Sunday 17 October 2010

Dracula: The Un-Dead by Dacre Stoker & Ian Holt

Dracula: The Un-dead by Dacre Stoker & Ian Holt

The original Dracula by Bram Stoker is on my top ten list of all-time favourite novels.  I love slow-paced gothic literature, and for me, Dracula is the best of the bunch.   I love the characters, the letters/diaries style and when I first read it as a 12 or 13 year-old, I was scared.  I don't like the modern Twilight-style vampire stuff at all, but I did very much enjoy The Historian.  Given that this 'sequel' to the original bears the Stoker name, I was looking forward to reading it.

Synopsis: Quincey Harker, the son of Mina and Jonathan, starts working on a production of Bram Stoker's Dracula at the Lyceum Theatre.  There he starts to discover the secrets of his family as one by one the heroes from the original novel are destroyed.

Score: 1 out of 5

This may sound brutal, but here it is:  there is nothing to like about this book.  Please don't read it.  It is a blatant attempt on cashing in through the use of a famous surname and should never have been an authorised sequel to what is a classic and much-loved book.  

What offends me the most about it is how the original characters have been twisted and 'developed' into something completely beyond what Bram Stoker had imagined them to be.  Mina has become a sex-crazed vampire affecionado, Jonathan a sad drunk who likes prostitutes,  Jack a crazy morphine addict, Van Helsing a sell out and Arthur a sad and lonely old man.  And Dracula, an undeniable villain, has become a tragic romantic hero, 'God's crusader' who was merely misunderstood.  He doesn't even drink human blood anymore!  And Bram Stoker even appears in it as a plagerist! It all seems a bit disrespectful to me.

There was also a high proportion of silliness in the plot.  Don't get me wrong, I don't mind a bit of tackiness or suspending belief - but Jack the Ripper really being the Countess Elizabeth Bathory?  When the authors of a book take so much liberty with both the original story and the timeline of history that they have to provide an afterword to explain themselves away, you do start to wonder.

To sum up, I am sure Bram Stoker would have been appalled to have learned of this treatment of his novel if he was alive to witness it.  If you like the original, steer well clear of this one.


  1. Funny, I'm trying to buy the orginal Dracula and wish I can read the book this November. Advance Happy Halloween!

  2. D: That books sounds awful! Thanks for the warning :3

  3. @kwesifriends
    Definitely read the original Dracula. It's one of my favourite books of al time, and Halloween will be such a good time to read it.

    If you have an e-reader you can download it for free from project Gutenberg, I think.

  4. @noiashui
    It was awful, which was doubly worse as I thought it would be good. Oh well, only spent £2 on it! :P

    True - I just hope the authors never stumble upon this post!

  6. Thanks for dropping by my blog :) I love your site and I'm following you back. All the best!

  7. like a moth to a candle... now i'm curious to read why it is awful o.o I should try get a free copy somewhere to taste

    P/s I followed you =E

  8. @Lisa
    Hi Lisa,

    Thanks for following me :)
    And the book is very easy to read, so it wouldn't take up too much of your time. I sort of enjoyed it in a "so bad it's good" way :P

  9. Wow, yeah, I agree with Lisa. I'm curious as to how it's so awful (actually reading it in depth and experiencing it first hand). I have to admit that I haven't read Dracula yet (yes, yes, shocked gasps and all that =x) but I got it as a free e-book on my Nook when I bought it yesterday so I'll have to give that a go. Even though I hardly ever do scary. I'll do it because you had such good praise for it! :P

    Anyway, this rendition definitely sounds ridiculous. Jack the Ripper being Countess Elizabeth Bathory? Honestly? This isn't satire, is it?

  10. I was so excited about this book...I had hoped with the Stoker name I could depend on this book to honor the original. As a great fan of the original, I would have been very disappointed to waste my time on this silliness. I would like to read more about Elizabeth Bathory though...can you recommend a good book?

  11. I agree with you -- I posted a review a few months back with the exact same impression. I was so very, very disappointed in this one.