Bite: A Vampire Handbook
Author: Kevin Jackson
Publisher: Portobello Books
Author’s Note: Before I start with this review, I’d like to send a big thank you to Bea Harper (one of our lovely site contributors) for gifting me this book.
Vampires are and have been for a long time a source of fear, a mythical creature of the night that has spawn many legends and stories. A complete run down of their history, legends, stories, influences, ect would no doubt take a very long time and the book would be thick and heavy. BITE however is not a thick or heavy book, but it does include a lot about vampire history and lore, and just enough to satisfy those of us who are interested in the subject.
Naturally, a lot more could have written here but the aim of this book is to fit in a lot but not have it be boring and over bearing. The style of this book contains lists and passages and it talks about vampire legends, origins, and its beginnings in fictional literature, stage and screen. Of course it talks about Bram Stoker and Tod Browning, Hammer Horror and Christopher Lee, plus Vlad The Impaler and Elizabeth Bathory. It also mentions Twilight and Buffy The Vampire Slayer. There is something featured for all types of fans, and for those who perhaps only know a little about the vampire, may find this a very interesting read.
As someone who has been studying vampires for a long time, it didn’t tell me much of anything new, however its inclusion of the Hammer Horror films was very interesting since I am not overly familiar with those. Kevin Jackson wants to give us the facts but he is also quite an opinionated person and includes his own feelings on the subjects, which I found to be quite welcome and also interesting as I could compare his thoughts to my own.
A big set back here is that when it comes to new cinema this book is outdated, and it can be felt throughout the third part of the book. This is of course no fault of the author, and it can be looked passed easily enough. BITE is an enjoyable read and a fast one. It may be more appealing to those new to the vampire, and not so interesting to those who are far more familiar. A good read non the less, and a little fun as well.