Thursday, January 3, 2019

Dracul by Dacre Stoker & J.D. Barker

I finished reading my first horror novel of 2019! Oh sure, I started it in 2018, but finishing is the important thing. Well actually, the important thing for this post is that it was excellent and I want to suggest it to you.

Dracul (October 2018) is written by Dacre Stoker and J.D. Barker. The premise behind the novel is that when Dracula was published in 1897 the editors asked Bram Stoker to remove about 100 of the first pages of the novel. According to accounts, Bram Stoker claimed that the novel was based in fact and wanted to share his knowledge about the evil that roamed the night, but the publisher felt that was too extreme. Fast forward to a bit over 100 years and Bram Stoker's great-grandnephew, Dacre Stoker, starts to search for the missing pages of the original novel.

Dracul is Dacre Stoker and J. D. Barker's attempt at the missing pages. Using editions published in other languages that the English publisher didn't have rights over, and by searching for lost notes and manuscript pages, Stoker.2 and Barker weave a story about Bram Stoker's experience with a vampire nanny and eventual search for the tall, dark man we affectionately refer to as Dracula. It's actually much better than I describe it.

The story is told using fictitious journal entries from Bram Stoker,  his sister Matilda, and his brother Thornley and moves forward and back in time to put the story together. That we know much about the legend of Dracula makes the novel interesting. I found myself trying to piece together what was slowly being unveiled to the reader using what I thought I knew about vampires and being led in different directions by my own understanding of the night creatures.

The novel is paced wonderfully. A little slower at the beginning and then speeding up as we get closer to the finish. I had a hard time putting Dracul down. I was a little worried that the story was going to be continued in a second book, but have no fear, it's neatly wrapped up.

I've read rumors that Dracul may be headed to film. I think it could work. Dacre Stoker has a website you should probably bookmark if you're interested in hearing him speak about Bram Stoker and Dracula. I'll be watching for a location near me.

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