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4.0 out of 5 stars Unusual retelling of the Dracula story
This is a reimagining of the Dracula story as told through the eyes of Renfield, the mental hospital inmate who is affected by the vampire and does his bidding. It is very true to the original story, even including parts of Bram Stoker's text, but seems more accessible to the modern reader, possibly because Barbara Hambly doesn't deal in black and white but in myriad...
Published 17 months ago by Anne

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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars How well do you know your Dracula?
By this I mean the Bram Stoker novel, not any subsequent "re-imaginings"!

Barbara Hambly has taken the narrator from Bram Stoker's classic novel, and told his story further. Where the Victorian author lost interest in his protagonist, Ms Hambly does not, and continues the story of Jonathan Renfield.

As usual with Ms Hambly, it is a very well-crafted...
Published on 7 Jan 2010 by Alexa


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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars How well do you know your Dracula?, 7 Jan 2010
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Alexa (Midlothian United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Renfield: Slave of Dracula (Mass Market Paperback)
By this I mean the Bram Stoker novel, not any subsequent "re-imaginings"!

Barbara Hambly has taken the narrator from Bram Stoker's classic novel, and told his story further. Where the Victorian author lost interest in his protagonist, Ms Hambly does not, and continues the story of Jonathan Renfield.

As usual with Ms Hambly, it is a very well-crafted novel. The tone and language perfectly match that of the original.

This,however, is both the book's merit, and it's problem. Because it works so well as a continuation of "Dracula", enjoyment is greatly diminished by unfamiliarity with the former.

So, for real Dracula afficionados, - 5 stars.
For those lesser mortals, like me, who are not so thoroughly immersed in the mythos - 3.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Unusual retelling of the Dracula story, 14 Nov 2012
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Anne (Sheffield, Yorkshire) - See all my reviews
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This is a reimagining of the Dracula story as told through the eyes of Renfield, the mental hospital inmate who is affected by the vampire and does his bidding. It is very true to the original story, even including parts of Bram Stoker's text, but seems more accessible to the modern reader, possibly because Barbara Hambly doesn't deal in black and white but in myriad shades of grey for her characters. It is the characterisation where the author excels and she has created some very realistic people embedded in a well researched Victorian world.

Renfield is mad. The story that unfolds leads us to believe that he has been mad for a very long time, even before Dracula gained influence over him. He believes that he can obtain the life force from other animals to rejuvenate himself and be reunited with his wife and daughter. As he struggles to be let free from the institution in which he is incarcerated, Renfield becomes Dracula's pawn, getting messages from his master via dreams. The brides of Dracula play a fuller role in this book than in the original and Renfield finds himself influenced by them too.

This is a story about madness and how the Victorians dealt with it. It is also a story about class and the power of money. In the end, however, it is the tale of one man's involvement in the supernatural world and what it costs him.

There are flaws in this book, the main one being the difficulty the reader has in identifying with Renfield and his situation because it is very far from our own. It is also useful, although not necessary, to have a knowledge of the original novel to appreciate fully all the twists and turns in Renfield's story. Nevertheless this is an interesting retelling of the Dracula story which I enjoyed very much.
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Renfield: Slave of Dracula
Renfield: Slave of Dracula by Barbara Hambly (Mass Market Paperback - 2 Oct 2007)
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