November 2, 2009

The Mondays: Great Grandnephew of Dracula

Forget Son of Dracula. When I first heard there was going to be an "official" sequel to Bram Stoker's Dracula published this year, I rolled my eyes. I'm cynical enough that the very notion that a classic piece of literature would be given a sequel offended me on some inexplicable level. Just reading some abbreviated news article about how the great grandnephew of Bram Stoker had co-authored the book, I cringed. It sounded like a tawdry cash grab by a distance relative and his ghost writer. And I am willing to bet that I wasn't the only one who was quick to judge.

After seeing an interview last week with Dacre Stoker on CTV's "Canada AM" though, I'm less hesitant in my expectations of this book, and relieved that he actually partook in the writing process with Ian Holt rather than simply lending the Stoker name to the work. While I got the impression from the interview that he's not that much of a fan of the horror genre, deriding the graphic nature of some vampire fiction--they're bloodsuckers after all--I did get the distinct sense he holds a greater affinity towards Bram Stoker's body of work than others who may simply see it as an inheritance.

I do still question the necessity of a sequel to Dracula, however. I get that the idea stemmed from the discovery of notes and other tidbits of Bram Stoker's work that were expunged from the published novel, but I would think such a discovery would be used to reconstruct the author's original vision of the story as a whole. Instead, the public is going to be inundated with not one sequel, but potentially three, as Dracula: The Un-Dead is the first installment of a proposed trilogy.

Are we to believe the recovered source material was so vast that three whole novels were needed to do Stoker's work justice? Of that, I'm not convinced.

As it stands, I'm willing to set my doubts and cynicism aside until I get the chance to sample Dacre Stoker's and Ian Holt's endeavor to recreate the aura of Count Dracula and even Bram Stoker, who turns up in the book as an actual character--really?!


  1. I'm right there with you - remaining a cynic until the worth of the sequel is proved otherwise. Interesting bits and pieces do not a book make (how did we not learn that lesson with Tolkien?).

  2. And the whole "trilogy" thing just makes me wonder how fulfilling this new novel will be if there are two more in the works.