Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Book: The Return of Dracula by Anon

It has been 100 years since the events of Dracula, Jock Crapper is an estate agent working in London, and one of his clients is Count de Ville. When the house of which Count de Ville rents out, is intruded, Crapper starts to investigate and discovers the journal of Jonathan Harker. He also discovers a descendant of Van Helsing, who is a professor, and  meets with her to discuss vampireism. After the Count decides to sell his Piccadilly home, Crapper makes a journey to Translyvania which mirrors that made by Jonathan Harker in Dracula.

Link to Goodreads
Link to amazon

With an upcoming camping trip to Whitby planned (though by the time this review is posted I will have already been!) stories focused around Dracula seem to be appropriate, Whitby being the setting for the shipwreck in Dracula, and so when I found this short story I thought that I would give it a go, particularly as I was interested to see how a modern take on the gothic theme would compare to the 'classic' gothic literature I have been reading.

Ultimately, The Return of Dracula comes across as across between fanfiction and a parody of the classic tale of Dracula, particularly of the character of Jonathan Harker, who is parodied by Jock Crapper, an estate agent who lets out his house. There is also the descendant of Van Helsing to consider, who turns out to be a vampire herself. This was disappointing as I felt that there lacked any real reason for her to have become a vampire, particularly considering that Van Helsing was so solidly against vampires. Also she was out during the day which seemed odd.

I thought that the author (whoever he or she is) showed quite a bit of potential in the story, and if they had explored the reasons behind some of the characters' actions and choices then it could have crossed the line from being fanfiction/parody into being a genuine continuation of the story, though it would probably have helped if they had given their characters 'normal' names too.

I would scarcely count this book as a work of gothic fiction, and hence I have classed it under paranormal, as it still revolves around vampires though they play no major antagonistic role in the short story.

I seem to be sounding quite negative, and so I will add that I did enjoy The Return of Dracula, as a quick read, and it is interesting to see how an author has twisted the world Stoker created and applied it to the modern day world.