Monday, October 13, 2008

Review - The New Annotated Dracula - edited by Leslie S. Klinger

The New Annotated Dracula
Bram Stoker, edited by Leslie S. Klinger
Introduction by Neil Gaiman
W. W. Norton
October 13, 2008
ISBN# 978-0-393-06450-6

From the publisher:
Edited with a foreword and notes by Leslie S. Klinger

Introduction by Neil Gaiman

Cause for international celebration—the most important and complete edition of Dracula in decades.

In his first work since his best-selling The New Annotated Sherlock Holmes, Leslie S. Klinger returns with this spectacular, lavishly illustrated homage to Bram Stoker's Dracula. With a daring conceit, Klinger accepts Stoker's contention that the Dracula tale is based on historical fact. Traveling through two hundred years of popular culture and myth as well as graveyards and the wilds of Transylvania, Klinger's notes illuminate every aspect of this haunting narrative (including a detailed examination of the original typescript of Dracula, with its shockingly different ending, previously unavailable to scholars). Klinger investigates the many subtexts of the original narrative—from masochistic, necrophilic, homoerotic, "dentophilic," and even heterosexual implications of the story to its political, economic, feminist, psychological, and historical threads. Employing the superb literary detective skills for which he has become famous, Klinger mines this 1897 classic for nuggets that will surprise even the most die-hard Dracula fans and introduce the vampire-prince to a new generation of readers.

My thoughts:
Leslie S. Klinger has taken Dracula and forever changed the way readers will remember it in the generations to come. From an amazing number of notes that offer both his own thoughts and proof of inconsistencies in the story, to fascinating photos and illustrations from Stoker’s time to present-day, it’s easy to find yourself sidetracked from the overall story and dwelling solely on each of Mr. Klinger’s research finds.

Sharing Dracula as a factual account, and based on the assumption that Dracula did not lose his undead life to the hunters, Mr. Klinger considers the idea that either the Harkers or Stoker were persuaded in some way to change enough of the story to prevent it leading to his discovery. That would be a slightly unnerving, but intriguing thought if you lean towards believing Stoker’s story to be nonfiction.

The New Annotated Dracula is a treasure trove of information for anyone captivated by vampire tales, and more importantly for those who have a keen interest in the story of Dracula. There’s an astonishing amount of gathered facts to take in, and Mr. Klinger has done a phenomenal job of organizing them in the easiest possible way for readers to follow. This is worth every minute it takes to read, and I can’t imagine ever needing any other Dracula on your bookshelf.

To learn more about The New Annotated Dracula, please visit the author’s website: Here

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews


jessewave said...

I never thought that this would make it into print or that you would review such an important and obviously long awaited work. Congratulations on completing your review of this masterpiece. Champagne all around *g*

Kimberly Swan said...

It's pretty amazing, you should really check it out. :)

Anonymous said...

I'm surprised that it sounds so good to me. I'd love to read it.

Kimberly Swan said...

It's clear that a lot of time went in to the research for it, and I'm glad I had the opportunity to read it. Hope you get a chance to read it soon. :)

Enchanted by Books said...

Wow sounds interesting! Great review.

Kimberly Swan said...

It really was so much more than I expected, and so worth the time spent reading it. :)