Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Vampire$” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


3.76  ·  Rating Details ·  2,249 Ratings  ·  157 Reviews
This is bestselling author John Steakley's vampire classic: Vampires infest the modern world and a group of brave people-professional vampire killers-devote their lives to hunting them down.
Paperback, 368 pages
Published May 5th 1992 by Roc (first published May 5th 1990)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Vampire$, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Vampire$

'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
61st out of 1,343 books — 7,212 voters
Twilight by Stephenie MeyerHarry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. RowlingInterview with the Vampire by Anne RiceVampire Academy by Richelle MeadCity of Bones by Cassandra Clare
Vampires and Werewolves and Witches...Oh My!
148th out of 1,454 books — 2,843 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Dirk Grobbelaar
The visceral no-nonsense writing on display here might not appeal to literary snobs or self-appointed connoisseurs of horror haute cuisine, but it certainly gets the job done. Encounters with the Vampires of the title are heart-stopping affairs. They are feisty fiends: fast, inhumanly strong and very vicious. They’re also not in the least interested in being your boyfriend (or girlfriend).

It’s a gritty story, filled with blood, sweat and Texas dust; one where listening to Stevie Ray Vaughn may j
3.5 stars. Don't start this book looking for a more detailed version of the John Carpenter film. Except for the opening scene which is fairly similar in both the book and the movie, the book is completely different (and much better). Nothing high brow here, Jack Crow (and later his buddy Felix) are hard drinking, foul talking, ill-mannered "western" type tough guys who track and kill vampires for a living. This is pretty typical "action hero" type stuff (I was reminded of Nick Nolte in 48 hours ...more
Monica Medina
Oct 22, 2014 Monica Medina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Seriously. This is my all time favorite book. I've had to buy it three times because I read it over and over and eventually the binding wears out and the pages fall out.

It's not a great literary find. It's not going to change the world. It's about vampire hunters. But I loved every character, I love the story the author told, I cared what happened.

It could be that it was my age when I read it. Whatever. I love Team Crow. And I still do.
Mike (the Paladin)
Jun 26, 2012 Mike (the Paladin) rated it it was ok
Shelves: urban-fantasy, horror
My first take here is to say...This is a great idea, maybe someday someone will write a book about it. Of course, Monster Hunter International is already out there.

I've said a couple of things I'm going to say here before, about other books. This one makes me sad. As I've said before, I really wanted to like this book. And also as I've said before, the book is a mixed bag. There are some very good parts then again there are some parts that I found so stultifyingly slow I could have screamed. Whe
Apr 07, 2011 Bryan rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror, audiobooks

Not a perfect book, and it's not like I'm well-read when it comes to Vampire novels, but I highly recommend this one. Don't bother with that Twilight stuff, here's the real blood and guts (and spines and viscera and...)

So what's so great about the book?

1) The creatures. There are various levels of vampires, and all of them are bloodthirsty fiends. They start as goons (basically shambling zombies), then graduate up to vampire status, and finally "master" vampire. Superbly chilling monsters - they
Nov 12, 2007 Mark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: vampire fans
Shelves: horror
Vampire$ is the second book by John Steakley. If the character names are familiar, it's because they are recycled from his previous novel, "Armor". Jack Crow, instead of being a famous space pirate, is now the leader of a group that hunts and kills vampires for profit. Felix, rather than being an expert ant-killer, is now a gunman.

The Plot:
Jack Crow leads a Vatican-subsidized band of mercenaries whose sole purpose is to kill vampires. Usually, vampires invade a small town and then sort of spread
May 31, 2012 Terence rated it it was ok
Recommended to Terence by: Roberto
Shelves: horror-gothic
The Good
The vampires: The vampires of John Steakley’s Vampires are TOUGH! At night they are nearly unstoppable killing machines, and even during the day, as long as they avoid direct sunlight, these SOBs are hard to kill. At one point, a master vampire has two arbalest bolts in him and falls 20 stories but still manages to walk away. It’s not hard to understand why these vampires would be at the top of the undead food chain.

The mental trauma: Steakley is at his best writing about the mental to
Feb 19, 2008 Naten rated it it was amazing
When James Woods asked John Carpenter for a copy of the script to the movie based on this novel, the director should have just handed him the book. Written with such a visual style and with such suspense, it could have been the best vampire movie ever made. As it stands, this is simply the best vampire book ever written.
Jul 07, 2009 Colleen rated it liked it
Shelves: vampires
A little on the fence with this book and not sure I can put my finger on what was wrong with it. Parts of it were rousing adventure/horror; other parts not so much. I grew tired fast with all the tears and uber testosterone weep-fests that occured after every vampire encounter. And I found vast chunks of the book as weirdly sentimental as Beth's death in Little Women.

Also the style of writing is a little florid. Don't get me wrong, the writing is a cut above most books like this, but poorly edi
Apr 24, 2008 Amity rated it it was amazing
I'm not sure what people who regularly read this stuff will think, but for someone who isn't into horror/thriller/Ann Rice I am shocked that I loved it. Brilliant. Lots of death, gore, swearing, and sex, and yet somehow I was never offended (though at times did have to put it down). Great characterization and great story. Author handled pacing very well - not so tense that you're worn out, yet definitely a page turner.

Seth Skorkowsky
Sep 29, 2015 Seth Skorkowsky rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
I picked up Vampire$ on audio and fell in love with it on the opening line:

"I know fucking well there's a God because I kill vampires for a living. Are you listening? I kill vampires for money. A lot of it. So don't tell me there ain't no God. I know fucking well there's a God. I just don't understand Him."

For starters, this book starts off very similar to the John Carpenter movie, but then quickly goes off into an entirely different story. Vampire$ is a beautiful mixture of pure gory horror and
Jan 05, 2008 Gouty added it
Shelves: absolute-crap
It is a pity that one can not give negative stars on Good Reads. Actually it is possibly an abomination even writing about this book on a site called Good Reads. Well, I am just too lazy to surf the web looking for: www.ohgodwhydidIwasteprecioushoursofm...

This is one of those rare instances where one can say whole heartedly that the movie was better than the book. The movie was crap, but it had its pluses. It only took 108
Dec 30, 2014 Olethros rated it liked it
-Con la Iglesia hemos topado en algo parecido a un western vampírico.-

Género. Narrativa fantástica.

Lo que nos cuenta. Jack Crow dirige un equipo de exterminación de vampiros. Durante un trabajo en Indiana, y tras tener sus más y sus menos con las autoridades locales, el nido parece destruido, pero lo que sucede durante la posterior fiesta demuestra que no había sido así. Cuando Crow habla con su jefe en Roma, Su Santidad tiene claro que es necesario que Crow vuelva al trabajo y que forme un nue
Feb 13, 2013 Paul rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: vampires
These are not your soppy brooding angsty vampires. Nor your sparkling Twihards. These are MONSTERS. One of my favourite vampire novels in that the vamps are creatures that are feared for a reason. They can bench press a car and outrun a horse.
Jack Crow and his team are charged with the job of killing them. No witty quips while dressed in heels as you stake them, this is armoured fighting and pray you don't get too close.
It's a great book and it's a refreshing change from all the high school rom
Jan 14, 2010 Tom rated it it was ok
A cheesy, slightly enjoyable vampire book that they made a cheesy, less enjoyable vampire movie in the 90s with James Woods ("John Carpenter's Vampires").

The book plot and the movie plot completely diverge from each other after the initial couple of scenes. You might be best off avoiding both the movie and the book.

Disappointing, because Steakley's other novel Armor is one of my favs.
Jan 17, 2008 Tony rated it really liked it
The basis of the John Carpenter movie "Vampires". All in all, while I am a big fan of JC's movies, I found the book far superior to the film. The story follows a small group of Vatican-funded vampire hunting mercenaries, and what happens when the vampires decide to hunt them instead. If you are tired of the "Lestat" type of vampire, I really suggest giving this a read.
Jan 24, 2008 Bill rated it did not like it
Shelves: horror
This could have been really good. Modern day vampire bounty hunters. A lot of people have raved about this novel but for the life of me I can't figure the appeal.
I really don't like his writing style. That must be it.
The Black Hat Writer
Jan 09, 2016 The Black Hat Writer rated it did not like it
Shelves: junk
A truly promising idea that just falls flat on its fangs, breaking them off and taking away any bite that might have been. That's how I would describe "Vampires" by John Steakley.

It didn't take long for Steakley to put the stake right through the heart of this unfocused misadventure into the nightlife of battling the undead. Some strong characters are introduced, but soon become redundant, corny clichés of cheesiness and adolescent bravado, taking them to the point where I didn't care about the
In this time of weiner emo/goth vamps, I need this book. I need a vampire story full of horror, gore, and vampires that don't want to love me and live viacarously(sp?) through me, but want to...oh I don't know...DRINK MY FUCKING BLOOD AND KILL ME!!! And by page 8 so far its great. The main character is a big tough bastard of a man who hunts vampires for money, and the vampires die in horroifying ways. And thats just on page 8. I can't wait to really get dug into this, it will sooth my soul. I do ...more
Siew Ee
Apr 04, 2012 Siew Ee rated it really liked it
When I read this book, I couldn’t help thinking of “Vampires”, a western-horror film directed by John Carpenter in 1998. There are many parallels between book and movie, and for that reason, I enjoyed reading Vampire$, a totally un-Twilight story where you will find blood-sucking monsters which are disgustingly strong, nasty and totally incapable of human feelings of love and compassion. There’s plenty of blood and gore, and the actions scenes are thrilling.

Is this book worth 5-stars? Unfortuna
Julie Davis
Jul 06, 2010 Julie Davis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
#61 - 2010.

I read this based on Jesse's enthusiastic review. It has an interesting straight-forward style that I imagine does lend itself very well to an audiobook style. I find it compelling though I can't say why ... sort of like picking up a Western that you can't put down for some reason. Not that I really know what that is like. I must say that I appreciate the author's sympathetic look at the pontiff in this. (Yes, you read that right.)

I have much, much more to say which is covered in this
Mar 12, 2010 Craig rated it really liked it
This is a very strange and challenging book, somewhat similar to his other novel, ARMOR, yet in ways vastly different. One confusing point that I didn't understand at all is that the two main characters in both novels have the same names, yet one is a far-future military space opera and the other a contemporary (well, twenty years old now) vampire novel. This one reads by turns like a horror novel, a mens' adventure book, and a study of interpersonal relationships. It's not much at all similar t ...more
Andrew F
Aug 08, 2016 Andrew F rated it really liked it
By no means as unique and entertaining as Steakley's ARMOR, Vampire$ is none the less a superior genre book filled with action, more nuanced than average macho quips, a delightfully twisting plot and told with Steakley's unique matter of fact writing style.
Characters and character names for Felix and Jack Crow are recycled and are almost identical to those in ARMOR - the brazen, tough leader with a big heart in Jack Crow, and the sensitive warrior who can't help but be an awesome killing machine
Torsten Nelson
Dec 23, 2014 Torsten Nelson rated it it was amazing
Lots of people seem to hate this book on Goodreads. I read it a long time ago, but now I'm reading "Monster Hunter International", which is fun, but Vampire$ is way better. The opening act is amazing: read it to learn how intelligent people would hunt vampires - it's not by sneaking around in the dark with big guns. This is not an intellectual book. It's about big men who hunt monsters, and it's fun escapism at its best.

They made a movie out of it, but the movie is an abomination, please avoid i
Jul 21, 2016 Alger rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Whoa nellie, is this book a product of its time, but that is not a good thing. This book is the distilled worst of the 1980s.

This book is icky. This book is bound with neon-colored spandex and mall hair. The story is inspired by cocaine-fueled nightmares. The soundtrack is a Nitro album. Tipper Gore hated this book.

For anyone reading this book now there is a strange feeling of familiarity about the premise, since Joss Weedon used virtually the same set up for Buffy the Vampire Slayer; A group of
Octavio Villalpando
Oct 27, 2015 Octavio Villalpando rated it it was ok
En 1998 el maestro John Carpenter presentó "Vampiros", protagonizada por James Wood. La película supuestamente estaba basada en la novela "Vampire$" de John Steakley, de la cual jamás me fue posible encontrar una copia hasta hace unos pocos meses.

La película me gustó, se trataba de una historia más o menos estandar, pero tenía un aire a western que la hacía my interesante. Le fue medianamente bien en taquilla y contó con dos secuelas, una de ellas protagonizada por Jon Bon Jovi. Cuando vi la nov
Joshua Van Dereck
Dec 11, 2015 Joshua Van Dereck rated it really liked it
This is a very surprisingly decent book. It takes some adjustment at first.

The beginning is chaotically jarring. The choking globs of religion and religious imagery sometimes stagger. There is a lot of violence and even more misogyny, which, alas, one has to somehow make peace with in genre fiction.

All that aside, this book has something to say, and it explores a genuinely compelling idea that I haven't seen properly told before. Vampires have had their day in the sun (so to speak). Vampire Hunt
Mar 04, 2016 Anna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

I have a weak spot for the movie that is based on this book, which I saw first aged 14 when it came to my local cinema. While the plots diverge noticeably, the general tone felt the same to me, but perhaps having seen the movie quite a few times and thus having internalised its atmosphere added to my reading experience. In any case, I found this an entertaining, very quick read.

* The book is less sexist than the movie. While the only women in the movie are whores and apart from Katrina,
Mar 05, 2014 Steph rated it really liked it
Good, gritty, gory, edgy, scary and exciting vampire story. Exactly what I was looking for. I wanted something with vampires that wasn't also about teenagers. Loads of foul language and some discussion of sexuality.

I especially appreciated the juxtaposition of the Catholic church and the vampires-- the old world evil vs. Catholic Christianity. The Pope's involvement and relationships was not overplayed, nor was it denigrating of religion.

Excellent vampire book.

My only complaint is the pacing of
Daniel C Burke
Nov 09, 2015 Daniel C Burke rated it liked it
The guiltiest of guilty pleasures - the summation of a thousand thousand nerd conversations summed up in one book: "Why wouldn't people who hunt vampires do it in a way that is smart?" None of this skulking in crypts with crossbows - you drug the shit out of them with blood laced with LSD then blow up the building over the crypt and dig it out in sunlight and spear them with great big lances!

In short - if you've ever been in a comic book or gaming shop, talking with people about some manner of s
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Cat 3 25 Sep 14, 2014 09:07PM  
  • Under the Fang (The Horror Writers of America)
  • Vampire Junction
  • The Empire of Fear
  • The Light at the End
  • The Mammoth Book of Vampires
  • The Holmes-Dracula File (Dracula Series, #2)
  • States of Grace (Saint-Germain, #18)
  • Midnight Blue: Sonja Blue Collection
  • 100 Vicious Little Vampire Stories
  • Of Saints and Shadows (Shadow Saga #1)
  • Live Girls
  • The Science of Vampires
  • The Undead Kama Sutra (Felix Gomez, #3)
  • Shattered Glass (Austra Family, #1)
  • Vampyrrhic
  • Suckers
  • The Time of Feasting
John Steakley, born 1951 in Cleburne, Texas, is an author, best known for his science fiction writing. He has written two major novels, Armor (1984) and Vampire$ (1991), the latter of which became the basis for John Carpenter's Vampires movie. He has also written several short stories in the sci-fi and fantasy genres. Not a prolific writer, he lived most of his life in Texas, aside from brief spel ...more
More about John Steakley...

Share This Book