Today is the final day of Dracula book week. Yesterday I looked at Bram Stoker’s original Dracula novel. Today, I take a look at a semi-sequel to that novel. Fred Saberhagen’s The Dracula Tape.
If this seems familiar, I reviewed a similar Saberhagen book back in 2009 called The Frankenstein Papers. My theme that year was, obviously, Frankenstein and I had just read Mary Shelley’s book. It seemed like fun to read a sequel to such a seminal work in horror literature. Saberhagen’s book told Mary Shelley’s story from a different point of view. Most notably, the monster’s.
Well, after deciding that I was going to try, again, to read Stoker’s Dracula, I wanted to read another book that did the same thing. Well, as the fates would have it, Saberhagen did the same thing with Dracula. He wrote this book which looks at the events in Dracula from the Count’s point of view. And it’s all narrated by the Count himself. Saberhagen’s Dracula would become fairly popular and would spawn a series of books featuring the title character. The second book even features Dracula facing off with Sherlock Holmes. So, needless to say, I thought this sounded very interesting so I read it.
(Via Robert Adragna)
This story is actually very interesting. Like I said, the conceit is similar to The Frankenstein Papers. The events in Bram Stoker’s novel are told from the perspective of Dracula himself. Saberhagen’s Dracula is much more refined than Stoker’s. He paints the group of vampire hunters in Stoker’s tale as a group of misguided bufoons. Especially Van Helsing who comes off as a bully or a thug. Many of Van Helsing’s actions in the original novel are called into question by Saberhagen’s Count, especially his decision not to tell anyone about Dracula being a vampire until it was too late. It was actually very entertaining reading passages of the book I had trouble following in Stoker’s novel told in a more clearly defined way in Saberhagen’s book. It made my understanding of the original more complete. Even more so than the Cliff’s Notes I purchased (Yes, I purchased the Cliff Notes for Dracula).
So, I can recommend this book. I don’t even think you need to read the original Stoker novel because this just goes over the same territory and does it more clearly. Reading it may help for you to get the experience of seeing the events from Dracula’s eyes as opposed to the original novel, but I just don’t hate you enough to tell you to read Stoker’s novel.
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