Have you ever wondered what inspired a writer to write a story? Was it from pure imagination or remarkable experience? In Bram Stoker’s case, what drove him to write about the most horrifying, most enigmatic, most evil villain that became the most monstrous of all time? James Reese provided a fictional answer of his own.
The Dracula Dossier is supposedly composed of a newly revealed collection of Bram Stoker’s journal, letters, and news clippings; which obviously is a nod to the Dracula novel’s structure. The collector pre-arranged this collection chronologically before sending them to a trusted writer. This collection offered a great insight into the fictional Stoker’s life, and detailed events that will eventually inspire him to write his renowned novel.
The narrative of the book spun a suspenseful tale of Stoker’s discovery and involvement in Jack the Ripper’s bloody career in London. Being a witless participant in a cult ritual, Stoker felt responsible and tracked down the criminal. The task proved to be both horrifying and taxing for him and his friends, not discounting the toll it imposed on the citizens of London.
I finished this book after stalling it for 2 months; because despite the cover line, after reading 150 pages, there was still no suspense going on. But going back to it was a must, “a half-read book is a half-finished love affair” after all. James Reese is no doubt a talented writer. He must have studied every inch of the Dracula, because he emulated Stoker’s writing so well, down to its Victorian theme. He made a good job of weaving non-fictional characters into the story, mapping them well into the era, which probably took a lot of research. Lastly, there were plenty of references that Dracula readers can undoubtedly pick up. What struck me most, during those first 150 pages, was Mr. T.M. Penfold. He was the character I wished to have the best ending in this story, and did not disappoint me.
What undid it for me (1) was the wait for the suspense to happen; (2) the ending was engineered to a point that it was already unbelievable; (3) the premise, Jack the Ripper as the inspiration simply devaluated the eeriness and immensity of Dracula.
Read this if you are an avid Bram Stoker fan; you like the supernatural; have patience with Victorian writings; like creepy stories; and doesn’t mind waiting things to happen.
Lincoln is 28 years of age, cute, single, plays Dungeon n’ Dragons, and lives with his mom; which worries his sister Eve. Lincoln’s new job, however, requires him to filter company emails at a local newspaper. He sits all night reading through employees’ correspondents and sends them warnings if they violate company email policy. Although the job earns him good money, Lincoln hates this job.
Ergo. Therefore. Thus …He technically, ethically, had no reason to keep reading their e-mail. Lincoln had told himself all along that it was okay to do this job (that it was okay to be a professional snoop and a lurker) as long as there was nothing voyeuristic about it. As long as he didn’t enjoy the snooping and lurking.
Beth and Jennifer are best friends and co-workers at The Courier; they both know that their emails are being monitored but that didn’t stop them from emailing each other daily. Lincoln should have sent both of them a warning, he knows he should, but he was charmed by the ladies’ friendship… and the idea of Beth.
The story is alternately written in epistolary form showing the ladies’ witty emails for each other; and 3rd person narrative of Lincoln’s perspective. I think it was a pretty smart move from the author, it really captured my attention. I mean, who could resist falling for these people? The characters were developed beautifully, charming and believable; while the story was lighthearted and funny. This book is a breath of fresh air, I highly recommend it. I’m sure you’ll have as much fun as I did. Looking forward to more of Rainbow Rowell’s books.
Stargirl Caraway is a phony -atleast that was what people are saying when she moved to Mica High in Arizona. What kind of name is Stargirl anyway? Her name reverberates throughout the hallways, and her acts were either applauded or disdained.
As much as it drains a lot of energy to act like the rest, it takes a lot of courage to be different. So much of what makes us who we are is caught in between. I read these books after my daughter’s insistence, which I did not regret at all. What I like most about these books is that both talked about what’s really important in life –putting effort in doing things that the norm dictates or doing good deeds because that what matters regardless of the society’s verdict.
These Jerry Spinelli books tackled the very heart of “being yourself.” Both Stargirl and its sequel Love, Stargirl were wonderful. Great books for transition age, I’m happy my daughter read these.
Conversation with my daughter:
Daughter: So, what do you think of Stargirl?
Me: She had a loser for a boyfriend.
Daughter: Oh, yeah, that.
Me: Good thing the first book was written from his POV.
Me: Well, it just meant that he admits to being a loser.
Hey! Is it me, or January just flew us by? Well, we should keep on moving… good things ahead. Back in the group, we have a “challenge” for the month of February. Go right ahead, give it guess… *Ding, ding, ding, ding* You got tha right! It’s Romance! It’s that time of the year, after all, that we unleash our inner romantics. But first, let us recap how my January Reading Challenge went:
Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli 4/5 stars
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury 3/5 stars
Love, Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli 4/5 stars
Merry Christmas, Alex Cross by James Patterson 4/5 stars
No Strings Attached by Mina V. Esguerra 4/5 stars
Grave Goods by Ariana Franklin 4/5 stars
The Dracula Dossier: A Novel of Suspense by James Reese currently on page 250
For the February Challenge, I’ve chosen two aside from the F2F assigned book:
Written as a novella entitled ‘The Fireman’, Fahrenheit 451 is the fruit of Ray Bradbury’s hard work and patience with a rented library typewriter back in early ‘50s. For generations, readers have tried to interpret its message. Apparently, this book is not about book censorship, communism, or repression. Instead, this is about indulgence in technology. In television- to be more specific. According to Bradbury, television will make our brains mushy. If you have the 50th Anniversary Edition like I do, you will read as much from the Author’s afterword, coda and interview.
Bearing the author’s reason in thought while reading this, made me like the book. I just wish I read this sooner, back when giant wall LED televisions were not invented yet; super computers don’t exist; or cable internet was not yet conceived. For me, at this date, it was like reading a dystopian novel that is 60 decades late. Bradbury plainly refused to consider that technological progress is inevitable from the day that television was launch; and forgot to recognize that reading books will survive the generations, no matter what. Considering, the book somehow falls short of the punch it should deliver. Yet, the reader will not miss Bradbury’s satirical views on authority, and the way humans always deceive themselves -how happiness was flippantly defined.
I can’t say if Bradbury was wrong with his conception decades ago, when he wrote this. Or maybe he was right; if he had not written this and people have not read it, we may have had a bad turnout. What I can say is that I grew up with both TV and books, so is my daughter, but our brains didn’t turn mushy. (I think!) The key, probably, resides in rearing children responsibly–exposing them equally to TV and books, teaching them which should be adopted from them, and which ones should be discarded.
I’ve read the book twice on print and listened to the audio version -first, because of curiosity; and second, for the TFG F2F13 discussion.
January 19, we met at Figaro Coffee in Emerald Avenue at 2pm. And yes, of course, I am late (hehehe). For which, I compensated by actively participating in the discussion (while eating). We had a lively discussion. I love discussing with this people. It was a pleasure learning from them. Kudos to Rollie for coming up with mind-provoking questions. A great way to start the year.
Right after, they indulgently posed for me. Posted the pictures on facebook.