Dracula’s Guest is a collection of horror short stories written by the famed author, including the title story which is thought to be the first chapter from the original draft of his famed novel, Dracula. Whether his victims are being terrorized by plagues of rats, a vengeful black cat, or those they have wronged in the past, in true horror fashion, things generally don’t work out for our protagonists. Forbidden romances and standard horror settings, such as towers, cliffs, and woods are utilized to set the scenes. Also embedded throughout the book are vampire-themed posters and illustrations as well as the occasional film essay.
This book is a jumble of disorganized content, many of which fall short in holding the reader’s attention. The stories themselves are very dense, even for the time period in which they were written. While Dracula is a slow burn, it’s also a compelling one. These stories tend to be heavily descriptive and slow before suddenly kicking into high gear as one does when telling campfire stories with a flashlight under their chin. The film essays are out of place amid these centuries old stories, particularly the final essay, “25 Forgotten Fang Flicks” which feels like a blog post tacked onto the end of the collection and contains several films which are anything but forgotten. The book is basically a collection of misfit content which is probably best left forgotten among its more superior, famous works.
Review by Laura Smith
DRACULA’S GUEST is available now on KINDLE