THE MAN WHO WROTE DRACULA: A Biography of Brain Stoker by Daniel Farson

THE MAN WHO WROTE DRACULA: A Biography of Brain Stoker

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The highest praise Bram Stoker ever received for writing Dracula came from his mother: ""My dear it is splendid, a thousand miles beyond anything you have written before. . . ."" And she was right. Aside from his hallucinated final novel The Lair of the White Worm, Stoker's long shelf of works is far from memorable. Only once did his enthusiasm and imagination join in a tale that really makes the blood crawl and that is quite likely the best horror story in English; no product of today's Dracula industry comes close to the original's energy. Stoker himself was a creature of fabulous energy. He lay abed with some ""psychological"" illness for the first seven years of his life, and when at last he rose to walk he fairly flew until his death by syphilis at 64. Never known widely as an author, he spent his adult life as the manager of the greatest actor of his day, Sir Henry Irving. Daniel Farson, Stoker's great-nephew, tries his hand at various analyses of the sources of Count Dracula's bloodlust in the author's own life, but Finally states that the creature springs mostly from imagination, despite secondary historical sources. The idea that vampirism enacts some kind of psychic exchange between Stoker and Irving, with Irving as the Count and Stoker as a fount of unquenchable energy, is not entered into but will surely present itself to some readers. Warm, strangely enough, and thorough.

Pub Date: Aug. 30th, 1976
Publisher: St. Martin's