In my attempts to sort out Dracula books I realized there’s those few who could be read as one sequence around the Bram Stoker’s book, and provide the reader with the most of it: Dracula, his background as a vampire, vampirism, author of Dracula, and how it all could have continued since.
While these books are not of the same author, they, one way or another, encircle the events of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, the before, and the after. Figured you might be interested in that, so here goes. Chronological sequence of Dracula, the before, the during, and the later:
I, Dracula by D.S. Crowe – Read this book quite recently. It’s a unique piece, because it follow the historically accurate Dracula’s life, but making his character supernatural pretty much day one. It’s well woven together, and worth the read for sure:
About the Book: Vlad Dracula, the Impaler prince of the Darkness, is in a hurry to write his life down. From the sad and lonely childhood. Then teenage years spent in Ottoman captivity, where he fully explored his supernatural powers. To adulthood, its stubborn will to fight for freedom, for what’s right. And the disappointment that followed, disheartening understanding that he became all this, for all that, and still couldn’t save those who didn’t care to save themselves. Thus, prince has turned away from life and the living, and turned to science that knocked on his door, in search for answers, truths. Having discovered them, he wrote for seven nights straight, rushing to put it all into pages…
Something in the Blood by David J. Skal – Biography of Dracula’s author, Bram Stoker. He had a very strange life, with very strange changes to his health that imply a possible inspiration to the cult book he wrote later down in life:
About the Book: David J. Skal attempts to tell us about Bram Stoker’s life, his bed-ridden childhood and an illness of seven years that mysteriously went away. Of his a tad odd family, his work in literature and theater. How vampire Count Dracula came to be, and what he became, evolving through the years, outliving the author himself.
Dracul by Dacre Stoker – A fictional Bram Stoker’s biography, and a prequel to Dracula’s book. Very interesting, despite the fact that I don’t quite like Dacre Stoker’s writing style:
About: The book, at least at the start of it, is a loosely biographical on Bram Stoker. He was a very sickly child, bedridden. At age seven he almost died of fever, saved in a wicked dream by their mysterious nanna Ellen Crone. After he woke up, strong, and even able to get up, all healed and cured, everyone denied any help from Ellen, and claimed he was cured by his uncle and his leeches. Only his sister Matilda believed him. To add to the mystery, nanny herself packed up and disappeared without a word or anyone noticing, leaving kids on a wild investigation full of nightmares and more questions than answers, up until they had to abandon the cold trail. Nanna Ellen was gone for good. But only a few decades later Matilda spotted her in the streets of France, not aged a day, and the nightmares began again.
Dracula’s Guest by Bram Stoker – The first chapter of the Dracula’s book that author took out. It was released with his widow’s blessing after his death, in a collection of stories. Reads like some kind of fever dream, but a must nonetheless:
Dracula by Bram Stoker – And, finally, Dracula. A strange book, put together from various diaries, chronologically. Not the easiest read, but it’s why we’re all here anyway. And while below I provide a snippet from the original review I made way back when, today I’d say… It’s a tale of a bunch of weird dudes who think they know best, who start obsessing over this foreigner. And yes, this said foreigner might have eaten a person, and bitten a woman or two who were related to them, but, come on, Lucy died from the damn blood transfusions of which one wasn’t even human blood, not of his bite!
Powers of Darkness by Bram Stoker and Vladimir Asamundsson – Alternative Dracula. Based on a very early adaptation of Dracula it was meant to be the basis for a shortened Icelandinc version. The book is strangely different, with added or changed plot, and characters, and, in my opinion, should be read, and should be read after the original:
About: The book is not ground-breakingly different. The essence is exactly the same. Except that here, after a very, very long debate by translators and whoever else at the start, we get different proportions, and slightly differently toned characters. For instance, while we had a fairly short visit at Dracula’s castle, or at least a short description, for it wasn’t all that short for Harker, and then a longer story of the hunt for Dracula in England, here we got the opposite. Most of the book is purely Harker roaming about Dracula’s castle, realizing he’s a prisoner, and that he really, really likes Dracula’s niece. The rest of the book is told very quickly, in meager little chapters, and not in the already familiar diary form. As for differences in characters, Dracula is a bit more blunt, and fairly more sexual being, not at all timid with his words or compliments. Others got some alterations too, but due to lack of interaction with them, since there virtually was no continuation after Harker fled the castle, I’ve nothing to tell other than what translators at the beginning told.
Dracula, My Love by Syrie James – Dracula from Mina’s perspective, her true side of the story. While it isn’t the only one like this, I feel like either one is skippable if you don’t want to read Dracula romance. But if you do, well then, this is a tale of things Mina had to hide of a man who wasn’t exactly the monster men around her painted him to be:
It’s the same tale of Bram Stoker, yet told from Mina’s point of view. And this time she’s not hiding anything. Pure truth about the men around her, about herself, about the so called monster. Charming little romance blooms when love is sparked in the seemingly dry heart of Mina, when she meets the probably most amazing man she could ever meet.
Dracula’s Child by J.S. Barnes – If you chose to skip the 7th book, you can skip this one too. Optional, not necessary. It follows the speculation on the original Dracula book, that Harkers child might have been affected by the whole ordeal, and thus somehow have a tie to Dracula himself too:
About the Book: Upon chasing Dracula down and killing him, Mina and Jonathan Harker thought they rid their lives of the evil and can now begin the process of healing. Live their life, raise their son. But upon his death, Dracula swore revenge that’ll reach them across eons… And it seems the darkness is pooling up again.
Dracula the Un-Dead by Dacre Stoker – an official sequel to Bram Stoker’s Dracula, written by Stoker’s descendant. This too follows life of Mina’s and Jonathan’s child, but an adult. It’s a strange one, as there seem to be… Well, Stoker himself is in it:
About: About twenty years after that little band of heroes got terrorized by the truth of vampire existence, Quincey Harker, son of Mina and Jonathan Harkers, against his father’s wishes, but in secret as to not lose his financial support, is pursuing a career as an actor. All is well and good, really. He even gets to meet his hero, his idol, famous actor named Basarab, who fully supports the boy’s want to become an actor, even if his father disapproves. Basarab even promises help, connections. All in return of a small favor Quincey can absolutely provide: introduce him to Bram Stoker. For, you see, Stoker is now building a play called “Dracula”, and Basarab has a few words about it…
Dracula vs. Hitler by Patrick Sheane Duncan – If you liked Hellsing manga / anime / ova, you will probably enjoy this baby here. Van Helsing, having once hunted Dracula down, now has to go and unleash him back onto the world during second World War:
Some years ago he, and a few brave men, captured Dracula, overpowered, and imprisoned him. Not many know he is not really dead thou. And while Van Helsing often thought of coming back to the sarcophagus with the immortal creature within, he always thought it’d be for science sake, for experiments, research. By far he did not expect himself to stand over the prince’s body, prepared to wake him from the possibly eternal slumber, in hopes that Vlad the Impaler will be willing to defend his homeland once again, against a new enemy.
The Dracula Tape by Fred Saberhagen – Modern-ish times. Remember ending of Interview with the Vampire movie or book? What about Lestat’s complains on Louis’s lies? This is pretty much that, but with Dracula, who records his own version of Dracula, accusing the men there of lying, and expressing near mortal offense. It’s a very amusing read:
About the Book: Not all that was told in “Dracula“, given to us through letters, journals, and diaries, has happened the way people there have claimed it to happen. So, Dracula’s here to sling some dirt back, after he has been wrongfully painted as women-stalking monster, and tell his side of the tale.