Friday, 4 February 2011

Dracula’s Guest by Bram Stoker

  • Dracula's Guest
  • The Judge's House
  • The Squaw
  • The Secret of the Growing Gold
  • The Gipsy Prophecy
  • The Coming of Abel Behenna
  • The Burial of the Rats
  • A Dream of Red Hands
  • Crooken Sands
Format: eBook
: Public Domain Books
Published: This addition: 1st November 2003
First published: 1914
Book: Bought
Number of Pages: 200
Genre: Horror, Fantasy, Classic

A few months before the lamented death of my husband—I might say even as the shadow of death was over him—he planned three series of short stories for publication, and the present volume is one of them. To his original list of stories in this book, I have added an hitherto unpublished episode from Dracula. It was originally excised owing to the length of the book, and may prove of interest to the many readers of what is considered my husband's most remarkable work. The other stories have already been published in English and American periodicals. Had my husband lived longer, he might have seen fit to revise this work, which is mainly from the earlier years of his strenuous life. But, as fate has entrusted to me the issuing of it, I consider it fitting and proper to let it go forth practically as it was left by him.

This book is made up of a variety of short stories and one chapter that was left of out Dracula as the final book was too long.  Most of the stories and brilliantly gruesome, and full of terror – all kinds: psychological, fear of death or just the good-old fashioned supernatural kind – but all are of different characters and places, who all face different horrors.
I liked the stories a lot, but I really preferred Bram Stoker’s original, Dracula, probably because I like to know more about the characters and the events of their lives.  However, somehow Stoker manages to pack in so much detail into thirteen-or-so pages long stories that I found myself completely absorbed.
Ranging from wolf-dogs to rats with freaky eyes, the tales are all more than a little bizarre and grisly, but are good nonetheless.  They prove that Stoker is really the creator of the modern horror.
My personal favourite is The Judge’s House; it’s about a man living in the house another man was hung in – and he’s staying in the very room it happened in.  It’s haunted by creepy rats, and although the end is a little cliché, I just loved the whole suspense-terror vibe going on.
The other stories are really good, and there’s a wide range of horror in them.  The only one I wasn’t very keen on was The Squaw, and if you’re an animal lover, this may not be a good one for you (just a warning).  The Gypsy Prophecy and A Dream of Red Hands were my other two favourites, one about confronting your darker side, the other a rather moralistic story about facing the horrific consequences of horrific actions.  The chapter from Dracula was from the start of the book, about what Jonathan Harker got up to just before his arrival at the Count’s house.  It was really good, and it links in because I remember mild hints of something like it in the actual novel.
All in all, a very good book that proves that Stoker could write short stories just as well as he can write long ones.  And also that books from one-hundred odd years ago can still scare and absorb you.

Oh, and a quick note on the eBook: other than a few paragraphs starting in the wrong places, the punctuation and everything was brilliant, and the book was free, too!  I’m still not ready to give up my paper books though: they beat electronic in my book.

Star Rating:
4 Out of 5

Read this book if you liked:
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
Horrowitz Horror by Anthony Horowitz

Challenges It's Taking Part In:

1 comment:

Midnyte Reader said...

Thanks for posting. I'm not sure I will pick this up, but I enjoyed reading your thoughts.