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.
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From Publishers Weekly
The third edition of this comprehensive encyclopedia of vampires and vampire lore is exhaustive, covering vampire esoterica, vampire novelists, historical figures like Vlad the Impaler, and much more, and featuring an extra decade of vampire knowledge that allows Melton to incorporate the Twilight phenomenon and acknowledge the cultural importance of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and other developments in the bloody field. Melton's (The Encyclopedia of Religious Phenomenon) research is meticulous and readers with even a passing interest in vampires will be amazed by the staggering wealth of information presented. However, Melton's volume is redundant in the extreme and some of what he includes (such as entries like the London of Dracula's Time) are only tenuously related to vampires. At times, it's difficult to tell if Melton has an extremely dry sense of humor or none at all, since his entries are so obsessively single-minded. Ultimately, readers who really want something to sink their teeth into will find this indispensible, but more casual enthusiasts will likely be overwhelmed.
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