From the international bestselling author of Dracul comes the authoritative sequel to Bram Stoker’s original horror classic.
London, 1912. A quarter of a century after Count Dracula “crumbled into dust,” Quincey Harker—the son of Jonathan and Mina Harker—leaves law school to pursue a career on stage, only to stumble upon the troubled production of Dracula, directed and produced by Bram Stoker himself.
As the play plunges Quincey into the world of his parents' terrible secrets, death begins to stalk the original band of heroes that defeated Dracula a quarter-century ago. Could it be that the count survived and is now seeking revenge? Or is there another, far more sinister force at work whose relentless purpose is to destroy anything and anyone associated with Dracula, the most notorious vampire of all time...
Dracula the Un-Dead is the true sequel to Bram Stoker’s classic novel, written by his direct descendant and a well-known Dracula historian. Dracula the Un-Dead provides answers to all the questions that the original novel left unexplained, as well as new insights into the world of iniquity and fear lurking just beneath the surface of polite Victorian England.
|Publisher:||Penguin Publishing Group|
|Product dimensions:||5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.00(d)|
|Age Range:||18 Years|
About the Author
Dacre Stoker is the great-grandnephew of Bram Stoker and the international bestselling coauthor of Dracul and Dracula the Undead. He is also the co-editor of The Lost Journal of Bram Stoker: The Dublin Years. He currently lives with his wife, Jenne, in Aiken, South Carolina, where he manages the Bram Stoker Estate.
Ian Holt is a Dracula documentarian, historian, and screenwriter. He lives on Long Island.
Read an Excerpt
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
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
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.
"A doctor?" The conductor nodded toward the medical bag between Seward's feet.
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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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!
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
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I wanted to like this book. Oh, you have no idea how badly I wanted to like this book. And I do, sort of, kind of, in a funny way.I think I would like it if it was a movie and all the names were changed. Because that's what it read like: a movie. I could see each scene in my mind, the dramatic moments, the cinematic special effects... But to me, that wasn't what the original Dracula was about to me.The characters, the original Band of Heroes, have fallen onto hard times. This is completely understandable; they went and fought a monster that shouldn't exist and had to kill a dearly beloved friend. I can see how the authors decided to make certain characters have certain vices. But some of them seemed to have just changed fundamentally. I don't like what they did with Mina (but then again, after reading the original novel, I didn't think there was that separate romantic interest there. Coppola's movie was the first time I saw that and I did a double-take). Or with her husband, Jonathan. I think the biggest insult was what they did to Van Helsing and Dracula himself. I could never see the expert vampire hunter succumbing to what he did. It just doesn't seem right, the way his story ended. I would have rather him have a heart attack.And I believe I read it in a review here, they did Twilight-ify Count/Prince Dracula. The impression I got of him in the original novel was completely overturned for this dramatic antihero who really never meant to do any harm that wasn't justified. He lost everything about him that made him effectively scary and it was replaced with something I could see girls swooning over (I rather liked swooning over the dark scary one, thanks ;)). And if his origins were supposed to be secret, then the authors failed. As well as their big "shocking secret" at the end.I found the book was just without the subtle and gothic-y horror that made Dracula so famous. It took it down an action-packed, romantic, hyped up novel that really, to me, reads like it was written to go straight into film, sometimes being too sparse. It's not that it wasn't worth reading - I did finish in a day - but it was not what I think I expected (nor what a lot of Dracula-fans did).
WoW! If this book had been any cheesier, I could have thrown it on a pizza and baked it! Every cliche imaginable, every melodramatic, cheese filled moment you can possibly imagine was thrown into this book. Had such very high hopes. This first few chapters were good and promising. And then it turned into something worse than the worst B movie I've ever seen.
Started out interestingly enough, but then turned into "A World of No".
This book was enjoyable. It added a nice bit of history of another famous "vampire" in Elizabeth Bathory, but I did take some issues with the way Dracula came to be portrayed in this novel. It's like they Twilightified him, so that he was just another misunderstood vampire. What?It was a fun read though and it was an interesting look at how the characters of the novel dealt with things and the way normal people dealt with the supernatural.
In this authorized sequel to Bram Stoker¿s classic Dracula, his great-grandnephew teams with a Dracula scholar to present the surviving members of the band of heroes 25 years after their original bloody battle. Dr. Jack Seward has descended into penury and opium addiction. Arthur Holmwood has retreated from the public eye, still mourning his lost love, Lucy. Mina Harker, due to her ingestion of Dracula¿s blood, has hardly aged a day and has thrown herself into raising son Quincy and maintaining the appearance of a respectable lady and wife. Jonathan Harker, tormented by his wife¿s agelessness¿a constant proof of her infidelity¿is a drunkard and has turned mean. Dr. Van Helsing has aged greatly, his weak heart constantly on the edge of stopping entirely. Bram Stoker, too, is a character in this novel. Here, Stoker is presented as an aging theatre owner with literary ambitions who took the true story of the band of heroes¿told to him over drinks in a bar by one of the survivors¿and turned it into an unsuccessful penny dreadful Gothic novel and is now attempting a dramatic adaptation for the stage. Young Quincy Harker, who has theatrical ambitions of his own, manages to enlist famous Romanian actor Basarab for the lead role. But when members of the original band of heroes begin dying violent, bloody deaths, the survivors fear that Dracula survived their attack after all and is out for revenge. But the true evil stalking them¿the blood Countess Elizabeth Bathory¿is more terrifying than the heroes could ever imagine. Though the authors claim to have based their sequel upon Bram Stoker¿s notes and papers, this is not the Dracula you remember. Now explicitly connected to the historical Prince Vlad Drakul, the character, while still an undead blood-sucking vampire, does not consider himself to be evil or soulless; but to be a warrior for God and protector of Christendom¿a Knight in the Order of the Dragon, as was the historical Drakul. The motives of many of the character¿s actions in the original novel are here revised, seen from the other side of the coin. His fangs have not been pulled, but he is not the monster Bram Stoker originally wrote. Elizabeth Bathory, based upon the historical Countess said to have bathed in the blood of virgin girls to maintain her youthfulness, fulfills that role¿though her motives in hunting down the band seem flimsy at best and the addition of her lesbianism to the plot seems forced and sensationalist. No more than competently written, with scenes of explicit sexuality and violence, the novel is an interesting addition to Dracula lore¿though it does not compare at all favorably to the original. None of the characters are particularly likable (with Quincy Harker himself being the most spineless and callow of the lot) and the inclusion of plots dealing with the Jack the Ripper murders and a highly unsatisfying ending complete the picture of a novel trying far too hard to please a modern audience and forgetting what made the original great.
I was really excited to read this book because I love the original Dracula novel. Unfortunately, this book does not live up to its predecessor. The authors state in their notes at the end of the book that they made some of the changes they made to appeal to fans of the film who have never read the book. This was reinforced by the fact that Ian Holt originally conceived of the book as a screenplay. While I might have been more forgiving of some of these changes in a movie sequel, I was frustrated by them in a book sequel. I wanted a sequel that told a new and exciting story but stayed true to the spirit of the original. Instead, I got a sensationalistic, slightly sex-obsessed "modern" vampire novel using the same character names as Bram Stoker. Its a shame they wasted such a good opportunity.
Ironically, I found it difficult to finish this book, which is the same issue I had with the original. Although, with this one, I really didn't care what happened at the end. I just wanted to finish it so I had a date to put in my LibraryThing book details.
I began reading this book rather skeptically and was pleasantly surprised. The characters remain mostly the same. While the plot seemed a leap at first, it settled in and made sense. The authors have taken a great deal of time to research the background. (While some deem this "name-dropping" situations like Bram Stoker writing for the Lyceum Theatre and having a connection to Henry Irving are completely true.)The book was highly enjoyable.
This book was a movie script with all the dramatic visual effects of a movie. And, in keeping with modern tastes, one of the vampires is a good guy. The book was written by a relative of Bram Stoker and a screenwriter. It seems to me that the screenwriter had much the greater input. Expect this one on the big screen someday if the authors can make a good deal.I cannot in all conscience recommend this book but I won't trash it either. Read it and make up your own mind.
Dacre Stoker and Ian Holt's Dracula, the Un-Dead is the first official sequel to Bram Stoker's original Dracula. Dacre Stoker, a direct descendant of Bram Stoker and Ian Holt, a well-known Dracula historian, have pieced together a sequel based on notes that Bram Stoker had left about characters and plots that were removed from the original book.I really enjoyed the story, if some of the plot threads seemed rather rushed. Taking place about 20 years after the events in Dracula, all the key players are still alive: Mina and Jonathan Harker are married, if somewhat unhappily, with a son, Quincey (named after Quincey Morris, who lost his life battling Dracula); Jack Seward has gone mad and has fallen more into his morphine addiction; Arthur Holmwood has taken up the title of Lord Godalming and is trying to forget the love of his life, Lucy Westenra; and Van Helsing is an old man now, trying to live long enough to finish his battle against the supernatural. Each of the key players from the original story have a part to play in this continuation, and each has to pay for their mistakes from before, one way or another.We are finally introduced to more vampires, and begin to understand that there may be quite a few in the world. The main antagonist in the story is Countess Elizabeth Bathory, a centuries-old vampire who considers herself queen of her kind. She has turned from God completely, due to not only her vampiric state but also because she is a lesbian, and has been frowned upon by her family and the church since she was mortal. She holds a particular grudge against Dracula, and that grudge is never quite made apparent, nor is it clear on what Dracula's role in this story, or even his involvement in the original Dracula is, since we, as readers, may have been deceived from the beginning.The weaving of historical figures and facts into the story was quite clever. There are ties to the Jack the Ripper murders in the story, and Bram Stoker himself even makes a guest appearance. You could tell that Stoker and Holt have done their homework, drawing on what I'm assuming are actual facts surrounding Bram Stoker's original ideas for the book and compounding on those, even dropping some of the history behind Dracula into this book as well.I would have given this book 5 stars, except for the way the story ended. Having received an advanced reader copy, I don't know if I am just missing something from the ending of my copy of the book or not, but the story simply stops. I was riding along on a wave of anticipation, waiting to see what happens next, totally engulfed in the story, and I turn the page and... nothing. We get to a certain point, left with possible cliffhangers, but there is nothing left in the book; no indication that this is the first book in a series and that the story will be continued in a later edition, just nothing. So, I'll have to be stopping off to the store now to find a copy and see if there is still something left to this story that was left out of the edition I have, or if there is going to be another book released later. And if that is going to be the case, I'm going to be annoyed. I wish that they could just release everything into one book and be done with it. The trend of constantly needing to leave people dangling with such cliffhangers is getting a little overplayed, I feel.Other than the book simply ending like it did, with no type of resolution whatsoever, I found the story to be completely entertaining. It was a fast-paced, roller coaster of a ride, touching on all the characters from the original, and adding in new characters that complimented the story well. I found myself missing the Gothic feel of the writing of the original, but writing another book in that style today probably wouldn't go over so well. I have read Dracula several times now, and part of my love for the story is the writing. I was hoping that this book would continue in that theme, also
Excellent book! I love the developement of our old friends and the way Dracula was portrayed! I have always loved Dracula and thought there was more to him then the evil that meets the eye! Ending definately left it open for some more!
I always like to read sequels and spin-offs of my favorite popular works of fiction, so I was excited to get this one because it is co-written by someone in Stoker's family and I thouught it would be interesting to get the family perspective and be an excellent addition to the Dracula story. It started off well and I thought that the original idea was good, it really has a lot of promise but somewhere in the writing, the execution of the plot goes all wrong. It just doesn't flow well and I felt the writing could have been much better. There was some original ideas like the bringing in Countess Bathory as a villian and including all of the original characters and what they have become over time. I even thought including the Jack the Ripper theme had potential but it just never came together. Also, I made the mistake of re-reading the original before reading this one and I found the characters in the spin-off to be more flawed, one dimensional and flat. I was terribly disappointed in this book considering it could have been great.