While waiting for my new iPhone to arrive (what, you expect me to have a life without my favourite electronic toy?), I pass the time by reading Leslie S. Klinger's "New Annotated Dracula". And when it says annotated, it means annotated: for every page of the original, there are two to three pages of annotation, describing the end of the 19th century, expounding on places mentioned by Stoker, etc.
Klinger does something I was first leery of, but which really pays off: He pretends, that Dracula was real, and that he forced Stoker to change parts of the story to protect his identity. This plot device allows Klinger to go on meandering asides over the nature of vampires, the real location of Draculas castle, etc. without compromising the information you get about the times and Stokers writing process (here, it is pretended that he assembled 'Dracula' from Harker's notes).
"The New Annotated Dracula" is not a book you devour in one sitting, and I wouldn't recommend it to readers new to Bram Stoker's Dracula. But it is an excellent book if you are interested in the times, something to peruse for half an hour or so at a time. Also, it is amazingly satisfying to read a big, heavy hardcover book again. I do have one serious complaint about it, though: the publisher really should have included on of those built-in string bookmarks. All my other "serious" hardcovers are making fun of it over it's lack.
2 weeks ago