Books

The 15 best literary vampires

Need a good horror to get your teeth into? Thirsting for some unnerving fiction?

You get the idea.

With Halloween lurking in the shadows, Audible Originals has announced the release of a new audio-dramatisation of J Sheridan Le Fanu’s nineteenth-century gothic vampire novella, Carmilla - narrated by the likes of Rose Leslie (Game of Thrones, Downton Abbey) and David Tennant (Doctor Who, Broadchurch).

To celebrate the resurrection of this vampiric classic, the team at Audible Originals has put together a list of some of the greatest undead blood-suckers to have graced the literary world (some of whom now living on in audible form). Time to indulge in some darkness.

Carmilla is available to download for free from Audible.co.uk, the world’s leading provider of digital spoken-word audio entertainment

  • The 15 best literary vampires

    Carmilla

    The mysterious and beautiful subject of Audible Original’s brand new dramatization based Sheridan Le Fanu’s nineteenth-century gothic novella of the same name (1897). 

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  • The 15 best literary vampires 1

    Joshua York

    The reclusive and softly spoken vampire in George R. R. Martin’s 1982 vampire-thriller Fevre Dream, set in a steamboat the Mississippi River. 

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  • The 15 best literary vampires 2

    Count de Magpyr

    The charming protagonist of Sir Terry Pratchett’s novel Carpe Jugulum (1992) - Latin: Seize the Throat – a tongue-in-cheek reversals of the vampire stereotype in which they wear bright colours and stay up until noon. 

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  • The 15 best literary vampires 3

    Kurt Barlow

    The antagonist from Stephen King’s second and ‘favourite’ novel Salem's Lot (1975) who disguised as an antiques dealer, terrorises the town of Jerusalem's Lot, Maine. 

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  • The 15 best literary vampires 4

    Eli

    The androgynous centuries-old child vampire that befriends a young boy in Swedish-author John Ajvide Lindqvist’s 2004 novel Let the Right One In (Låt Den Rätte Komma in the original Swedish). 

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  • The 15 best literary vampires 5

    Eric Northman

    Sookie Stackhouse’s Viking-born love interest in Charlaine Harris’s The Southern Vampire Mysteries (2001-13), which inspired the hit HBO-series True Blood. The first book in the series Dead Until Dark.

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  • The 15 best literary vampires 6

    Lestat de Lioncourt

    The cynical, ruthless and seductive gentleman turned undead in Anne Rice’s bestselling series The Vampire Chronicles (1976-2014); later portrayed by Tom Cruise in the 1994 film adaptation of Interview with Vampire. 

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  • The 15 best literary vampires 7

    Edward Cullen

    The heartthrob from Stephenie Meyer’s internationally bestselling Twilight series (2005-08) might not be your first choice of vampiric hero - but you can't argue with his record as one of the most lucrative stars of any YA series in history. 

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  • The 15 best literary vampires 8

    Kaspar Varn

    The notorious lady-killer and heir to the vampire throne in Abigail Gibbs series, The Dark Heroine (2012) which the young British author initially published online, amasses a huge following which later lead to a major publishing deal. 

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  • The 15 best literary vampires 9

    Vlad the Impaler

    The terrifying and ancient vampire in Elizabeth Kostova’s The Historian (2005) based on the 15th century Prince of Wallachia who is also said to have inspired the character of Stoker’s Dracula.

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  • The 15 best literary vampires 10

    Dracula

    The sophisticated, aristocratic and witty vampire in Kim Newman’s Anno Dracula (1992) where he presents an alternate reality to Stoker’s Dracula, in which Van Helsing fails and Dracula marries Queen Victoria. 

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  • The 15 best literary vampires 11

    Ruth

    The mysterious vampire in Matthew Matheson’s I am Legend (1954), where the protagonist Robert Neville is the sole survivor of a vampire pandemic that hits a future Los Angeles.

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  • The 15 best literary vampires 12

    Nothing

    Nothing, adopted by unsuspecting humans as a baby in Poppy Z Brite’s novel Lost Souls (1992), was actually born a vampire. His quest to find his real family does not come without a little blood… 

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  • The 15 best literary vampires 13

    Amy Harper Bellafonte

    Amy Harper Bellafonte, a child who is infected with a virus that gives her the immortality, but none of the bloodlust of vampires, in Justin Cronin’s The Passage (2010) .

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  • The 15 best literary vampires 14

    Dracula

    Obviously. Dracula, sinister, darkly evil and often mistakenly considered the protagonist of the original vampire story (Carmilla predates it) in Bram Stoker’s infamous novel of the same name (1897).

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