Eternal Vigilance #1)
  • Blood And Chrysanthemums (Creed, #2)
  • The Golden
  • The Book of Renfield: A Gospel of Dracula
  • The Were-Wolf
  • Shattered Glass (Austra Family, #1)
  • Traveling with the Dead (James Asher, #2)
  • Dark Dance (Blood Opera Sequence, #1)
  • Animals
  • Cold Moon Over Babylon
  • Vamped
  • Vampire Junction
  • Some of Your Blood
  • Afterage
  • Night's Black Agents
  • Vampyrrhic
  • The Book of Common Dread (Vincent DeVilbiss, #1)
Michael Talbot was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan in 1953. As a young man, he moved to New York City, where he pursued a career as a freelance writer, publishing articles in Omni, The Village Voice, and others, often exploring the confluence between science and the spiritual.

Talbot published his first novel, The Delicate Dependency: A Novel of the Vampire Life as an Avon paperback original in 1982
More about Michael Talbot...

Share This Book

“We're still in the Dark Ages. The scared and the superstitious savage still lurks behind the mask of civilization and he will remain there for untold generations to come.” 12 likes
“How disorienting and isolating immortality must be, and how strong he must be to weather it.” 2 likes
More quotes…