Dracula: The Un-Dead

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Overview

"Bram Stoker's Dracula is the prototypical horror novel, an inspiration for the world's seemingly limitless fascination with vampires. Though many have tried to replicate Stoker's horror classic - in books, television shows, and movies - only the 1931 Bela Lugosi film bore the Stoker family's support. Until now." "Dracula The Un-Dead is a bone-chilling sequel based on Bram Stoker's own handwritten notes for characters and plot threads excised from the original edition. Dracula The Un-Dead begins in 1912, twenty-five years after Dracula "crumbled

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Holland, Ohio 2009 Audio CD Plastic Box Unabridged Audio Book on CD Very Good in Very Good jacket Audio CD Ex-Library This unabridged audio book has 12 CD's in very good ... condition with a circular sticker on each CD showing the former library's number and name. The plastic case is in very good condition wirh some stickers on it. This book is read by Simon Prebble and lasts about 13 hours and 45 minutes. Read more Show Less

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Dracula The Un-Dead

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Overview

"Bram Stoker's Dracula is the prototypical horror novel, an inspiration for the world's seemingly limitless fascination with vampires. Though many have tried to replicate Stoker's horror classic - in books, television shows, and movies - only the 1931 Bela Lugosi film bore the Stoker family's support. Until now." "Dracula The Un-Dead is a bone-chilling sequel based on Bram Stoker's own handwritten notes for characters and plot threads excised from the original edition. Dracula The Un-Dead begins in 1912, twenty-five years after Dracula "crumbled into dust." Van Helsing's protege, Dr. Jack Seward, is now a disgraced morphine addict obsessed with stamping out evil across Europe. Meanwhile, an unknowing Quincey Harker, the grown son of Jonathan and Mina, leaves law school for the London stage, only to stumble upon the troubled production of "Dracula," directed and produced by Bram Stoker himself." "The play plunges Quincey into the world of his parents' terrible secrets, but before he can confront them he experiences evil in a way he had never imagined. One by one, the band of heroes that defeated Dracula a quarter-century ago is being hunted down. Could it be that Dracula somehow survived their attack and is seeking revenge? Or is their another force at work whose relentless purpose is to destroy anything and anyone associated with Dracula?" Dracula The Un-Dead is deeply researched, rich in character, thrills and scares, and lovingly crafted as both an extension and celebration of one of the most classic popular novels in literature.\

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this sequel to Bram Stoker's Dracula, his great-grandnephew offers one of the rowdiest revisionist treatments of the most influential vampire novel ever written. In 1912, as Stoker labors to adapt Dracula for the stage, its “characters” are dying gruesomely all over London. It turns out they are as real as Stoker himself, who learned their secret story on the sly and took creative liberties when turning it into his popular penny dreadful. Dracula's true story involves the passing of his blood line through Mina Harker to her son; a malignant Dr. Van Helsing, who Scotland Yard suspects had a hand in the murders attributed to Jack the Ripper; and the exploits of a 16th-century vampire countess, Dracula's former lover, who cuts a bloody swath through London seeking the survivors of Dracula's last stand in Transylvania. Energetically paced and packed with outrageously entertaining action, this supernatural thriller is a well-needed shot of fresh blood for the Dracula mythos. (Oct.)
Library Journal
This sequel to Bram Stroker's Dracula (1897) takes place in 1912, 25 years after the events of the first novel. The survivors of the encounter with Dracula are still haunted by the horror. Mina and Jonathan Harker's marriage is strained. Their adult son Quincy knows nothing of Dracula, and his parents hope—in vain, as it turns out—to keep him ignorant of past events. Jack Seward barely sustains his sanity with heroin. Arthur Holmwood hides in his manor, while an aged Dr. Van Helsing impatiently awaits the vampire's return. A demonic force begins insinuating itself into their lives. Death stalks them and those close to them. Meanwhile, Bram Stoker remains a bitter author who has had little success with his fictional version of Dracula. How he knew anything about the events of years ago is one of many mysteries explored here. VERDICT The authors (Stoker is a descendant of Bram, and Holt is a noted Dracula historian) skillfully explore the nature of evil while weaving together several complex plotlines throughout this mesmerizing story. Readers who enjoy dark fantasy with fast-paced action will plow through this book, not wanting to stop. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 6/1/09.]—Patricia Altner, BiblioInfo.com, Columbia, MD
Kirkus Reviews
Bram's great-grandnephew teams up with Dracula buff Holt to reclaim vampire lit from the unholy, unlettered legions churning out today's fang-and-cloak stuff. This big, blood-filled kitchen sink of a debut boasts a vast cast of characters: Bram Stoker himself, as well as his nefarious Count, Jack the Ripper, Jonathan Harker, Dr. Van Helsing, Oscar Wilde, "blood Countess" Elizabeth Bathory, a mysterious Eastern European actor and a whole bunch of extremely hot (but also extremely cold, being dead and all) vampire chicks of uncertain gender preference. Bathory is definitely the heavy of the story, and it seems she's spoiling to outdo the number of grisly murders she is said to have committed in life, aided by a coterie of spidery bloodsucking assistants. As befits a multigenerational saga that springs from a book that had few survivors, some familiar characters are on the other side of the live/dead line, and some-well, some are indeed in the undead camp. There's lots of good old-fashioned polymorphously perverse degenerate romping ("Every orifice in her body became his plaything"). Stoker and Holt are careful not to go too far afield from the conventions of the original; Van Helsing, for instance, comes armed with "crosses, wafers, holy water, a wooden stake, a Bowie knife, and a crossbow armed and ready to fire," rather than some postmodern substitute for all that good wood and metal. Yet this competently (but no more than competently) written sequel-endorsed by the Stoker family, the publisher assures-has plenty of contemporary twists, including a weird Darth Vaderish turn at the end that some Bram-faithful readers may find magnificently silly. Flies and spiders, master! Big, messy,lots of fun-and not Stephenie Meyer.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781440762871
  • Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC
  • Publication date: 10/13/2009
  • Format: CD
  • Edition description: Unabridged, 12 CDs, 14 hours
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 5.80 (h) x 1.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Dacre Stoker is the great-grandnephew of Bram Stoker. He lives in South Carolina with his family.
Ian Holt is a Dracula documentarian, historian, and screenwriter. He lives on Long Island.

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Read an Excerpt

Prologue

Letter from Mina Harker to her son, Quincey Harker, Esq.

(To be opened upon the sudden or unnatural death of Wilhelmina Harker)

9th March 1912

Dear Quincey,

My dear son, all your life you have suspected that there have been secrets between us. I fear that the time has come to reveal the truth to you. To deny it any longer would put both your life and your immortal soul in jeopardy.

Your dear father and I chose to keep the secrets of our past from you in order to shield you from the darkness that shrouds this world. We had hoped to allow you a childhood free from the fears that have haunted us all our adult lives. As you grew into the promising young man you are today, we chose not to tell you what we knew lest you think us mad. Forgive us. If you are reading this letter now, then the evil we so desperately and perhaps wrongly sought to shield you from has returned. And now you, like your parents before you, are in grave danger.

In the year 1888, when your father and I were still young, we learned that evil lurks in the shadows of our world, waiting to prey upon the unbelieving and the unprepared.

As a young solicitor, your father was sent into the wilds of Transylvania. His task was to help Prince Dracula conclude the purchase of a property in Whitby, an ancient monastery known as Carfax Abbey.

During his stay in Transylvania, your father discovered that his host and client, Prince Dracula, was in truth a creature thought to exist only in folktale and legend, one of those which feed upon the blood of the living in order to attain immortal life. Dracula was what the locals called Nosferatu, the Un-Dead.

You may more readily recognize the creature by its more common name:vampire.

Prince Dracula, fearing that your father would expose the truth of what he was, imprisoned him in his castle. Dracula himself then booked passage to England on the sailing vessel the Demeter, spending the many days of his voyage hidden in one of dozens of crates in the hull. He concealed himself in this strange fashion because although a vampire may have the strength of ten men and the ability to take many forms, he will burn to ash if struck by the light of the sun.

At this time, I was staying in Whitby at the home of my closest and dearest friend, Lucy Westenra. A storm had blown in off the sea, and the treacherous Whitby cliffs were shrouded in a dense mist. Lucy, unable to sleep, saw from her window the storm-driven ship heading for the rocks. Lucy raced into the night in an attempt to raise the alarm before the ship was wrecked, but she was too late. I awoke in a panic, saw that Lucy was not beside me in bed, and raced out into the storm to search for her. I found her at the cliff's edge, unconscious and with two small holes in her neck.

Lucy became deathly ill. Her fiancé, Arthur Holmwood, the son of Lord Godalming, and his dear friend, a visiting Texan whom you know as your namesake, Quincey P. Morris, raced to her side. Arthur called every doctor in Whitby and beyond, but none could explain Lucy's illness. It was our friend who owned the Whitby Asylum, Dr. Jack Seward, who called in his mentor from Holland, Dr. Abraham Van Helsing.

Dr. Van Helsing, a learned man of medicine, was also acquainted with the occult. He recognized that Lucy was suffering from the bite of a vampire.

It was then that I finally received word from your father. He had escaped from Dracula's castle and taken refuge in a monastery where he, too, was deathly ill. I was forced to leave Lucy's bedside and travel to meet him. It was there in Buda-Pesth that we were married.

Your father told me of the horrors he had seen, and it was from this that we learned the identity of the vampire that had attacked Lucy and now threatened all our lives: Prince Dracula.

Upon returning from Buda-Pesth, we were told that Lucy had died. But worse was to follow. Days after her death, she had risen from her grave. She was now a vampire and was feeding on the blood of small children. Dr. Van Helsing, Quincey Morris, Dr. Seward, and Arthur Holmwood were faced with a terrible decision. They had no choice but drive a wooden stake through Lucy's heart in order to free her poor soul.

Shortly thereafter, Prince Dracula returned in the night to attack me. After this attack, we all swore an oath to hunt down and destroy the vampire, and rid the world of his evil. And so it was that we became the band of heroes and chased Dracula back to his castle in Transylvania. There, Quincey Morris died in battle although, like the hero he was, he managed to plunge a knife into Dracula's heart. We watched as Prince Dracula burst into flames, crumbling into dust in the light of the setting sun.

Then, we were free, or so I thought. But about a year after you were born, I began to suffer horrible nightmares. Dracula was haunting me in my dreams. It was then that your father reminded me of the dark prince's warning and how he had claimed, "I shall have my revenge. I shall spread it over centuries. Time is on my side."

From that day onward, your father and I have had no peace. We have spent our years looking over our shoulders. And now I fear we are no longer strong enough to protect you from his evil and I have made a terrible misjudgment in character.

Know this, my son, if you are to survive the evil that is now hunting you; embrace the truth I speak in these pages. Look deep within your young self and, as your father and I were once forced to do, find the brave hero within. Dracula is a wise and cunning foe. You cannot run, and there is nowhere to hide. You must stand and fight.

Good luck, my dear son, and do not be afraid. If Van Helsing is correct, then vampires are truly demons, and God will be at your side as you do battle.

With all my undying love,

Your mother, Mina

Chapter I.

OCEANS OF LOVE, LUCY.

The inscription was the only thing Dr. Jack Seward could focus on as he felt the darkness overtake him. In the darkness was peace, with no harsh light to illuminate the tattered remains of his life. For years, he had devoted himself to fighting back the darkness. Now he simply embraced it.

Only at night could Seward find peace with the memory of Lucy. In his dreams, he still felt her warm embrace. For a fleeting moment, he could go back to London, to a happier era, when he found meaning through his place in the world and his research. This was the life he had wished to share with Lucy.

The early morning din of milk wagons, fishmongers' carts, and other merchant vehicles rattling hurriedly across the cobblestone streets of Paris intruded on Seward's dream and thrust him back into the harsh present. Seward forced his eyes open. They stung worse than fresh iodine on an open wound. As the cracked ceiling of the stale Parisian flophouse room he had been renting came into focus, he reflected on how much his life had changed. It saddened him to see all the muscle tone he had lost. His bicep sagged, resembling one of those hand-sewn muslin tea bags after it had just been removed from a teapot. The veins on his arm were like rivers on a tattered map. He was a shadow of his former self.

Seward prayed that death would come quickly. He had willed his body to science, to be used in a classroom at his alma mater. He took comfort from the fact that in death he would help to inspire future doctors and scientists.

After a time, he remembered the watch, still nestled in his left hand. He turned it over. Half past six! For an instant, panic overtook him. Damn it to hell. He had overslept. Seward staggered to his feet. An empty glass syringe rolled off the table and shattered on the grimy wooden floor. A small, smoked brown bottle of morphine was about to follow the fate of the syringe, but he quickly caught the precious liquid, untying the leather belt from his left bicep with a practiced movement. Normal circulation returned as he rolled down his sleeve and returned the silver monogrammed cuff link to his frayed dress shirt. He buttoned up his vest and slipped on his jacket. Wallingham & Sons were the finest tailors in London. If his suit had been made by anyone else, it would have disintegrated ten years ago. Vanity dies hard, Seward thought to himself with a humorless chuckle.

He had to hurry if he still wanted to make the train. Where was that address? He had put it in a safe place. Now, when he needed it, he could not recall where exactly that was. He overturned the straw-filled mattress, inspected the underside of the wobbly table, and peered under the vegetable crates that served as dining chairs. He sifted through piles of aged newspaper clippings. Their headlines spoke of Seward's current preoccupation: gruesome stories of Jack the Ripper. Autopsy photos of the five known victims. Mutilated women posed, legs open, as if waiting to accept their deranged killer. The Ripper was deemed a butcher of women—but a butcher is more merciful to the animals he slaughters. Seward had reread the autopsy notes countless times. Loose pages of his theories and ideas written on scrap paper, torn cardboard, and unfolded matchboxes fluttered around him like windblown leaves.

The sweat flowing from Seward's brow began to sting his bloodshot eyes. Damn, where had he put it? The Benefactor had taken enormous risks to get him this information. Seward could not bear the thought of disappointing the only person who still believed in him. Everyone else—the Harkers, the Holmwoods—all thought he had taken leave of his senses. If they could see this room, Seward knew, they would feel justified in that belief. He scanned the crumbling plaster walls, which bore the evidence of his morphine-induced rants, his wild insights handwritten in ink, coal, wine, even his own blood. No madman would be so obvious. He was certain that these writings would one day prove his sanity.

Amidst it all, there was a page torn from a book, stabbed into the wall with a bone-handled bowie knife whose blade was stained with old blood. The page featured a portrait of an elegant, raven-haired beauty. Beneath the picture, an inscription: Countess Elizabeth Bathory circa 1582.

Of course, that's where I hid it. He laughed at himself as he pulled the knife out of the wall, seizing the page and turning it over. In his own barely legible handwriting, he found the address of a villa in Marseilles. Seward removed the cross, wooden stake, and garlic wreaths that hung next to Bathory's picture and scooped up a silver knife from the floor. He placed everything into a false bottom in his medical bag and covered it all with standard medical supplies.

The train left the Gare de Lyon exactly on time. Seeing it pull away just as he was paying for his ticket, Seward sprinted across the flood-stained building to reach the chugging behemoth as it left the seventh bay door. He managed to catch the last Pullman car and hoist himself on before it had a chance to pick up speed. His heart surged with pride as he made the daring leap. He had done this sort of thing in his youth with the Texan Quincey P. Morris and his old friend Arthur Holmwood. Youth was wasted on the young. Seward smiled to himself as he recalled the reckless days of his innocence…and ignorance.

The doctor took a seat in the elaborate dining car as the train lumbered southward. It wasn't moving quickly enough. He glanced down at his pocket watch; only five minutes had passed. Seward lamented that he could no longer pass the time by writing in his journal, as he was unable to afford the luxury of such a thing. They were not scheduled to reach Marseilles for ten more hours. There, he would finally have the evidence to prove his theories and show those who had shunned him that he was not mad, that he had been right all along.

These were going to be the longest ten hours of Seward's life.

"Billets, s'il vous plaît!"

Seward stared wide-eyed at the conductor standing over him with a stern look of impatience.

"Forgive me," Seward said. He handed the conductor his ticket, adjusting his scarf to cover the torn breast pocket.

"You are British?" the conductor asked with a heavy French accent.

"Why, yes."

"A doctor?" The conductor nodded toward the medical bag between Seward's feet.

"Yes."

Seward watched the conductor's gray eyes catalogue the threadbare person in front of him, the ill-fitting suit and well-worn shoes. He was hardly the image of a respectable doctor. "I will see your bag, please."

He handed over the bag, for it was not as if he had much choice in the matter. The conductor methodically pulled out medical bottles, read the labels, and dropped them back in with a clink. Seward knew what the conductor was looking for and hoped he wouldn't dig too deeply.

"Morphine," announced the conductor in a voice so loud that other passengers glanced over. He held up the brown bottle.

"I sometimes have to prescribe it as a sedative."

"I will see your license, please."

Seward searched his pockets. Over a month ago, the International Opium Convention had been signed, prohibiting persons from importing, selling, distributing, and exporting morphine without a medical license. It took him so long to find it that by the time Seward finally produced the license, the conductor was about to pull the cord to stop the train. The conductor examined the paper, frowning, then turned his steely eyes to the travel document. The United Kingdom was the first to use photo identification on their passports. Since that picture had been taken, Seward had lost a tremendous amount of weight. His hair was now much grayer, his beard wild and untrimmed. The man in the train bore little resemblance to the man in the photo.

"Why are you going to Marseilles, doctor?"

"I am treating a patient there."

"What ails this patient?"

"He's suffering from a Narcissistic Personality Disorder."

"Qu'est-ce que c'est?"

"It is a psychological instability causing the patient to inflict predatory, autoerotic, antisocial, and parasitic control on those around them. As well as—"

"Merci." The conductor cut Seward off by handing him back his papers and ticket with a deft flick. He turned and addressed only the men at the next table. "Billets, s'il vous plaît."

Jack Seward sighed. Replacing his papers in his jacket, he checked the pocket watch again, a nervous habit. It seemed as if the interrogation had lasted hours, but only another five minutes had passed. He rolled down the fringed window shade to shield his eyes from the daylight and reclined into the plush, burgundy upholstered seat.

Oceans of Love, Lucy.

He held the beloved watch close to his heart and closed his eyes to dream.

It was a quarter century ago. Seward held the same watch up to the light the better to read the inscription: "Oceans of love, Lucy."

She was there. Alive. "You don't like it," she said, and pouted.

He couldn't break his stare away from her green eyes, soft as a summer meadow. Lucy had an odd idiosyncrasy of watching a speaker's mouth as if trying to taste the next word before it passed by his lips. She had such a lust for life. Her smile could bring warmth to the coldest heart. As she sat on the bench in the garden that spring day, Seward marveled at how the sunlight illuminated the loose strands of red hair that danced in the breeze, haloing her face. The scent of fresh lilacs mixed with the salty sea air of Whitby Harbor. In the years since, whenever he smelled lilacs, he would remember this beautiful, bitter day.

"I can only conclude," Seward said, clearing his throat before his voice had a chance to break, "since you wrote on the gift card 'Dearest Friend' rather than 'Fiancé,' that you have chosen not to accept my proposal of marriage."

Lucy looked away, her eyes moistening. The silence spoke volumes.

"I thought it best that you hear it from me," Lucy finally sighed. "I have consented to wed Arthur."

Arthur had been Jack Seward's friend since they were lads. Seward loved him like a brother, yet always envied how easily everything came to Arthur. He was handsome and rich, and had never in his life known worry or struggle. Or heartbreak.

"I see." Seward's voice sounded like a squeak in his ears.

"I do love you," Lucy whispered. "But . . ."

"But not as much as much as you love Arthur." Of course he could not compete with the wealthy Arthur Holmwood, nor was he as dashing as Lucy's other suitor, the Texan Quincey P. Morris.

"Forgive me," he went on in a softer tone, suddenly afraid he'd hurt her. "I forgot my place."

Lucy reached out and patted his hand, as one would a beloved pet. "I will always be here."

Back in the present, he stirred in his sleep. If he could just see the beauty in Lucy's eyes . . . The last time he had gazed into them, that terrible night in the mausoleum, he had seen nothing but pain and torment. The memory of Lucy's dying screams still seared Seward's brain.

After leaving the train, Seward walked in a torrential downpour through Marseilles's labyrinth of white buildings and cursed his timing. Of course, his quest brought him to the French Riviera in March, the only rainy month.

He slogged farther inland, glancing back to see Fort Saint-Jean standing like a stone sentinel in the indigo harbor. Then he turned about to study the Provençal city, which had been built around a 2,600-year- old village. Artifacts of the city's Greek and Roman founders were found throughout the streets. Seward lamented that he was in this picturesque haven for such a sinister purpose. Though it would not be the first time malevolence had made its presence felt here: Over the last century, this seaside town had been marred by plague and pirates.

Seward stopped. Looming in front of him was a typical two-story Mediterranean villa with large wooden shutters and wrought-iron bars on the windows. The winter moon peering through the rain clouds cast a spectral glow on the traditional white walls. The roof was covered in red terra-cotta tiles that reminded him of some of the old Spanish houses he had seen when he visited Quincey P. Morris in Texas so many years ago. It created a decidedly foreboding ambience, even unwelcoming, for an ornate villa on the French Riviera. It appeared entirely devoid of life. His heart sank at the thought that he might be too late. Seward looked again at the address.

This was it.

Suddenly, he heard the thunderous approach of a horse-drawn carriage splashing along the cobblestones. He ducked into a vineyard across from the building. There were no grapes on the dripping, weblike branches. A black carriage with ornate gold trim sailed up the hill, pulled by two glistening black mares. The animals drew to a stop without a command. Seward looked up and, to his surprise, saw there was no driver. How was that possible?

A strapping figure emerged from the carriage. The mares nipped at each other and squealed, necks arched. Then, again to Seward's amazement, they moved off, in perfect step, with no coachman to direct them. The figure held a walking stick aloft with one black-gloved hand, and dipped into a pocket with the other for a key, then stopped suddenly as if becoming aware of something.

"Damn," Seward muttered to himself.

The person at the door cocked his head, almost as if he heard Seward's voice through the rain, and turned slowly toward the vineyard. Seward felt waves of panic and adrenaline wash over him but managed to hold his breath. The gloved hand reached up to the brim of the velvet top hat and Seward choked back a gasp as he saw the top hat removed to reveal sensuous locks of black hair cascading onto the figure's shoulders.

His mind reeled. It is she! The Benefactor had been right.

Countess Elizabeth Bathory stood at the doorway of the villa, looking exactly as she had in the portrait painted over three hundred years ago.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 31, 2009

    A Classic Perversion

    This book completely perverts Bram Stoker's masterpiece by being touted as a "sequel" to something as iconic as 'Dracula.' 'The Un-Dead,' as well as its authors, can be described with one word: arrogant. It practically steps on the original novel in order to establish a laughable mythos of its own, and is therefore riddled with inconsistencies in the eyes of any true fan of the original masterpiece. Dacre Stoker isn't fit to bear the Stoker surname. He should never have been allowed near a keyboard, let alone a publisher. As for Ian Holt, I am at a loss to sufficiently describe the degree of my distaste for him, except to say that he is the literary equivalent of a grave-robber. If you choose to read this book, consider it not as a sequel, but as a mediocre alternative universe tale with story lines that are predictable and characters that are dimensionless.

    13 out of 17 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 13, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Dracula: The (better off) Unread

    Had this book not been marketed so heavily as an "official" Stoker-family-endorsed sequel, it would have been a mildly entertaining, adequately written re-imagining of the classic tale. Unfortunately, the fact that a "direct" descendant of Bram Stoker was involved seems to have sent the publisher into a frenzy. Readers are expected to ignore the fact that this "sequel" discredits the original story and the characters who narrated it, and portrays Bram Stoker himself as a miserable wretch who couldn't even be bothered to change the names of the people who's story he published as his own. Likewise are we expected to accept the complete change in personalities of the characters, as well as the vampire lore that Stoker established.

    True Dracula fans will likely be frustrated by the repeated inconsistencies between this new storyline and the original, and may (like me) be thoroughly offended by the way Stoker's own great grand nephew has treated him and his magnum opus.

    7 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 11, 2010

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    Don't Wait to Read This!

    All I can say is OH MY GOODNESS!!! I have been debating since this book was released last year whether or not to buy it. I saw the mixed reviews, and was torn for months. I kept saying I would read this after I finish The Lost Symbol (which I just can not get into). While Stoker may not have the most original ideas, the way he uses historical events and legends in this tale is thrilling. I was literally thrilled from start to finish. This book is a must-add to any avid reader's collection!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 7, 2009

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    A fascinating adventure

    Stoker and Holt are to be congratulated for successfully reintroducing the original characters -- now 25 years later -- in the renewed quest for the destruction of their common enemy. All is not well with Mina, Jonathan, Dr. Seward, Van Helsing, and Holmwood. This isn't the "they lived happily ever after" story. And it's not only Dracula and the un-dead they fight but a London police officer attempting to bring murder charges against them all for deaths they had nothing to do with. These are characters we already know but now added dimensions expand the story. Our two authors have succeed in keeping the same menacing atmosphere that the original Stoker invoked. But the real surprise is the twists to the original story that will leave readers turning pages long into the night. And what may be the most pleasant of surprises (and well worth the time to read) is the authors' addition, at the end of the book, of the research they did before beginning their story; the "tipping of their hats" to the names of famous actors who have portrayed Dracula in the movies.
    Thankfully, we are finally spared of another tedious example of the archetypical, shallow, pulp fiction, modern-day, teen aged, angst ridden, one dimensional, serial vampire drivel that haunts the bookstores and is trumpeted by too many shallow breathers as great literature when in truth they are a squander of paper and time.
    Take heart, dear reader, there is hope. Sit back, read, and be prepared to be drawn into a very dark and engrossing story. It deserves the worthy title: sequel.

    3 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 4, 2009

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    One of the Best Reads of 2009

    The stage is set, the characters have gathered and we the readers are very fortunate indeed to be able to witness the production. The time is 25 years after the grand adventure to Transylvania the characters are the survivors of that adventure with the addition of Quincy Harker and the production is non other than Dracula.
    Dacre Stoker and Ian Holt give us a new twist on the old story of Price Vlad Dracula. We get to see how the characters have faired in the past 25 years and we get to see the return of the most infamous of villains, but is the villain who we are led to believe or is there something or someone more sinister to deal with. And we get a rare chance to meet the author of the first novel as a character in this one.
    Mr.'s Stoker and Holt have given readers a most remarkable piece of literature. Fully intending it to be a sequel to the original written by his great-granduncle. They have hit the mark. How many times do we as readers wonder what becomes of the characters after their happy endings, how many times do we wish to be a fly on their wall to see them after the story has ended for us. Well now we get to do just that. In this rendition of Dracula we find ourselves in Europe just after the turn of the century and are able along with the characters in the book to discover the wonder or in some cases the disgust of the technological advances in the early part of the last century. We get to experience the culture of England and we get to share in the horrors of what's happening there. The characters are vivid and interesting and follow very closely to the feel we remembered from the original work. Quincy Harker makes an absolute wonderful hapless hero in the novel, followed closely by Mina and of course our Dark Prince. The authors have taken every care in learning their characters every nuance and delivered it onto the pages of their novel with care and expertness. The story/plot is unique and exciting filled with intense mystery and abject horror, they take your senses through many emotions not many of them easy to read. But read you will because this is a page turner, with dialogue that fits with the time, that describes the scenes so vividly that the reader can easily picture it in their minds and those pictures aren't for the faint of heart.
    So ask yourself. Are you prepared to be scared witless? Are you ready to believe again in the myth of Vampires? Are you ready to experience fear like you never have? Are you ready for a can't put it down page turner, a nail biting edge of your seat adventure? And are you prepared to have everything you've ever believed about Dracula to be shot to hell? Well if so and with a note from your doctor saying you can withstand the stress be prepared to read one of the best novels of 2009.

    3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 9, 2010

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    Better than I expected

    i was too curious to care if this novel would just be a pot boiler cashing in on the Stoker name. I expected cliches, but I found that instead the novel spun the old characters into new territory, especially with the son of Mina and Jonathan Harker, Quentin. I was satisfied that I had not wasted my money. Enough of the old conventions were honored so that i did not feel ripped off, but enough new things were introduced so that I didn't feel that Stoker's descendant, Dacre Stoker, had put little thought into it.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 4, 2009

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    A Bloody & Frighteningly Great Read!

    This is not a sequel although it draws heavily upon Bram Stoker's original notes. Instead this is a frighteningly great read {especially at Halloween or late at night}. It combines Jack the Ripper, Dracula, & vampyres into a spine~chilling, exciting, & bloody tale! This a literary triumph ~~ destined to be a literary classic that belongs alongside its namesake on your bookshelf. Superb!!!!!!!!

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 2, 2009

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    Disappointing

    This novel is definitely not gothic - there is no atmosphere, no mystique, no seductiveness. I also found the portrayal of Bram Stoker insulting. In the "Authors' Notes" (which apparently were never proofed as they contain a number of errors) Stoker and Holt claim they wanted to answer questions and fill in gaps in the original Dracula, which they do. However, the result is not a good story. I have read the original many times and find that much of the intrigue comes from the gaps and unanswered questions. After all, vampires are supposed to be mysterious! There's nothing about this novel that makes me look forward to a sequel. I do look forward to my next reading of Bram's novel and will have a new appreciation for his work. Obviously it is not easy to write an unforgettable, captivating, spine chilling, gothic novel.

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 25, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Hard to Follow

    I really enjohyed this book. The book was written as a novel with sex, drugs, and vampires. It does not surprise me that this book has gotten both good and bad reviews. Following Dracula is a difficult feat and I admire the authors, because anything they wrote would fail in comparison to a classic. However, I enjoyed it and read it over two days. I knew the ending and the twists at the end prior to getting there, but had an enjoyable ride. It appears the authors are thinking of a sequal to the sequal with the cliff hanger ending. It will be a great movie if cast without celebs, but you know that won't happen. I would recommend this book to any fan of Dracula or the un-dead. I didn't find it scary, but gory...however friends couldn't read at night. Enjoy.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 30, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    super vampire thriller

    Twenty-five years has passed since the horrific events of 1897 ended with Dracula turning into dust; none involved have moved on as each remains haunted by the encounter with the Count. Mina and Jonathon married, but neither obtained closure when the vampire was killed; stressed and estrnaged, they conceal from their son Quincey what happened. Seward survives with heroin while Holmwood became a hermit. Their mentor Van Helsing obsessively lives for the return of Dracula as the vampire's death was his life's goal so he has nothing else. Scotland Yard believes Van Helsing was involved in the unsolved Ripper murders.

    In 1912, Stoker is frustrated as he struggles to convert his horror thriller Dracula to the London stage. However, although the author knows the full truth, he and the others except perhaps the ever vigilant Van Helsing are unprepared for a gruesome serial killer horrifying London. Scotland yard once again believes a fanatic Van Helsing is deeply connected to the killings, but too old to perform them. Those involved with what happened back then find themsleves and their loved ones under siege as if Van Helsing's belief the Count will return from the dust has occurred. The survivors of the previous encounter regroup to battle evil again although they are unsure who stalks them.

    This is a super vampire thriller that brings forward the stars of Dracula into the Edwardian Era with a where are they now tale. The clever story line is fast-paced while introducing the audience to the survivors of the previous horrific encounter to include Bram Stoker. Dacre Stoker and Ian Holt explore the essence of evil and good through a cast of humans who have used psychological defense mechanisms to barely survive and a vampire who may or may not be Dracula, but has the same attitude re the food chain as well as a thirst for the blood of vengeance. Filled with terrific twists fans of Dracula and those who appreciate a strong historical urban fantasy will relish the THE UN-DEAD.

    Harriet Klausner

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 23, 2012

    Wow

    I got this book 3 years ago and was scared to read it after the first chapter i could not put it down it paints a picture of what might have happened and the end is a complete shocker with a hint at another book to possibly follow

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 15, 2011

    Sorry I bought the book

    Although the authors can put words and sentences together in a skillful fashion, the story line was a great disappointment. The book takes the original Dracula and completely turns the story around. It had that all to contemporary tone that blurs the line between right and wrong. The authors went so far as to make the evil attractive and the good pitiful. I am glad I bought a hard copy, so that it doesn't reside on my nook.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 11, 2010

    Exploitation, pure and simple

    You have to be kidding, right? They borrow the Stoker name, hire a ghostwriter and, voila, expect us to take them seriously? Stupid idea and stupid book. One glance at the first few sentences and you can smell a phony. A discredit to the original classic novel: avoid this one like fleas!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 3, 2010

    Not For Dracula Purists

    I was so upset with the first page of the book that I almost didn't finish reading it. With its contradictory facts, I wondered if the authors had forgotten to read the original Dracula. Determined to give it a chance, I continued on. As I read I continued to be disgusted at the distortions of Bram Stoker's characters and ideas. Additionally, the plot line was predictable, especially the Star Wars moment between Dracula and young Quincy. Finishing the book became an act of stubbornness rather than desire.

    In the afterword Dacre Stoker and Ian Holt claim that they wrote this 'sequel' to honor Bram Stoker and right the wrongs done to his original story by popular culture. In the same breath they explain that they changed details of Bram Stoker's story so that it would fit the popular culture idea of what a vampire should be. This popularization of Bram Stoker's story does nothing to celebrate his legacy. If nothing else it tarnishes it.

    If you've never read Bram Stoker's Dracula, or don't mind that his story has been reworked to attract popular culture, then Dracula Un-Dead is an okay read. If, however, you are a purist and prefer to stick with the original, save yourself and those around you the pain of reading this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 17, 2010

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    no so good

    I really expected this book to be a hit. I absolutely love Dracula and I thought maybe this book could help me relive the love between Dracula and Mina. WEll, the book was very slow and even though there were some parts that were very interesting the ending was a bad. I was very disappointed, not worth it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 18, 2010

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    Let sleeping vampires lie

    I don't often write a negative review (check my history), but this book is calling out for a thrashing. I had many problems with the style, plot, and characters, which I will attempt to summarize for you below.

    1) The supposed "sequel" to a true classic should at least be written in the same style, but instead the authors (authorS - there's one of the issues) chose to abandon Stoker's epistolary method because they were either too lazy or simply unable to match it.

    2) The book attempts to explain things from the original which needed no explaining. In fact, many of my favorite parts of Dracula are now ruined because of the "hole-filling" our authorS needed to create their own unoriginal plot.

    3) Not a single interesting character is introduced, and the characters remaining from the original are treated basically as puppets without any actual purpose.

    4) The plot is both predictable and disappointing. The key plot twists, if they can even be called that, are foreseeable hundreds of pages in advance because the authorS shove the clues in the reader's face unendingly.

    5) Bram Stoker himself is introduced as a character in the book, which also draws upon other historical figures to create a sense of realism. As if I am supposed to now believe that everything happening in the book is a historical fact! The denouement, which also has a historical bent, is probably the most disappointing final chapter I have ever read. It's like when your parents say they aren't mad, they're just disappointed... this is exactly how I felt about the authorS - disappointed.

    I could continue, but instead I'll close with this: If you are a fan of Bram Stoker's Dracula, DO NOT read this book. It will ruin Dracula for you as it did for me. Let sleeping vampires lie.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 5, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Awful.

    Bram Stoker's "Dracula" is one of my favorite books, a classic thriller on many levels. I bought this as soon as I heard of it. Don't. It is AWFUL, TRITE, NEEDLESSLY GORY, AND TOTALLY WITHOUT THE APPEAL OF THE ORIGINAL.

    If you want a genuinely intriguing thriller, a kind of "Dracula Redux", get Elizabeth Kostova's excellent "The Historian". I've read it twice, and it was fascinating, exciting, and rewarding both times.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 30, 2009

    Stick With the Original Dracula (and the original Stoker too!)

    The original "Dracula" was darkly sweet, like a deep chocolate truffle with a slightly poisonous center. Even now, I can again pick it up, read it through, and feel that chilly frisson down my spine that comes from a well-written horror novel. "Dracula the Un-Dead," on the other hand, is jejune and trifling. The writing is clumsy and stilted and the plot is entirely predictable. I found it extremely difficult to beat my boredom into submission long enough to finish the book. Disappointing - apparently literary prowess isn't genetic. But I do smell a script in here somewhere...

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 20, 2009

    I sold it for $1.49 and was glad to get it

    This novel started out elegant, creepy, beautiful, disturbing--as if Stoker were alive today and writing for a new audience. But it degenerated quickly into absurdity. I am quitting reading on pg. 300 and am going to sell it to my local used bookstore. It's degenerated into ludicrousness, with dragon-gargoyles flying out of the sky, everybody shooting everybody, most people turning into vampires, and liberal use of swear words. Basarab was obvious, so don't try to "trick" your audience. Thin excuses to tie in the Titanic and Jack the Ripper didn't even pique the curiosity.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 22, 2014

    DRIVE A STAKE THROUGH THIS BOOK! The original characters have

    DRIVE A STAKE THROUGH THIS BOOK! The original characters have all some how become candidates for Dr. Sewards .asylum. In reality the authors should have checked in before they penned this travesty!

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