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The New Annotated Dracula Hardcover – October 17, 2008


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Klinger brings the same impressive breadth of knowledge that distinguished The New Annotated Sherlock Holmes to this definitive examination of one of the classic horror novels of all time. Adopting the conceit that Stoker's narrative is based on fact, Klinger elucidates the plot and historical context for both Stoker devotees and those more familiar with Count Dracula from countless popular culture versions. Because he had privileged access to the typescript Stoker delivered to his publisher, Klinger is able to note changes between it and the first edition and comment on the reasons for them. Through close reading, Klinger raises questions about such matters as the role of lead vampire-hunter Van Helsing and whether the villainous count is actually dispatched at book's end. An introduction by Neil Gaiman, numerous illustrations, essays on topics ranging from Dracula in the movies to the academic response, and much more enhance the package. 8-city author tour. (Oct.)
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Review

“Leslie S. Klinger’s great virtue as an editor is his sublimely willful and scrupulous disregard for the boundary between historical fact and literary falsehood. In The New Annotated Dracula, he reprises the same earlier annotated Sherlock Holmes, treating Stoker’s novel as nonfiction: real events happening to real persons. After a brief preface in which he explains his trick, Klinger’s edition becomes a surreal treat, book’s succession of journal entries and letters.” (BookPage)

“This is a book every serious reader of the horror genre should have on his or her shelf. You will read Dracula with new eyes. Fascinating!” (Stephen King)
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 672 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; Annotated edition (October 17, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393064506
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393064506
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 1.8 x 10.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (122 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #102,682 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

The other stories were good too, some I liked better than others, but all good reads.
Tom Johnson
Well, I don't doubt that the chapter was unnecessary to Dracula, but the fact is that even cut off as it is, it makes a very good short story!
Kurt A. Johnson
I seriously wish i had never read this book just so i could read it again for the first time.
Jordan

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

55 of 57 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Jolley HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 10, 2001
Format: Paperback
Even had Bram Stoker not penned the fabulously successful Dracula, efforts such as the stories in this book would more than qualify him as a gifted, masterful writer, with a special penchant for writing horror. The most prominent story in these pages is of course "Dracula's Guest," a story excised from the final manuscript of Dracula. This is an interesting, well-told tale, but its exclusion from the aforementioned novel seems to me to be rather inconsequential. The real jewel of this collection is "The Judge's House." I have read this story several times over the last decade or so, and I must say that this is my favorite horror story of all time. It somewhat chagrins me to make such a pronouncement, thinking of the masterful tales of Lovecraft, Poe, and King, yet I am compelled to make it. The ending may be somewhat cliched , but the dark, brooding, smothering atmosphere Stoker creates in this house is powerful and brilliant. The Judge's House may well be the most haunted house in literature.
The other seven stories are less noteworthy but eminently readable. Again, there are some cliches to be found among them, but they all "work." "The Squaw" is my least favorite--it is, to some degree, silly n terms of its characters and ending. I should also add that animal lovers such as myself may well be somewhat traumatized by one incident in the story--I certainly was. "The Secret of the Growing Gold," "The Gypsy Prophecy" and "The Coming of Abel Behenna" are pretty standard fare. "The Burial of the Rats" presents a thrilling, well-thought-out story of danger and escape (as well as a grim portrait of some of society's underbelly).
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49 of 52 people found the following review helpful By M. Bean on February 22, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I've always wanted to read Dracula, and I've thoroughly enjoyed the other annotated versions in this series. I've also been eyeing editor Leslie Klinger's three-volume annotated Sherlock Holmes for a while. Upon seeing this edition in a book store, I thought that a little hand-holding and behind-the-scenes insight would make this a fun read.

While this book is both gorgeous and thorough, and I applaud Klinger's exhaustive efforts, I was surprised and disappointed upon discovering that in both this edition and the Sherlock Holmes series, he employs the 'gentle fiction' that the stories are based on actual fact while preparing his annotations.

For me, being a casual but curious reader, an annotated edition should be a one-stop-shop to discover the facts behind the tales, without the reader having to do research. Instead I found that these two series superimpose the idea that they are based on true events. At first I thought I could just ignore the superfluous annotations (which would have trimmed or altered them by a full quarter.) But as I got further into it, they are not so easily ignored. There came a grey area where I began to wonder if what I was distilling from the fictionalized annotation was even close to the facts. For example, at one point early on it is insinuated that the story didn't actually happen in Transylvania, and that this was simply a cover up contrived by Stoker. I would instead have been more interested to know if Stoker had considered other locales and what course he took to finally choose Transylvania. Unfortunately, I may never know without reading a future annotated edition which dispenses with the 'true story' fiction, or without reading the other books mentioned and used by Klinger.
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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful By mirasreviews HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 9, 2009
Format: Hardcover
"The New Annotated Dracula" offers annotations and supplementary material by Leslie S. Klinger, who annotated the 3-volume "The New Annotated Sherlock Holmes" for Norton. This is a handsome, cumbersome volume, 8 ¾"w x 10 ¼"h x 1 ¾"d, weighing a hefty 3 pounds. There are color and black-and-white illustrations scattered throughout: photos of people, movies, stage productions, posters, and Dracula paraphernalia. Annotations run in a column beside the text, in slightly smaller font, and some pages fill up with nothing but annotations. This format makes the annotations easier to read than nanofont at the bottom of the page, but it makes the text of the novel more difficult to read.

There is an introduction by Neil Gaiman, followed by a 32-page essay by Klinger on "The Context of Dracula". Here he provides some basic information about Victorian England, "Dracula"'s reception in 1897, a brief history of vampire literature, and some biographical information on Bram Stoker. And Klinger introduces his gimmick: For the sake of his essays and annotations, Klinger assumes that "Dracula" is a historical document written by Bram Stoker to get the word out about Dracula -or perhaps to make people believe the vampire dead- based on the accounts of his acquaintances, who are the characters in the narrative. Stoker is supposed to have gotten his information from the (fictional) "Harker Papers", in which Jonathan Harker described the events of the novel. This silly fiction of Klinger's turns out to be annoying and confusing.

There are over 1500 annotations, and, to put it bluntly, most of them are taken from Clive Leatherdale's annotated "Dracula Unearthed" (1998), which is the most extensively annotated edition ever produced.
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