Tuesday, October 25, 2016

recent read; The Dracula Tape

THE DRACULA TAPE by Fred Saberhagen

I am a traditionalist. I like my good guys good and my bad guys bad. But, in the hands of Fred Saberhagen, the flipping of traditional roles in THE DRACULA TAPE, I was still entertained. You see, Dracula isn't all bad. Yes, he's a vampire and he's no saint. But Bram Stoker's novel was a bit of a smear campaign built on misunderstanding. Van Helsing was a bumbling fool.

Saberhagen did a great job of following the original novel and inverting everything a reader thinks they know. Saberhagen drops wonderful bits of history along the way. Some of the deconstruction of the Dracula myth goes beyond mere misinterpretations. Crucifixes? Vlad fought the Muslim hordes! Why would the cross bother him?

I enjoyed the first half of this novel which is very clever indeed with turning all the elements of DRACULA 180 degrees. I did feel, though, that as the book progressed, and Saberhagen created scenes and conversations completely outside the realm of the original novel, the effort lost steam.

And his conceit on how Dracula survived his staking missed some salient points of Stoker's folklore, in my opinion.

Fun, worth a read. You do need to have read DRACULA to fully appreciate what Saberhagen was doing. Looking forward to more entries in Saberhagen's Dracula series now that the beginning has been established.

p.s. - I listened to the audiobook via Audible, and the narration by Robin Bloodworth is excellent.


  1. It's been a number of years, but if memory serves, the quality varied, with some being better than others but all enjoyable. I haven't read the final volume in the series, but overall I enjoyed these books.

  2. I think I've got this buried somewhere in my pile of unread books. I do like Saberhagen's writing pretty well.