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Posted October 11, 2012
Highly recommended trip of a lifetime
Have you ever wanted to experience the trip of a lifetime. Steve Unger has taken that trip and he talks about it in his travel guide and history book: In The Footsteps Of Dracula. The book starts off with Steve Unger describing why he had to write this book. He was vistiting Whitby, England and was on Cemetery hill where in the Book Dracula, Lucy and Mina sat in their favorite spot as Dracula slept below them. Steve said in his mind's eye he could see Dracula rising from from the grave to feed on the living. He then felt the spirit of Bram Stoker and the ghost of Vlad The Impaler urging him to take the journey and tell the stories that they no longer could.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
In the Footsteps Of Dracula then gets into visiting the locations of Bram Stoker's dracula. You get to hear the author's experiences as he visits where Dracula came ashore on the Demeter, cemetery hill in Whitby, The Dracula Trail and locations in Dublin, Romania and London. The author describes what the locations look like now and how they would have appeared in Bram Stoker's time. He also gives quotes from Dracula to describe it further.
The book also tells Bram Stoker's story. You get to hear how he was inspired to write Dracula, the places where Dracula was written and you hear about the reactions to Bram's work when it was first released. I really enjoyed reading the first review ever written for Dracula and hearing about the staged readings of Dracula before the book was released.
Not satisfied to give you information on Dracula alone, Steve Unger also gets into the history of Vlad The Impaler who Dracula was based on. Steve gives examples of how Dracula compares to Vlad by giving quotes from Dracula that reference him. Hearing the story behind Vlad Tepes was like reading a horror novel itself. The author talks about how he impaled over 20,000 men, women and children, he boiled people alive, burned down a building full of people and you hear about his battles to keep his throne.
Its also told how Vlad's father was a member of The Royal Order Of The Dragon which was a branch of The Brotherhood of the Wolf. One of their beliefs was that they could transform into wolves. While reading In The Footsteps Of Dracula, I felt that Vlad Tepes seemed like a much more horrifying character then Count Dracula and I loved hearing his story. Steve also visits all the places associated with Vlad Tepes, including his tomb and Castle Dracula.
What really makes the author's story come to life is the beautiful photos in this book. There are 185 pictures which really show a sharp contrast between some of the ruins of various castles to the tourist areas where people are trying to cash in on Dracula. Some of my favorite photos was of the reading room in the British Museum, cemetery hill overlooking the ocean, Vlad's tomb on Snagov Island and the photo of the wolf dragon.
If you ever do make this trip, Steve Unger also tells how much everything costs and the best ways to get to where you want to go. This is what makes this book the ultimate travel guide. You get pictures, a history behind all the locations and you hear about the best places to stay. I also loved how you get to hear about the people that Steve met on the way. He tells about how he met several goths on his journey and they here the friendliest people you would ever want to meet. This is an amazing book that made Count Dracula, Vlad The Impaler and Bram Stoker's stories more fascinating.
Even if you never get
Posted February 20, 2012
Review of In the Footstpes of Dracula
In the Footsteps of Dracula (A Personal Journey and Travel Guide) by Steven P. Unger is a nonfiction book for the armchair traveler besides for those who do really travel and can use this to trace their own path of places mentioned in the novel by Bram Stoker.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
As one who has never been to England or Romania (except maybe in my writer's imagination), there are not only photos, but descriptions of places that intrigued me to one day take my own journey. Like a brush with the fangs of a vampire, Unger reveals how he gets to many of the places and what is the best or worse of each place or the travel mode to get there. Not so much England, but from one end to another of Romania where not only did Bram Stoker got his inspiration for his vampire count, but where the real life Dracula, Vlad Tepes the Impaler had existed. The reader will get a sense of another world still there, even while the modern world of te Internet and more is the cloak that hides this country where maybe legends can still survive.
I enjoyed this book of Unger's travel and discoveries, unable to quit reading it. He has done a super job of facts, photographs, and stories I never heard of. Most of all, Unger brings to life a vampire and the real life prince behind this being that ensorcelled people long before the vampires of Twilight glittered to life. So, whether traveling for real or from the comfort of your armchair, this book will bite you from the first page on.
Posted December 25, 2010
Bloody deeds and Gothic nightmares
The Introduction to Unger's travelogue describes the work as follows: 'In part, In the Footsteps of Dracula: A Personal Journal and Travel Guide is a memoir for the armchair traveler, with pictures and descriptions of every site that is closely related to either Bram Stoker's fictional Count Dracula or his real historical counterpart, Prince Vlad the Impaler. The memoir is divided into sections that first follow in the footsteps of the fictional Count Dracula, and then in the footsteps of Vlad the Impaler from his birth to his death and burial, Part V, titled "Nuts and Bolts: A Practical Guide to the Dracula Trail". "Nuts and Bolts" includes an itinerary for the entire Dracula Trail, with recommended lodging and restaurants; as well as detailed transportation directions and the cost for traveling from one location to the next in sequence. The Dracula Trail begins and ends in London for the English portion and in Bucharest for traveling in Romania.' Clearly, this book is extremely well organized and logical in its presentation. It is also extremely well written - the reader is swept along for the ride through the relatively unspoiled Romanian countryside, while the exploration of English sites takes place at a slightly more leisurely pace, in keeping with Bram Stoker's research orientation. Steven describes his intention with this work as that of 'stripping away the layers of myth about Count Dracula and Prince Vlad the Impaler to find the reality within'. Steven's close familiarity with the text of Dracula enables him to compare elements of the novel that are incongruous with the Transylvanian reality, due to Bram Stoker never having visited the area of which he wrote in such glowing mythical terms. Throughout this guide, he quotes relevant parts of the novel that tie in with his personal observations of the unfolding landscape - definitely enough to entice the avid reader back to savor the original source once more. The detailed description of Vlad Dracula's rule on the Wallachian throne serves, in blood-drenched style (accompanied by appropriate authorial warnings of the graphic nature of such text), to contextualize the legend of Dracula. Though the references to graveyards, churches and historic ruins abound, due account is also taken of the exploitation of the Dracula legend by the tourism industry in both England and Romania. Not that the author himself does not benefit from such enterprise, as he avails himself of the hospitality of numerous hotels and bed and breakfast establishments. Though giving full praise where such is due, as with the Bed & Breakfast Coula in Sighisoara, which he rates as 'hands down my favorite place to stay in my favorite town in Romania', he also does not hesitate to advise about those that he finds to be not so appealing. In the Footsteps of Dracula is filled with full color photographs of the people and places that Unger encounters on his travels. From the quaint fishing village of Whitby, where the novel Dracula was conceived and partly written, to the rugged Carpathian montane landscape surrounding the Borgo Pass, the site of Count Dracula's 'vast ruined castle', Steven captures the essence of his environs. By identifying key components of the photos, which he relates to Bram Stoker's text, their contents take on special significance and meaning for the reader.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.