Imagining a Better Future by Re-imagining the Past

Saturday, April 12, 2014

The Bat is my Brother by Robert Bloch

Thanks largely to books such as An Interview with the Vampire and the Twilight series, vampire stories have seen resurgence in popularity. Recently I had the good fortune to read the short story The Bat is My Brother by Robert Bloch, which was written in 1944 and published in Weird Tales.

The author Robert Bloch is most famous for his novel Psycho, which was the basis of the movie. His statement "Despite my ghoulish reputation, I really have the heart of a small boy. I keep it in a jar on my desk," was borrowed by Stephen King and is often attributed to King rather than Bloch.

The story opens with the protagonist Graham Keene awakening to find himself seemingly buried alive in a paupers grave. As horrible a situation as that would be, the situation quickly takes an even more terrifying turn when he learns that he’s burial was due to a vampire attack that he is now one of the undead.

The Bat is My Brother is an overall good story. In many ways it was ahead of its time with the removal of the supernatural (in the story, vampirism is a disease rather than black magic) along with elements reminiscent of the movie Daybreakers.

Pages of Weird Tales with the story can be viewed here. There is also an unofficial Robert Bloch website.

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