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3.76  ·  Rating details ·  3,020 ratings  ·  210 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.

The cult classic is back for fans who like their vampire hunters hard-boiled.

You don't just kill vampires for the money, you do it for the satisfaction. You do it because somebody has
Paperback, 368 pages
Published May 5th 1992 by Roc (first published May 5th 1990)
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Kevin I'll go +1 for the book being better than the movie. I had been a fan of the book long before the movie came out. When it was announced that James Woo…moreI'll go +1 for the book being better than the movie. I had been a fan of the book long before the movie came out. When it was announced that James Wood would be playing Jack Crow, I knew the movie wouldn't do the book justice. Jack Crow's a hulk of a man in this book, no offense to Woods. (less)

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Average rating 3.76  · 
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 ·  3,020 ratings  ·  210 reviews

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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
Monica Medina
Sep 24, 2007 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 is not going to change the world. It's about vampire hunters. But I loved every character, I loved the story the author told, and I cared what happened.

It could be that it was my age when I read it - I was a teenager. Whatever. I love Team Crow. And I still do.
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
Mike (the Paladin)
Jun 03, 2012 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
Mar 20, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobooks, horror

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
Oct 29, 2007 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 23, 2012 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
Feb 26, 2010 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
Feb 19, 2008 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.
Mar 19, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
''The whole thing was, Felix had to admit, beautiful. You really needed Catholics for the big stuff.''

This book feels like a first draft.
The first 50 pages or so are some of the very worst writing I've ever read. After that, Steakley finally settles in and the writing improves to merely sub-mediocre—which is, at least, readable.

But it's never good. For example, in every other chapter...
There's a bit written like this.
There's a bit where John Steakley does this.
There's a bit where there are thre
Jan 05, 2008 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
Jul 07, 2009 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 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.

Slate R. Raven
Dec 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
Not bad, saw the movie first so this was totally unexpected. I was interested in the way they developed a leader from a follower. Over all I can say it’s worth reading. Some level of suspension of disbelief is required but that’s true of most fiction isn’t it?
kartik narayanan
Feb 12, 2021 rated it it was ok
DNF because I couldn't get into the story.

Seth Skorkowsky
Jun 01, 2014 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
Alger Smythe-Hopkins
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
Feb 04, 2012 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 rated it it was ok
Shelves: hard-copy
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 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. ...more
Jan 24, 2008 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.
Jan 05, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Even though this title was not in a genre I often read, I found it an exciting and compelling page turner.

Central to the story is a “posse” of vampire killers lead by Jack Crow who have many weapons at their disposal - pistols with silver bullets, crossbows, stakes, bolts and vampire detectors. The vampires spit, and torrents of blood flow when they unleash their mayhem. The action is full throttle ultra-violent, colorful, erotic and theatrical throughout.

But Jack’s “team” are also a decent bu
The Black Hat Writer
Aug 23, 2014 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
Mark Schlatter
Jun 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own, re-read
This has been a "comfort food" read for me in the past and one of those books I return to again and again. Not that there's anything particularly comfortable about the story --- this is high octane adventure/horror --- but I have regularly enjoyed the experience of reading it.

I'm guessing this is (for het males) the equivalent of romance novels for het females. It's a dude's novel, where men bond together fighting impossible odds while cracking jokes and struggling with the immense burdens of re
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
J.   ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Aug 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
3.5 stars bumped to 4 because I like the writing style.

I love Armor. Love it and have no idea why. It makes me sick every time I get to the end and know there will never be a sequel. Imagine my joy when I remembered Steakley had another book under his belt. This book was very much in the same style as Armor. But alas, this wasn't Armor. Seems like it could've been a lot more, it's slow in places and rushed in others. I enjoyed it, but don't see myself ever listening again. I dunno, maybe I'll gi
Apr 04, 2012 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 02, 2010 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
Jun 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Traditional vampire fans, men
Shelves: vampires
I don't generally go for this type of book, you know the type with lots of testosterone, booze, swearing and horror? And I honestly wasn't even planning on reading this, but curiosity made me read "just the first page" and that was it. I couldn't put it down.

1. Humorous
2. Suspenseful
3. Action packed
4. Larger-than-life characters
5. Fast-paced
6. People actually die

1. Lots of cussing, but I didn't even mind that much, since that's just the kind of book it is.
2. It is a book that will bri
Torsten Nelson
Dec 23, 2014 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
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John Steakley, born 1951 in Cleburne, Texas was best known for his science fiction writing. He wrote two major novels, Armor (1984) and Vampire$ (1991), the latter of which became the basis for John Carpenter's Vampires movie. He also wrote 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 spells in South America and ...more

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