Some of Your Blood, Theodore Sturgeon, 1956
Yes this book is old, but what can I say? I’ve never read it before, and Theodore Sturgeon is one of the greats. A quick glance through his bibliography revealed half a dozen familiar titles that I’ve read and loved, and while I’m not generally a horror fan, I read this on the strength of his name and reputation.
Warning: some spoilers ahead.
This is the story of George Smith, Infantry, Motor Mechanic, pulled from a forward staging area somewhere overseas and committed to a military mental ward when he punched a superior officer. The book tells George’s story through letters between the attending psychiatrist and his superior officer, some writing by george himself, and flashbacks.
This book was not what I expected. The writing and characterizations were excellent; this is Theodore Sturgeon after all. That wasn’t the problem.
Based on the title, the cover art, and the back cover copy, I was expecting a Vampire novel. What I got was a vampire novel. I expected a supernatural vampire, what was delivered was a psychological vampire. George isn’t undead, he doesn’t sleep through the day and rise at night, sunlight doesn’t hurt him, nor crosses. Presumably he eats or doesn’t eat, garlic based solely on his taste preferences.
He does drink blood, but only when he feels the need, based on psychological stress. Mostly he drinks the blood of animals he traps, but he has killed several people and he did drink their blood (no fangs, a knife sufficed).
If you like this kind of low-key psychological horror/thriller, then this is an excellent example. If you are looking for a Vampire novel, you should look elsewhere.