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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Forget the Film
Chances are you have seen Ken Russell's film of this which is pretty dire, but has become a cult movie. Our story opens here in 1860 when Richard Salton writes to his grand-nephew, Adam Salton, who resides in Australia.

Adam comes to England to visit Richard, and they both, with Richard's friend Sir Nathaniel becomes firm friends. Soon Adam meets Edgar...
Published on 20 Oct 2010 by M. Dowden

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3.0 out of 5 stars Gothius horror by Bram Stoker
This must be the most non pc book around these days. I don't want to get Stoker into trouble but if this was written today he'd be doing time in the Scrubbs right now. As for the story: I was very surprised to find that I thought it disappointing and a bit tiresome. Nothing like Dracula. I wouldn't recommend it, but you could read it as an experience of how times have...
Published 10 months ago by Kenneth Brown


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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Forget the Film, 20 Oct 2010
By 
M. Dowden (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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Chances are you have seen Ken Russell's film of this which is pretty dire, but has become a cult movie. Our story opens here in 1860 when Richard Salton writes to his grand-nephew, Adam Salton, who resides in Australia.

Adam comes to England to visit Richard, and they both, with Richard's friend Sir Nathaniel becomes firm friends. Soon Adam meets Edgar Caswall who is a local heir, and the very sexy Lady Arabella, who obviously is after getting her hands on Caswall's money. As Lady Arabella seems more than she appears, and strange things start happening, Caswall appears to go mad. Sir Nathaniel is a sort of Van Helsing type, and with him on the case things are bound to come to a head.

This is overtly more sexual than Dracula and is probably Stoker's most read tale after Dracula. It is probable that this was inspired by a legend, most people pointing to 'The Worm of Lambton', although similar legends pervade our landscape.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly scary!, 9 Sep 2012
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Pyewacket "czarnowice" (UK) - See all my reviews
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Like another reviewer pointed out, this book was made into a film and a rather salacious one at that. However, the film doesn't portray the true horror of the book. The cruelty of Caswell towards the defenceless two cousins, the really scary Oolanga, Caswell's servant and last but not least Lady Arabella herself.
This is a really well written book and if you like horror (true horror, that of the mind as well as the body), then this is for you.

Bram Stoker certainly knew how to write good books that's for sure.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great fun!, 3 Nov 2010
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M Arif (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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The story jumps perspective unexpectedly, we are introduced to items and ideas which seemingly have no other purpose than to baffle, the characters do inexplicable things and their development is sometimes completely bizarre; despite all that, this little novella is enormous fun. I particularly loved the havoc wreaked by what was effectively a staring contest.

I understand the final version was heavily abridged which might explain the sudden jumps in the storyline but it never fails to grip the reader. The gruesome parts are remarkably comparable to what you might see in a modern horror and there is some real tension in the creepy parts. Having said that, I was more inclined to giggle most of the way through than be distressed. Definitely worth a read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 5 July 2014
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Great read saw movie first but book is better stoker rules
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2.0 out of 5 stars not the full version, 27 Jun 2014
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this is the shortened abridged version and cuts out much of the ending. The full version is much more satisfying. My guess is whoever digitised it wasn't aware two versions of the book existed
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3.0 out of 5 stars Gothius horror by Bram Stoker, 13 Feb 2014
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Kenneth Brown (London, England) - See all my reviews
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This must be the most non pc book around these days. I don't want to get Stoker into trouble but if this was written today he'd be doing time in the Scrubbs right now. As for the story: I was very surprised to find that I thought it disappointing and a bit tiresome. Nothing like Dracula. I wouldn't recommend it, but you could read it as an experience of how times have changed.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Caution: some readers may be offended (I know I was...), 6 Feb 2014
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This is okay and an interesting enough read, although there is enough in it for modern readers to be offended by (I know I was, although I tried to read it in the context of the times when such bigoted views were more prevalent, if not acceptable).

The story is not as coherent and well constructed as Dracula although there are some good moments and it features some good description. It seems to me that the key factors about the book are an issue with race and fears about invasion seem to be being perpetrated throughout the text - both of the ancient times infiltrating the modern and men of other nationalities invading what was "the Empire". Also there is a real issue here with women and sexuality in the text. Lady Arabella is a clear threat with her "sinuous" movements and tight fitting white clothes and the way in which she veers between wishing to become Edgar Caswall's next wife, and just wanting to eat him. This perception of women seems somehow mingled in with the fears about race - Mimi was born in Siam and has her mother's colouring. Lilla is all old-Saxon and fair. Lady Arabella is just a clear indication of the degeneration of the upper-classes.

All these issues aside, like other readers, I found the story incoherent in places and there are errors in there too - the narrator repeats part of his story at the part where Lilla is first threatened by Caswall's mesmerism. I must say, I also found it quite funny how the characters progressed rapidly from being in mortal danger and then all sitting down to tea together again as if nothing had happened - it was a triumph of British good manners over commonsense (Yes, Lady Arabella has tried to kill us, but we can't leave the tea table without taking a piece of fruit cake now can we? Best not mention the attempted homicide thing... it will only lead to an uncomfortable moment..)

I loved the description of the localities - there is an AA walk which will take you round the localities for the book and I do feel that Stoker was an author who was really influenced by his surroundings. One only has to see how Whitby comes to life in Dracula to feel the truth of this.

Nothing Stoker ever did before or since lives up to his masterpiece, Dracula, but there's still some good writing in here and it's still worth reading, even though the end is a disappointment, the views are somewhat bigoted and there are some disturbing views in here.
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3.0 out of 5 stars It's no Dracula, just ok, 9 Sep 2013
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This has its fair share of suspense so it's definitely not boring. That said, the story somewhat kept confusing me. Parts of it felt like loose papers which were randomly inserted into an already written novel. Imagine having loads of related ideas but not really knowing how to organise them and then just having a book out of them. So, it felt like reading the first draft of an interesting essay by an indulgent individual. It is an ok read but I can't imagine how a movie would have been made from this without some miraculously serious work. Through reading parts of it, I was wondering how much of a racist or elitist the author might have been. However, this didn't spoil it for me in anyway.

If you like Stoker's works then give this a read, as though it has many ridiculous lows, the highs are sometimes good.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Surprising, 11 Aug 2013
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I love gothic horror and this tale from Bram Stoker has it all but be warned some of the dialogue is shocking for modern times .
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good, 10 July 2013
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Quite difficult to get into, but worth the struggle. I have not got to the end yet, and really do not know which way it's going, always a bonus.
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