Saturday, March 12, 2011
Book Review: The Romance of Dracula: a personal journey of the Count on celluloid
I was contacted by the blog tour coordinator and asked to review this title, which was pretty cool because I intended to buy it after reading a review at Vampire Review.
The Romance of Dracula is a book I want to describe as a survival guide. It includes quotes, reviews, details synopses of not only the original novel Dracula, but a number of movies based on the vampire classic. When I read his references to PLAYS as well, I was simply smitten. According to Charles E. Butler, he wrote this title in order to explore why he loves the Dracula genre. I personally fell for him when he confessed that vampire literature comprises one-third of his bookshelf.
As usual, I will get straight to why I loved reading this book. First, it reminded me how sad it is that there are still so many vampire genre fans that have not read Dracula. If you read this book, be careful, because at some point in the detailed review of Bram Stoker's classic, you will want to read the book if for no other reason than to compare it to the movies. I'll talk about a moment I had with this book that made me feel the need to re-read Dracula. For some reason, the following author quote did it:
"...Dracula will never be as one remembers from his literary beginnings or what the reader can recall whilst growing up. Film and book are two very different mediums, but Dracula is one of the few characters on the screen to always be matched with the name of Bram Stoker."
This quote had me trying to accurately describe Dracula from the first reading- all those years ago. One of the images that flooded my mind was "The Count" and his "Bah-ha ha." The sesame street Count. Yes, the bat...in the cape...and the scary castle... that teaches kids to count.
Okay, now that that's over with... The writer has done something very special here. His opening was my favorite part of the book, and his review of the original novel is breathtaking. It sweeps you up with a fervor. With a series of Dracula quotes and subsequent musings that are at times jaw dropping and at others, down right entertaining. If you are a fan of the Count, you probably won't always agree with Butler's point of view, but his insights are worth reading.This is a rare gem for any fan of Dracula horror flicks, all things vampires, and lovers of the original Dracula that started it all.
I'll end with my personal favorite except from this book:
You think to baffle me, you - with your pale faces all in a row like sheep in a butcher's? You shall be
sorry yet, each one of you! You think you have left me without a place to rest; but I have more. My revenge is just begun! I spread it across centuries, and time is on my side. Your girls that you all love are mine already; and through them you and others shall yet be mine - my creatures, to do my bidding and to be my jackals when I want to feed. Bah!"
The only addition to that line of dialogue could be a resounding Bwah ha ha! of laughter as the Count twiddles the end of his waxen moustache with a white-gloved thumb and forefinger. As in the better translations on the screen, Dracula takes his food by the sheer force of his personality and, in the novel, he is never described as being sexy or even physically attractive to women. Jonathon Harker had already unkindly testified to his halitosis and, further in the novel, Mina Harker (Charles E. Butler)
Charles E. Butler is a writer, actor, artist in the Yorkshire area of the UK. He write reviews for Joseph O'Donnell's The Eerie Digest online magazine in Hollywood and general interviews when required for the Vampire Film Festivals run by Reel Energy. Butler also dabbles in illustrating indie comic books.
Romance of Dracula Amazon Link