FICTION

Something in the Blood: The Untold Story of Bram Stoker, the Man Who Wrote "Dracula."

Something in the Blood: The Untold Story of Bram Stoker, the Man Who Wrote "Dracula." 17 CDs. 21.5 hrs. HighBridge. Oct. 2016. ISBN 9781681682525. $49. LIT
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OrangeReviewStarWhen Skal (The Monster Show: A Cultural History of Horror) includes "Untold" in the title, he is referring to the recently discovered letters written by Stoker (1847–1912) about his childhood, as well as correspondence with the eminent poet Walt Whitman. This audiobook is more than a simple biography; it is also a literary examination behind the history of Stoker's Dracula. For example, through recently discovered writings about his own past, Stoker talks about the Irish mythologies that frightened him as a boy. Skal believes that this had much to do with the style and atmosphere of the great 1897 novel. Further investigations lead to Stoker's friendship with Oscar Wilde before and during Wilde's trials and incarceration. Stoker was married but seemed to have had little interest in women, leaving Skal to interpret the sexual ambiguity of not only Stoker but of the character Dracula as well. James Patrick Cronin performs well as the narrator. His pronunciation of the Irish names, locations, and mythological creatures is spot-on.
VERDICT Since this audiobook also includes the full text of Stoker's freshly revealed letters, it would be an engrossing listen for Dracula and Stoker fans, as well as literature students and faculty. ["For serious students of horror literature and Victorian culture": LJ 12/16 review of the Liveright: Norton hc.]

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