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Dracul (2018)

por Dacre Stoker, J. D. Barker

Otros autores: Ver la sección otros autores.

MiembrosReseñasPopularidadValoración promediaMenciones
3992948,105 (3.97)5
The prequel to Dracula, inspired by notes and texts left behind by the author of the classic novel, Dracul is a supernatural thriller that reveals not only Dracula's true origins but Bram Stoker's--and the tale of the enigmatic woman who connects them. It is 1868, and a twenty-one-year-old Bram Stoker waits in a desolate tower to face an indescribable evil. Armed only with crucifixes, holy water, and a rifle, he prays to survive a single night, the longest of his life. Desperate to record what he has witnessed, Bram scribbles down the events that led him here... A sickly child, Bram spent his early days bedridden in his parents' Dublin home, tended to by his caretaker, a young woman named Ellen Crone. When a string of strange deaths occur in a nearby town, Bram and his sister Matilda detect a pattern of bizarre behavior by Ellen--a mystery that deepens chillingly until Ellen vanishes suddenly from their lives. Years later, Matilda returns from studying in Paris to tell Bram the news that she has seen Ellen--and that the nightmare they've thought long ended is only beginning.… (más)
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Mostrando 1-5 de 29 (siguiente | mostrar todos)
hb
  5083mitzi | Apr 4, 2021 |


All fiction – and supernatural fiction especially so – requires us to suspend our disbelief and to accept that the world between the covers of a book is as real as the one we’re living in (if not more). The premise of Dracul however is even harder to swallow than the very existence of the Undead – the novel presents us with a Bram Stoker who has personal experience of vampires and who has a final showdown with none other than Count Dracula himself. The concept intrigued me even whilst setting alarm bells ringing in my head – would Dracul turn out to be the great Dracula prequel touted by the marketing blurbs or just another in a recent tradition of horror mash-ups? The fact that the novel is jointly credited to Dacre Stoker (Bram’s great-grand nephew) and horror writer J.D. Barker only fuelled my misgivings. Apart from my irrational prejudice against co-authored works, the Stoker name on the title page gave me a niggling suspicion that it was there primarily to capitalize on the link to Bram. And so, with some difficulty in setting aside pre-conceptions, uncertainties and pet peeves, I joined a youngish Bram keeping watch in an unnamed tower, eyes fixed on a heavy door behind which untold horrors lurk...

I must say that the initial chapters did little to shake off my doubts . The shifts between Bram’s vigil (helpfully marked “NOW”) and his recollections of his sickly childhood, nursed by the enigmatic “Nanna Ellen”, seemed artificial, the dialogue between Bram and his sister Matilda unconvincing. However, once this backstory was set out and the action shifted closer to the (novel’s) present, I became increasingly engrossed. Like Bram’s original, Dracul follows a group of improvised vampire-busters on a hunt which leads them to the dark heart of Continental Europe. The pace of the plot mounts inexorably and culminates in a set-piece in a ghost-village outside Munich which seems to be as much inspired by horror movies and zombie tropes as by ‘traditional’ vampire fiction.

Part of the fun of the book lies in looking for the parallels between this novel and the original, as well as references to real life events and figures. Thus, as in Dracula, Dracul is recounted through a series of journal entries, diaries and letters, giving the text an immediacy and allowing for different perspectives. There is material which is clearly gleaned from the short story Dracula’s Guest and expanded to fit the plot. The novel also has its own Van Helsing, in the shape of Arminius Vámbéry, a Hungarian Turkologist who, in reality, was an acquaintance of Stoker and might have influenced or served as a model for Van Helsing. Rather than a prequel to Dracula, I’d consider it more of a companion piece – a “pastiche”, in a positive sense, which delights in resurrecting vampire tropes largely shaped by Bram Stoker’s seminal novel.

In an afterword to Dracul, Dacre Stoker explains that this novel is based on his ancestor’s actual notes and on the first hundred-or-so pages of the novel which were allegedly excised at the insistence of the original publishers. Then, Stoker ups the ante – Bram, he tells us, presented the manuscript as a “true story” and Dracula was not meant to serve as ‘entertainment’ as much as a warning against a very real evil. Now, of course, Dracula was neither the first nor the last Gothic novel to present itself as a “non-fictional” account. Presumably, Dacre is riffing on this trope. But this does raise an interesting question – namely just how far is Dracul actually inspired by Bram’s biography, handwritten notes and “original intentions” and how much of it is Dacre’s and J.D. Barker’s own invention? Scholars of the Gothic might illuminate us – in the meantime, Dracul remains an enjoyable vampire romp which nicely complements the (unbeatable) original. ( )
  JosephCamilleri | Mar 5, 2021 |
Read this. if you are a fan of Dracula or Stoker, you should read this. ( )
  RavinScarface | Dec 13, 2020 |
What if the dark tale of Dracula was not just a flight of fancy for author Bram Stoker? What if the origins of the story came from Stoker's own life? Dracul is a prequel of sorts for the classic novel, spinning a dark tale of death, evil and monsters.

OMG....I love this book! This isn't a re-telling of the Dracula story, but an imagining of the origins for the vampire story. Bram Stoker left diaries and notes behind, detailing mysterious happenings revolving around a Stoker family servant, Nanna Ellen. The story switches back and forth in time, alternating from Bram's sickly childhood in Ireland to his facing down unimaginable evil 12 years later as an adult. I was completely engrossed in this dark tale from beginning to end. Easily as horrific and well-written as the classic Dracula, this new tale of the undead is darkly disturbing and mesmerizing.

Like the classic Dracula, this book relies mostly on psychological horror, rather than more in-your-face type scary. The dark and bleak atmosphere, horrific discoveries and mysterious occurrences build suspense, revealing just a little bit of the truth at a time. The pacing is perfect. I don't usually like books that skip back and forth in time, but for this story it worked perfectly. Jumping from Bram and his sister discovering secrets about a beloved family servant to his facing evil lurking outside his locked, barricaded door years later just made the suspense stronger. The characters are awesome. The writing is descriptive, and the horror....chilling.

Full stars from me! Loved it!

**I voluntarily read a review copy of this book from Penguin via NetGalley. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.**





( )
  JuliW | Nov 22, 2020 |


All fiction – and supernatural fiction especially so – requires us to suspend our disbelief and to accept that the world between the covers of a book is as real as the one we’re living in (if not more). The premise of Dracul however is even harder to swallow than the very existence of the Undead – the novel presents us with a Bram Stoker who has personal experience of vampires and who has a final showdown with none other than Count Dracula himself. The concept intrigued me even whilst setting alarm bells ringing in my head – would Dracul turn out to be the great Dracula prequel touted by the marketing blurbs or just another in a recent tradition of horror mash-ups? The fact that the novel is jointly credited to Dacre Stoker (Bram’s great-grand nephew) and horror writer J.D. Barker only fuelled my misgivings. Apart from my irrational prejudice against co-authored works, the Stoker name on the title page gave me a niggling suspicion that it was there primarily to capitalize on the link to Bram. And so, with some difficulty in setting aside pre-conceptions, uncertainties and pet peeves, I joined a youngish Bram keeping watch in an unnamed tower, eyes fixed on a heavy door behind which untold horrors lurk...

I must say that the initial chapters did little to shake off my doubts . The shifts between Bram’s vigil (helpfully marked “NOW”) and his recollections of his sickly childhood, nursed by the enigmatic “Nanna Ellen”, seemed artificial, the dialogue between Bram and his sister Matilda unconvincing. However, once this backstory was set out and the action shifted closer to the (novel’s) present, I became increasingly engrossed. Like Bram’s original, Dracul follows a group of improvised vampire-busters on a hunt which leads them to the dark heart of Continental Europe. The pace of the plot mounts inexorably and culminates in a set-piece in a ghost-village outside Munich which seems to be as much inspired by horror movies and zombie tropes as by ‘traditional’ vampire fiction.

Part of the fun of the book lies in looking for the parallels between this novel and the original, as well as references to real life events and figures. Thus, as in Dracula, Dracul is recounted through a series of journal entries, diaries and letters, giving the text an immediacy and allowing for different perspectives. There is material which is clearly gleaned from the short story Dracula’s Guest and expanded to fit the plot. The novel also has its own Van Helsing, in the shape of Arminius Vámbéry, a Hungarian Turkologist who, in reality, was an acquaintance of Stoker and might have influenced or served as a model for Van Helsing. Rather than a prequel to Dracula, I’d consider it more of a companion piece – a “pastiche”, in a positive sense, which delights in resurrecting vampire tropes largely shaped by Bram Stoker’s seminal novel.

In an afterword to Dracul, Dacre Stoker explains that this novel is based on his ancestor’s actual notes and on the first hundred-or-so pages of the novel which were allegedly excised at the insistence of the original publishers. Then, Stoker ups the ante – Bram, he tells us, presented the manuscript as a “true story” and Dracula was not meant to serve as ‘entertainment’ as much as a warning against a very real evil. Now, of course, Dracula was neither the first nor the last Gothic novel to present itself as a “non-fictional” account. Presumably, Dacre is riffing on this trope. But this does raise an interesting question – namely just how far is Dracul actually inspired by Bram’s biography, handwritten notes and “original intentions” and how much of it is Dacre’s and J.D. Barker’s own invention? Scholars of the Gothic might illuminate us – in the meantime, Dracul remains an enjoyable vampire romp which nicely complements the (unbeatable) original. ( )
  JosephCamilleri | Sep 12, 2020 |
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» Añade otros autores (14 posible)

Nombre del autorRolTipo de autor¿Trabajo?Estado
Dacre Stokerautor principaltodas las edicionescalculado
Barker, J. D.autor principaltodas las edicionesconfirmado
Graziosi, FrancescoTraductorautor secundarioalgunas edicionesconfirmado

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The prequel to Dracula, inspired by notes and texts left behind by the author of the classic novel, Dracul is a supernatural thriller that reveals not only Dracula's true origins but Bram Stoker's--and the tale of the enigmatic woman who connects them. It is 1868, and a twenty-one-year-old Bram Stoker waits in a desolate tower to face an indescribable evil. Armed only with crucifixes, holy water, and a rifle, he prays to survive a single night, the longest of his life. Desperate to record what he has witnessed, Bram scribbles down the events that led him here... A sickly child, Bram spent his early days bedridden in his parents' Dublin home, tended to by his caretaker, a young woman named Ellen Crone. When a string of strange deaths occur in a nearby town, Bram and his sister Matilda detect a pattern of bizarre behavior by Ellen--a mystery that deepens chillingly until Ellen vanishes suddenly from their lives. Years later, Matilda returns from studying in Paris to tell Bram the news that she has seen Ellen--and that the nightmare they've thought long ended is only beginning.

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