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The Vampyre [Kindle Edition]

Tom Holland
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £9.99
Kindle Price: £6.49 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
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Book Description

Infamous poet Lord Byron comes to life with incendiary brilliance in this spellbinding blend of gothic imagination and documented fact. Wandering in the mountains of Greece, the supreme sensualist is drawn to the beauty of a mysterious fugitive slave; soon he is utterly entranced, and his fate is sealed. He embarks on a life of adventure even his genius could not have foreseen; chosen to enjoy powers beyond those any vampire has ever known, Byron traverses the centuries and enters a dark, intoxicating world of long-lost secrets, ancient arts and scorching excesses of evil. But Byron's gift is also his torment: an all-consuming thirst that withers life at the root, damning all those he loves.

With its impeccable scholarship and breathtaking storytelling, THE VAMPYRE is a wonderful combination of fact and fantasy.

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Product Description


A classical alternative to the traditional tale, Byron himself would have been pleased by such an eerie, erudite addition to his myth (TIME OUT)

Ingenious and entertaining (SUNDAY TIMES)

A powerfully atmospheric tale (COMPANY)

A tour de force of scholarship and gothicity (LOS ANGELES TIMES)

Book Description

* A novel of death, love and the agonies of immortality

* 'A damned good story' INDEPENDENT

Product details

More About the Author

Historian Tom Holland has adapted Homer, Herodotus, Thucydides and Virgil for BBC Radio. Rubicon was shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize and won the Hessell-Tiltman Prize for History 2004, and Persian Fire won the Anglo-Hellenic League's Runciman Award 2006.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible - buy it now! 28 Dec. 2002
By A Customer
This is an amazing book - when I first saw it...I thought it would be just another vampire story - but never judge a book by its cover! The most memorable book I have ever read, it will make you laugh, cry, gasp and want more! It has gripped my interest both in gothicism and in Byron himself - both the man and the myth - and is surely a must for those who already find his story fascinating. It chronicles Lord Byron's life, travels and relationships with a twist - his transformation into a powerful vampire - or vampyre - by an evil Pasha, and the changes it brings about, both good and bad. Erotic yet terrible, this is a book you won't forget in a hurry - believe me when I say that words fail me, you must read it for yourself. A literary treat not to be missed - I look forward to reading more Tom Holland soon!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A great Gothic novel 10 Jan. 2014
A great Gothic novel, and indeed memorable. I read it ages ago, and recently found it rewarding to revisit (having read much more about and by Byron in the interim). An intriguing blend of fantasy and reality, with poignant episodes, mystery, horror, passion and drama. Very good characterization, both of sympathetic and villainous personalities. I am also fond of novels where the author demonstrates depth of historical knowledge. Holland's fictitious premise meshes so well with the real history that you almost wonder whether he might not have been on to something...
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4.0 out of 5 stars Byron: aristocrat, poet, vampire 8 Oct. 2013
If you come to this on the back of Tom Holland's history writing, you'll be surprised. In this fiction book, Holland reinvents Lord Byron as a vampire. Byron relates his life to a woman who came looking for the missing autobiography - a touch of Interview With The Vampire - and Holland meshes the known facts of Byron's life with his life as a vampire - a touch of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Slayer. It's cleverly done, but it has been done better elsewhere - the two books previously mentioned, for a start. A little slow to start but steadily improves throughout.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Changed my perception of fiction! 30 Jan. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Usually not at all a fan of fiction, more a fan of Holland's factual work. I can safely say however, after reading this that I have completely changed my perspective about the genre. A couple of reviewers rightly point out that it is not the most complex work to understand but that is what makes it so engaging. An easy to read, fun and intelligent piece of fiction... (i hope)..
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Damned to Everlasting Infamy 4 April 2008
By Craobh Rua VINE VOICE
George Gordon, better known as Lord Byron, is one of England's most famous 'Romantic' poets. He was born in 1788, the son of John Byron and Catherine Gordon, but inherited his title and property of his great-uncle in 1798. He travelled extensively throughout Europe and Asia Minor - his trips abroad included Albania, Greece and Italy - particularly when he was in trouble at home. (He piled up debts, his marriage collapsed after little over a year and caused a great deal of scandal with a series of illicit love affairs - his romantic entanglement with his half-sister, Augusta Leigh, was particularly noteworthy. In fact, it is believed that Augusta's daughter was fathered by Byron, rather than by her husband). After his marriage to Anne Milbanke failed, Byron left England in 1816. He settled in Geneva for a while - where he became friendly with Percy and Mary Shelley - before moving on to Italy. In 1824, he sailed to Greece to help in their fight for independence from the Ottoman Empire. However, Byron caught and died from a fever before seeing any action.

"The Vampyre" tells Byron's life story, though from a slightly different angle. Byron, as it turns out, never actually died and the book sees him telling his story to Rebecca Carville. He covers what he feels to be the key period of his existence, beginning with the trip to Greece where he became a vardoulacha - a vampire - and finishing with his faked death in Greece. Although the story is (obviously) embellished, Holland clearly had done his research before writing this book. It features Byron's most notable love affairs, his friendships with John Hobhouse and the Shellys, even the feeble contribution of his rather pitiful doctor, Polidor.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well-written and genuinely scary stuff! 25 Sept. 1999
The theme might appear - and surely is - preposterous. But from the first page, the author leads you very persuasively through a series of vampiric events. The horror is used quite sparingly, but with considerable effect. The book is a pleasant change from the stereotypical Dracula-derived tale; Holland creates images which are genuinely scary and not easily forgotten.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great story 10 May 2014
By James
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Love this vampire story. Much better than most in this genre and hauntingly good by the end. A wonderful insight, into the fictitious mind of Lord Byron too.
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9 of 14 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars HORRIBLY WRITTEN AND PAINFUL TO READ 12 July 2010
This is bad. Oh so bad! Lord Byron has a crash on maiden in distress by the name of Haidee and together they are trying to escape the big bad vampire, the Vardoulacha. They ride their horse and are chased by Haidee's family of vampires and her entire village of vampire zombies until finally they are caught and the poet is turned into a vampire. He then gets involved with the Makri sisters of the prominent Athenian family, who are here presented as concubines, turns his friend and personal physician John William Polidori into a vampire, kills his daughter Alegra, befriends other vampires in Italy, apparently most of his friends were vampires, discovers that Haidee had been a vampire all along, and lives unhappily ever after, occasionally drinking blood in modern day London. Oh I forgot Byron in modern times goes by the name of Ruthven from Polidori's Vampire, and the past events take place near the Greek river Acheron, that leads to the underworld.

In total, a complete mess! A little bit of Polidori, a little bit of Hobhouse's recollections, some references to Greek mythology that make no sense at all, some references to the Greek War of Independence without any historical accuracy whatsoever, a dash of romance, a little bad sex, some blood and a great deal of childish talk about freedom, all that horribly written, and to think that it includes some quotes from Byron's verse, what audacity!

Read Lord Byron! Read Polidory if you will! Read any book on vampires you can find, just don't read this one. The only good thing I can think of is that it is kind of interesting to read, just so you can see how far it will go and how bad it will get.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I love this book so much. Very atmospheric I have it forever on my kindle now.
Published 1 month ago by MISS M J NORRIS
1.0 out of 5 stars Very bad
This is a very bad book which is a shame as I love a good vampire story. Read Bram Stokers Dracula or anything by Anne Rice if you want a good read. Read more
Published on 17 Feb. 2012 by SLU
5.0 out of 5 stars If you love gothic horror you cant get better than this...
This is the best vampire story I have read. Totally engrossing, it just wills you keep reading.
This is not a historical novel about Lord Byron but a fantastic story woven... Read more
Published on 21 Jun. 2011 by John P Eldridge
3.0 out of 5 stars Rather dull...
Some interesting ideas but a somewhat dull read. Did not capture my imagination at all. In the end I managed to finish it, but more down to my own determination rather than any... Read more
Published on 24 May 2011 by N. Flynn
5.0 out of 5 stars Could not put this down!
I am very interested in Gothic fiction and I like a good vampire tale too. I recognised Tom Holland's name from the numerous history books that Mr S has of his. Read more
Published on 20 July 2009 by Dot
1.0 out of 5 stars Derivative to the point of hilarity
I must have missed the originality and innovation that this book was reviewed as by several big papers. Read more
Published on 1 Sept. 2008 by Erastes
5.0 out of 5 stars Deliciously dark - unravelling Lord Byron's unlife!
This highly evocative and imaginative read exudes pure atmosphere and ambience by creating tangible imagery with its well structured sentences. Read more
Published on 9 Aug. 2008 by Kenn
2.0 out of 5 stars The Vampyre
The book has some good ideas, but I found this a dull read.....very little seems to happen. Things do improve towards the end though by then it's perhaps too late. Read more
Published on 29 May 2008 by Rich
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