Vampires Today: The Truth About Modern Vampirism by Joseph Laycock is a new book that has been getting fantastic reviews for it’s unbiased look into real modern vampires. The book poses the questions… What does it mean to be a vampire? Is it a medical condition? Is it a fantasy? Is vampirism a religion?
Joseph Laycock interviews members of the Atlanta Vampire Alliance and others within vampire communities throughout the United States. The books introduces you to “life style” vampires, who are those that have adopted the look and feel from vampires of art and legend. Then it goes into “real vampires” who feel that they need to consume blood and/or psychic energy in order to survive. In this book the Order of the Vampyre, the Ordo Strigoi Vii, and the Temple of the Vampire are also looked into and explained.
To go ahead and quote the book jacket itself…
“Throughout the world, untold numbers of people are identifying as “vampires” and following the ways of “vampirism.” In the past two decades, modern vampirism has come under increased study, yet most scholarship has portrayed the vampire as a cultural phenomenon and at worst as a religious cult.
Having interviewed many vampires across the country, both “lifestylers” and “real,” even those “reluctants” who try not to be vampires, Laycock argues that today’s vampires are best understood as an identity group and that vampirism has caused a profound change in how individuals choose to define themselves. As vampires come “out of the coffin,” either as followers of a “religion” or “lifestyle” or as people biologically distinct from other humans, their confrontation with mainstream society will raise questions about the definition of “normal” and what it means to be human. Here, readers will find the details of real vampire life—including vampire role-playing games, grimoires, “vampyre” balls, vampire houses like House Sahjaza and House Kheperu, the vampire “caste” system, and other details—utterly fascinating.”
Every review I have read on this book gives it major props. Reviewers are lined up to compliment Laycock on his intellectual yet unbiased explanation of this fascinating world of real vampires.