Vampire literature and audiobooks continue to fascinate cultures across generations worlds apart, forming a cult-like following, ever willing to add a stash of Sookie Stackhouse vampire mystery or put Christopher Moore’s Blood Sucking Fiends on loop. The variety of sub-genres is insane. It’s fascinating to have a vast pool to pick from yet challenging to settle on a title to sink your teeth in. We are here to fix that.
From innocent looking heart-throbs that sparkle in the sunlight, to garlic-hating crucifix-fearing creatures that terrorize and devour, to slow-burning classic tales, to fast-paced modern reinventions, we’ve got you. This list of vampire audiobooks guarantees the perfect audiobook weekend listen.
So join me and Le Fanu’s vampire expert Baron Vordenburg with your stakes, garlic, and holy water, for a great listen into our preferred brands of undead bloodsuckers.
Salem’s Lot by Stephen King; narrated by Ron McLarty
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Length: 17 hours 35 mins
Ben Mears returns to Jerusalem’s Lot in Maine, hoping that living in one old haunted mansion will help him cast out his childhood nightmares and provide inspiration for his new novel. It’s about a haunted house from his childhood that continues to bother him even in his adulthood. One little boy disappears into the woods, and only then does Mears discovers his hometown is infested by vampires far beyond his control. Only a handful of Lot’s inhabitants realize The Master is among them, so they come together to launch an attack on the beasts.
Stephen King once mentioned that Salem’s Lot, a first-class vampire novel, is one of his favorites, and after listening to this audiobook, we agree. Being King’s second novel after Carrie, this is Stephen King discovering his fascinating gift of building tension and using it to keep you up all night. It’s not the sun-dreading coffin-dreading vampire audiobook, but it holds up perfectly.
His vivid description of tiptoeing down some dark stairs or turning some corner is enthralling. The title is excellent, the plot even better. Narration by Ron McLarty, who breathes life into each compelling character, makes it all the more interesting. Fans of Stephen King will enjoy devouring this fascinating listen.
Dracula by Bram Stoker
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Length: 15 hours 49 mins
Award-winning Dracula is an 1897 gothic horror novel by Irish author Bram Stoker that became one of the most influential vampire classics ever written to authors and Hollywood’s elite. It introduced the infamous character of Count Dracula, establishing many conventions of subsequent vampire fantasy.
This bonafide classic tale follows Dracula’s attempt to move from Transylvania to England to find new blood and spread the undead curse. Dracula’s genius pits his wits against Britain’s finest during the epic battle between two worlds featuring The Count and the Band of Awesome, led by the brilliant Professor Abraham Van Helsing- now a strong influence of subsequent vampire literature. Bram Stoker wrote women rather well for a man of his time. He created compelling female vampire leads such as Lucy Westenra and the Brides of Dracula to listen to.
This Audible version of the audiobook is the best all-star cast of narrating talent ever assembled. The idea was to return to Stoker’s original storytelling structure, which had a series of journal entries and letters by Jonathan Harker, Professor Van Hesling, and others. The stellar narrators infuse their unique collection of accents into the sprawling vibrant characters making this audiobook suspenseful, creepy, chilling, and intensely beautiful.
Powers of Darkness: The Lost Version of Dracula by Bram Stoker
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Length: 7 hours 27 mins
Powers of Darkness is an incredible literary adaptation of the classic famous 1897 book Dracula from Bram Stoker – one of the best listens across all genres. Called Makt Myrkranna (Powers of Darkness), this Icelandic edition from publisher and writer Valdimar Asmundsson includes an original preface by Stoker.
However, no one looked beyond the preface to get deeper into Asmundsson’s story. In 2014, literary researcher Hans de Roos discovered Asmundsson had reworked the whole story, including the characterization and plot. He translated Powers of Darkness into English, resulting in a shorter, punchier, more erotic, and perhaps even more suspenseful than Stoker’s original. The title is similar in the right way yet just a different enough listen to be intriguing in a new way, making it a worthy companion to Stoker’s final version.
In this title, the Count is quite terrifying. Jonathan Harker, renamed Thomas, is still trapped in Dracula’s castle, but his experiences are markedly different from the original. His stay at the mansion is way more interesting here. That said, the ending felt like an anticlimax considering the excellent build-up. Some parts were rushed and nowhere near as developed as the early chapters of the audiobook. Also, the first 11 chapters seemed like a preface, so if you want to get to the meat of the story, you may have to skip the introduction. It serves to illustrate how much richer Stoker’s final product is. Still a good listen if you want to learn a generally new plot.
The audiobook will entertain legions of Gothic horror fans and vampire fiction as they join the worlds inhabited by Powers of Darkness. Recommend this audiobook to one of your friends who have access to Audible if they can listen to the delicate Victorian mind without laughing too much. It’s a great listen.
Anno Dracula by Kim Newman; narrated by William Gaminara
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Length: 11 hours 48 mins
Acclaimed novelist Kim Newman takes us back to 1888 with a brilliant reinvention of Dracula’s universe and Victorian London – a place where Queen Victoria has remarried a familiar character, The Count. Anno Dracula is a compelling alternate history combining two worlds through horror, mystery, romance.
It tells the story of vampire Geneviève Dieudonné and British spy Charles Beauregard as they strive to solve the mystery of the Jack the Ripper murders. Besides Dracula’s reimagined conclusion, this title includes nicely drawn character cameos from other vampire novels and historical figures. Each character has a fullness and depth – one that adds to the story’s quality without losing its energy flow.
With an incredible reading from voice talent, William Gaminara gives each character a unique voice, making this rich and panoramic title one of the best listens ever. Any fan of Stoker will enjoy this audiobook.
Twilight by Stephenie Meyer; narrated by Ilyana Kadushin
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Length: 12 hours 51 mins
Twilight is every bit vampire as its romance. Stephenie Meyer quickly pulls you in as she goes to great lengths to explain and point out vampire strengths compared to humans. Isabella Swan moves to Fork, the small town in Washington, to meet her would-be lover, the alluring Edward Cullen. She doesn’t know that Edward is a vampire, and so far, he’s managed to keep that identity a secret. As Edward thirsts for blood, Isabella’s life is about to take a life-changing turn. Will she rather defy her instincts and satisfy her desires?
Twilight revolves around a sea of anger, inner conflict, and unexpected, undying love that will keep you listening into the late-night hours. The audiobook fills in all the gaps left out in its movie adaptation. It’s one of those vampire audiobooks that gets scoffed at, but this captivating novel surprisingly sucks you in whether you like it or not. It’s humor, mystery, suspense, action, romance, and a new kind of vampire lore. Ilyana Kadushin’s unparalleled performance as Bella on this audiobook is astonishing. No one else would read Bella like that. Fantastic. Admirers of Anne Rice will enjoy this great listen.
The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova
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Length: 11 hours 30 mins
This slow-burning intricate, eerie piece has about four layers of ancient history and modern tales perfectly interwoven into one fascinating depiction by the incredible Elizabeth Kostova. The Historian aims to please with; gorgeously depicted locations, rich enough action, concrete detail, a well-developed plot from Elizabeth, and long-enough narrator reading by Justin and Paul.
If you’re familiar with Dracula’s structure of using detailed letters to tell the tale, then this will be easy to follow. A young woman stumbles upon her father’s yellowing letters addressed to “My dear and unfortunate successor.”In her quest for answers, she plunges into a world where hidden truths about her father’s past connect the dots to her mother’s mysterious fate. She’s determined to find the source of the darkness and wipe it out. Vlad the Impaler, Dracula’s equivalent, connects the two worlds, and we learn that something must have kept his work alive down through the ages. It’s evil, enthralling, and a bloodthirsty delight!
As you wander through the characters’ worlds, you can’t help but admire how Justin Eyre’s and Paul Michael’s readings blend into each other. The Historian is a great listen for long rides and flights.