This book takes the reader on a vast, alphabetic tour of the psychosexual, macabre world of the blood-sucking undead. From Vlad the Impaler to Barnabas Collins to Dracula and Lestat, it supplies nearly 500 exhaustive essays illustrated with more than 250 photos. A very thorough unearthing of the vampire through the ages, this guide relies on a collection of 2,000 titles on vampires, digging deep into the lore, the myths, and the reported realities of vampires and vampire legends from around the world.
J. Gordon Melton has the credentials: he's a religious historian, author of 25 books about religion and vampires, president of the American chapter of the Transylvania Society of Dracula (founded in Bucharest, Romania), and chairman of the committee that put on Dracula '97: A Centennial Celebration in Los Angeles. The Vampire Book is meticulously researched and well organized. Included are an article on the cultural history of the vampire; a historical timeline; addresses of vampire societies all over the world; a 55-page filmography; vampires in plays, opera, and ballet; a 13-page list of vampire novels; and an extensive index. The A to Z entries, each with a short bibliography, include vampire lore in more than 30 different geographic regions and a comprehensive "who's who," and cover topics ranging from fingernails to sexuality, the Camarilla to Szekelys.