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The horror (novel), the horror (novel)

Drac_2  I will argue forever: Bram Stoker's Dracula is the best horror novel of all time. If you, like me, are a freak for all things vampire, you don't want to miss The New Annotated Dracula, edited by Leslie S. Klinger.  It's Stoker's text with more than 1,500 footnotes by Klinger, who performed a similar miracle with The New Annotated Sherlock Holmes. If you've got a vampire nut in the family, he or she would love this as a holiday gift. I'd stake my reputation on it.

Dossier And, in the spirit of All Hallow's Eve, soon upon us, check out my interview with James Reese, author of the gothic novel The Dracula Dossier, who appears at 2 p.m. Thursday at the Florida Center for the Book in Fort Lauderdale and on Halloween night at 8 p.m. at Books & Books in the Gables. His novel has a great premise, one rooted in a small, "throw-away" fact he read in a Bram Stoker bio: One of Stoker's acquaintances, an American doctor named Francis Tumblety, was a suspect in the Jack the Ripper murders. The idea had St. Pete resident Reese (also author of The Book of Shadows, The Book of Spirits and The Witching) off and running. What if, he thought, Stoker found himself in London as the Ripper murders began...and the subsequent adventure inspired him to write Dracula?

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HoCo

Nah, "The Shining" was a more exciting horror book than "Dracula." So was "The Exorcist." And, for me, tho it's not classified as horror because it's a true crime story, "Helter Skelter" scared the blank outta me.
Or is it that women just have a thing for Dracula cuz he is rather suave when you think about it? At least George Hamilton was in "Love at First Bite" or Frank Langella in John Badham's 1979 version of "Dracula."

Connie

Dracula IS all about sex, so you may have a point there. But I ask you: when was the last time you actually READ Dracula? Or are you just relying on memories of movies? Because the book is really quite extraordinary, especially when you consider when it was written.

Frank Langella does nothing for me as Drac, though. Give me Gary Oldman in Francis Ford Coppola's Dracula. "I have crossed oceans of time for you!" I mean, he was great (even if Winona Ryder and Keanu Reeves left a lot to be desired...)

The Shining is a great horror novel, too. Helter Skelter is actually way more scary than any of this, but I wouldn't count it just b/c it's true crime.

HoCo

I last read Dracula (and Frankenstein) as a kid. My memories are more tied to the Creature Feature movies and Marvel Comics' "Tomb of Dracula" title in the early 70s.

Does "The Stand" count as a horror novel cuz it's Stephen King? If so, that was a great book too of its type. And you'll make fun of me but I remember loving Frank D. Fellitta's "Audrey Rose" as a kid -- but of course I was 14 so that might have had something to do with it. They made a rather cheesy movie out of it featuring Anthony Hopkins.

Connie

Anything by Stephen King is considered horror, sure. I liked The Stand too except for the whole hand-of-God coming down bit, that was a bit much.

I'm a Salem's Lot fan myself (naturally).

Jill Cassidy

Excuse me, but the quote is: I have crossed oceans of time to be with you. Signed, an intellectual.

Connie

Are you...VAMPYR? Nos-fer-atu?

Jill Cassidy

Also, I thought the book Red Dragon was very, very scary. Also, the ending of the Silence of the Lambs book was scarier than the ending of the movie. Also, The Road will stop your heart. I cannot stress this enough.

Connie

It's funny - at the end of this Q and A with James Reese, I asked him what scared him as a reader, and he said the last book that scared him was Red Dragon, too!

That and Dennis Lehane's Darkness Take My Hand are the two books that creeped me out most as an adult.

Rene Rodriguez

I must concur and agree that Stoker's Dracula is the best horror novel of all time.

I should also point out that I would love a copy of that "Annotated Dracula" book, if a certain book editor happens to receive a second copy. If not, that new giant-size coffee table book "Watching the Watchmen" will do.

Props, by the way, for including "Watchmen" in your Cheap Week reading list! You should heed your own advice and read it. You're going to love it.

Rene Rodriguez

Another truly scary book is Peter Straub's "Ghost Story." That's the book that made me want to read everything else he had ever written. The movie adaptation is unwatchable, but the book is fantastically creepy and scary.

Connie

Ghost Story is an excellent horror novel! I'm also fond of Floating Dragon by Straub, which for some reason creeped me out big time.

As for Watchmen, I figure there must be a movie tie in version coming out, so I'm keeping my eye peeled for that. Will not part with my Annotated Dracula for ANYTHING!!!

bibliophile

SPOILER ALERT FOR ANY WHO HAVE NOT READ THE HISTORIAN:

OK: One of the worst, though critically acclaimed, vampire novels: The Historian. And that baby was something like 700 pages long.

I mean, all Dracula really wanted was ... a librarian to catalog his books!

As a book lover, I can understand the appeal of librarians, but still ...

Connie

You know, I liked The Historian for the most part, but... can't argue with you. Also, it wasn't scary. Vampire books need to at LEAST be creepy. Buffy the Vampire Slayer had creepier moments.

And it was too long. Still...

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