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The Vampire Archives

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  311 Ratings  ·  36 Reviews
The Vampire Archives is the biggest, hungriest, undeadliest collection of vampire stories, as well as the most comprehensive bibliography of vampire fiction ever assembled. Dark, stormy, and delicious, once it sinks its teeth into you there’s no escape.

Vampires! Whether imagined by Bram Stoker or Anne Rice, they are part of the human lexicon and as old as blood itself. Th
Paperback, 1034 pages
Published September 29th 2009 by Vintage (first published 2009)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Deborah Markus
Jul 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audible-fun
This book is just what it ought to be -- great, varied, and complete without being boringly exhaustive. It's a good mix of classic and modern writers, each given a brief but informative introduction at the beginning of his or her story.

Some of the stories won't make sense unless you know some legends about vampires that have dropped out of common knowledge. It used to be thought, for instance, that suicide was a direct path to vampirehood.

This collection also has a few stories from an early twe
Dec 11, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Having been impressed and much moved by The Black Lizard Big Book of Pulps: The Best Crime Stories from the Pulps During Their Golden Age--The '20s, '30s & '40s, I decided to get this book after seeing the same editor and overlooking the tacky and cheap-looking cover. I wasn't too familiar with Vampire fiction other than Dracula and was quite hesitant to purchase and dive straight into such a thick and unfamiliar tome. But as I browsed through, the prose seemed good and the feeling just righ ...more
Mar 24, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a fun book.

My copy is audio so I don't have the problems others have mentioned,

I am reading it slowly, savoring each tale. The introduction to each story sets it in place in literature. It'a going to last a long time!

It's over 63 hour!
Jan 15, 2011 marked it as vampires-early-literature
Shelves: vampires, anthologies
This is one massive tome. Unfortunately, the paper quality is truly horrible, and neither it nor the binding were built to last. It's puzzling why so much trouble was gone through to put together a stellar collection if it wasn't built to last.

Is this anthology "the most complete volume of vampire tales ever published" as the subtitled claims? Quite possibly. The obligatory excerpt from Varney the Vampire and the short story that began it all "The Vampyre" by Polidori are glaring omissions, but
Oct 12, 2009 rated it really liked it
Too massive to read in a single check-out from the library, I skipped large portions of the book. As it's an anthology, it's difficult to assign one overall rating. Some of the stories are five-stars, others are barely two. So I give the tome four stars as a nod to it's exhaustive scope. If you're a true and total fan of everything vampire, go ahead and plow through it. Otherwise, just pick and choose.

The first section of the anthology contains the older, "pre-Dracula" vampire stories which I fo
Lisa Wolf
Jan 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: vampires
This 1000+ page book is a treasure trove of vampire lore, with an incredibly rich array of vampire stories spanning the ages from classic to modern. Stories by Bram Stoker and Arthur Conan Doyle are included, as well as Roger Zelazny, Stephen King, Anne Rice, and Clive Barker. The bibiography alone is worth the price of the book. This 30-something page guide to all written vampire works is a masterpiece, and is pure entertainment in and of itself. A must-have for all lovers of the vampire fictio ...more
Peter Longworth
Oct 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This is an excellent collection of short vampire stories. Over the last three years I've really embraced the short story medium in a big way. Editor / compiler Otto Penzler has done an excellent job in this compilation of vampire stories. A word of warning, make sure you get the English edition with the full page text, the paper is much better, too
Jason Henderson
Outstanding but it's really weird that Penzler leaves out "The Vampyre" because he thinks it's poorly written. It seems like a complete archive should include it anyway.
Ed King
Sep 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing
There are more vampires than you can shake a stake at in this collection. Another great anthology from Otto Penzler.
Nov 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
Checked this book out in order to read “Carmilla” by Sheridan Le Fanu for November bookclub and ended up reading 99% of the remaining stories. I had no idea of the depth or scope of vampire tales, and this collection is still fairly limited and doesn’t include all the worldwide variations. It’s a wonderful selection of primarily European and American vampire tales. The Foreword discusses the influence of the 1871 “Carmilla” on Bram Stoker’s Dracula and other vampire stories. It describes the his ...more
Jack Keely
Aug 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
At over nine hundred pages, this weighty tome has given me some physical as well as mental exercise. I received THE VAMPIRE ARCHIVES as a birthday present. Since I am more of a novel kind of guy, a book of short stories that was literally as thick as a brick wasn’t exactly what I would have chosen. But once I started nibbling away at it, I found plenty to enjoy. This book is not all suave bloodsuckers in capes and evening dress (although you will find some). Lisa Tuttle’s ‘The Replacements’ is a ...more
Some fun stories in this collection, some of which have been very hard to track down due to reprint rarities. I was very happy to find some old pulp authors I love like Carl Jacobi and Fredric Brown and Manley Wade Wellman herein.

Still, for writers of horror or dark fantasy, the greatest strength of this book could be its 111 page bibliography of every published vampire fiction short story or novel or collection. It does note that the bibliography doesn't include comic books, games, television,
Lady of the Lake
The stories in this anthology
Rate between 2 and 4 stars so overall I will rate the book at 3 stars. It's definitely a book to come and go with... It wasn't one I wanted to go from one story to the next all in a row... So if you do read this plan on doing so in starts and stops as the mood strikes you. You will like it much better that way!
Apr 08, 2010 rated it really liked it
I enjoy this book, I still pick it up once in a while and read some stories. Some stories go on for pages upon pages and it's too much to handle.. However, I love short stories... so it's perfect. Some stories are over 5 stars worth, some are barely 2 stars worth. I wouldn't say it's the best collection ever, but it's definitely worth owning.
Tamara Evans
Mar 25, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: adult-fiction
This is a great compilation of vampire stories ranging from classic stories published in the 1800's to the present day. I also liked the exhaustive bibliography provided at the end of the book as well as the combination of short stories, longer stories and even vampire poetry.
Francelia Belton
Dec 15, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some stories were really good, some not so much. But I'm glad I stuck it out. It was an interesting listen and I was introduced to some new authors and learned more about some I thought knew. It was worth my time.
Jan 13, 2010 rated it liked it
i've only read 2 or 3 exerts from the book and so far i think it's a really neat idea. if u love all things vampires this is a great book just for the bibliography at the's enormous. checked it out at the library just for fun which is exactly what it has been
Oct 04, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: horror-gothic
Simply put: There are way too many modern stories in here for this to be considered an "Archive". It doesn't even include Polidori's "The Vampyre".
Mar 05, 2010 rated it liked it
Huge comp of bad and good short stories related to vampires. Missing some classics like I am Legend but pretty darn complete!
Feb 19, 2010 rated it liked it
I read a few short stories in this anthology but did not have time to read as much as I would have liked, especially since I had to return it to the library after a few weeks.
Jan 02, 2010 marked it as never-finished
Good Lady Ducayne by M. E. Braddon
The Man Upstairs by Ray Bradbury
A Case of Alleged Vampirism by Luigi Capuana
The Last Lords of Gardonal by William Gilbert
Anca Lumei
Mixed bag of stories.

For reference, this is the list of contents:

Good Lady Ducayne by Mary Elizabeth Braddon
The Last Lords of Gardonal by William Gilbert
A Mystery of the Campagna by Anne Crawford
The Fate of Madame Cabanel by Eliza Lynn Linton
Let Loose by Mary Cholmondeley
The Vampire by Vasile Alecsandri
The Death of Halpin Frayser by Ambrose Bierce
Ken's Mystery by Julian Hawthorne
Carmilla by Sheridan LeFanu
The Tomb of Sarah by F. G. Loring
Ligeia by Edgar Allan Poe
The Old Portrait and
Lise Quintana
Oct 02, 2015 rated it liked it
It's hard to give a single rating to an anthology of 85 stories spanning about 200 years of vampire writing. Some of the stories, like The Room in the Tower, by E. F. Benson, are wonderfully non-typical takes on the vampire legend. Others, most especially the notably large number of stories whose introductions state that the authors were friends of Lovecraft, supporters of Lovecraft, etc., were disturbing for other reasons. The role of women in vampire stories is disheartening, and most of Lovec ...more
Jan 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Having shunned the purchase of any more (new) books because of my recent windfall, this huge, decrepit-looking book just screamed for me at NB last May--and it was at a bargain--20% off. Along with H.P. Lovecraft's Necronomicon, how could I resist?

It is indeed an archive of vampire stories dating from the mid-1800s to the mid to late nineties, with proper (though unnecessary) classifications. But I like how each author is given a very brief introduction, in case you may want to read further on h
Jan 18, 2013 rated it liked it
Uneven. Loved Good Lady Bucayne by M. E. Braddon, Carmilla by J. Seridan Le Fanu, An Episode Of Cathedral History by M. R. James, Fleur De Fur by Tanith Lee, and The Room In The Tower by E. F. Benson. I could have done without Ligeia by Edgar Allan Poe and all "That's Poetic." One of the strengths of this collection is the author bios.
Jojo Oglesby
Nov 06, 2014 rated it it was ok
Spent the Month of OCTOBER listening (audible) to this collection. Vampires you say? Stephen King you say? Sure, count me in. It sounded like a great idea, however in actuality, not so much. Lets just say it made for a very long October. I found literally only a handful of these stories worthy of the time it took to get through them.
B Kevin
May 30, 2016 rated it it was ok
Like most anthologies, it was hit and miss. some were rather interesting, some terrible (probably due to their age and style). I probably don't need to read any more vampire stories for a long long time.
Nov 03, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
"Fleur de feu. Oh flower of fire. That fire is not hate or fear, which makes flowers come, not terror or anger or lust, it is love that is the fire of the Bite-Me-Not, love which cannot abandon, love which cannot harm. Love which never dies."
Kate Taylor
Feb 19, 2010 is currently reading it
so far the stories have been very good overall. the story "carmilla" by sheridan le fanu is amazing; it may be the most perfect short story i have ever read.
Kelly Williams
Oct 20, 2014 rated it liked it
I didn't finish all the stories, but I enjoyed the ones I did. Definitely buying this book to keep on hand for reference and yearly Halloween reading!
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Otto Penzler is an editor of mystery fiction in the United States, and proprietor of The Mysterious Bookshop in New York City, where he lives.

Otto Penzler founded The Mysteriour Press in 1975 and was the publisher of The Armchair Detective, the Edgar-winning quarterly journal devoted to the study of mystery and suspense fiction, for seventeen years.

Penzler has won two Edgar Awards, for The Encycl
More about Otto Penzler...

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