Dracula – The Un-Dead by Dacre Stoker and Ian Holt

Posted on 16 July 2010. Filed under: Book Reviews, Guest Blogger | Tags: , , |

Here’s an interesting thought. I handed my copy of this book to my 22 year old nephew and asked him to write a review of it. He emailed to me today and so I get to share it with you. I do have to warn you he’s toned it down a bit, I can’t share with you what he really said to me.

I read Dacre Stoker’s book and after finishing, my first thoughts were “What a waste of time.” By itself it’s fairly good, well written, with the characters well defined. However as a sequel to Dracula, it lacked a certain something, and followed the really annoying modern trend of having no absolute Evil, but rather misunderstood beings fighting another being that was evil, yes, but not sheer unadulterated Badness.

If this had been a stand alone novel, I would have liked it, but it’s not. It was a disappointment, and I spent a lot of the time reading it wishing I could shout at either the characters or the author.

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Dracula, Squid Ink style

Posted on 15 July 2010. Filed under: Squid Ink | Tags: , , |

There have been many books and movies written about Dracula, but the best books are the original which I’ve scribbled a few words here about and Dracula – The Un-Dead written by a descendent of Bram Stoker, you can find the few words I’ve written here. Here is the Squid Ink version.

Squid Ink - Dracula

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Dracula – The Un-Dead by Dacre Stoker and Ian Holt

Posted on 22 March 2010. Filed under: Book Reviews | Tags: , , , |

Today I finished reading a book, yes, it’s a cause for celebration for some people. It’s certainly a cause for celebration for me as I should soon get some decent sleep. I really shouldn’t read horror as it gives me rather strange dreams. Dracula – The Un-Dead by Dacre Stoker and Ian Holt is the first official sequel to Dracula by Bram Stoker. It is written by Dacre Stoker, the great grandnephew of Bram Stoker, and Ian Holt, the biggest Dracula fan in the world. I previously read and then scribbled a few things about Bram Stoker’s book and now it is time to write a few words about both books.

Dracula – The Un-Dead is a great book. It shows how brilliant Bram Stoker’s original book was while filling in some gaps and dealing with the inconsistencies created by Bram Stoker’s book and other Dracula books, movies and plays, it also makes it seem very real by bringing Bram Stoker, himself, into the story as well as various historical events and people. It highlights the dramatic tendencies Bram had and also how brilliant he was with keeping the tension going right through to the end. In Dracula – The Un-Dead the tension was still going right to the final paragraph and we’re left on tenterhooks even though we know what will happen as it’s a very historical event.

The only problem I have with it is the language. Bram Stoker’s book was set in about 1893 and the language showed that, it was rather stilted without slang and was what most other books set in that era have been. Dacre and Ian, on the other hand, have written in the style of today, despite the book being set in 1912. I’m not saying there’s words like lol or rofl, which there very well could be as it was only published in 2009, but it was a simpler style much more in keeping with books written today.

So, all you horror fans, run to your nearest store and buy it, make sure you have Dracula as well and read them back to back. If your shop doesn’t have it make sure they order it in from Harper Collins. They are both must read books for horror fans.

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Dracula – Bram Stoker

Posted on 3 March 2010. Filed under: Book Reviews | Tags: , , , |

I can’t actually write a review of Dracula, that’d be sacrilegious so I’m just going to tell you why I had to read it now and then ramble on about it a bit.

Last year I was very excited to win a competition on Twitter. The prize was Dracula The Un-Dead by Dacre Stoker. Yes, Dacre is a descendent of Bram, in fact, he’s a great nephew and this book is the sequel. It’s a bit silly to read the sequel without having read the original so when DD borrowed Dracula from the library I took the opportunity of reading it also.

I suspect I’ve read it before as some parts of it were rather familiar but the bulk of it wasn’t. I do recall reading a short story with some similarities fairly recently and it’d be nice to be able to remember the name of this story so I could tell you but I generally don’t pay much attention to the names of short stories. The similarity was in the location of the house and also in dealing with a dead person so they would stop haunting the family, it also felt very much like Dracula in the writing style.

There were several bits that really annoyed me about Dracula. The leading characters were all sweetness and light. Nothing was too hard for them and they were always absolutely perfectly behaved in thought, word and deed. I don’t mind the odd character like that but it’s impossible for everyone to be like that. I found the focus on the protection provided by the Cross to be rather annoying, I do understand that Christianity was the most prominent religion at the time of writing and that’s why that particular symbol was used but as a non-Christian I find it annoying…it also annoys me in Buffy. I did like Dracula’s castle, though.

Dracula in the book is rather different to modern perceptions of vampires. Just look at Buffy, for example. Vampires in Buffy can’t go out in daylight and can’t change their shape. Also, in Buffy, the vampires kill immediately with the first bite while Dracula takes his time to kill over several days, sucking a little blood at a time and stretching tension just so much without actually breaking it.

At this point I could do something really silly and mention George Hamilton in Love at First Bite, a movie screened in 1979 which really has very little similarity to Stoker’s Dracula but is fun and George Hamilton was very good looking (still is, to be honest). We were discussing this the other night over dinner and someone suggested that Bram Stoker had not done enough research, completely missing out Buffy, Bela Lugosi’s Dracula and Twilight.

I’m going to stop at this point before I get myself into too much trouble.

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