Stoker’s Manuscript

Stoker’s Manuscript

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It’s funny how you can read a book and instantly forget about it. That’s what happened with this book by Royce Prouty. I got this book as a reader before it came out, and even specially requested it from BookPeople’s publisher reps because it sounded great. Then, as often happens with books I can’t wait to read and acquired right away, life and other books got in the way and it took me two years to get around to reading it. When I finally did read it, I was disappointed.

“When rare-manuscript expert Joseph Barkeley is hired to authenticate and purchase the original draft and notes for Bram Stoker’s “Dracula,” little does he know that the reclusive buyer is a member of the oldest family in Transylvania,…”Indiebound

I so wanted to enjoy this book, but I really thought it was mediocre at best. It was not well-executed though the plot of the novel had the potential to be great in the right hands. The main character is a loquacious narrator and gives mundane details about his personality at the strangest times. The book seems tame for its majority, but at certain parts gets¬†gory beyond all necessity, which makes it feel disjointed. The reader is just expected to accept that vampires are real without much build-up–the narrator himself seems to experience a weak denial that was entirely unconvincing to the reader. There was obvious effort in the writing of this book, but it wasn’t seamless enough to allow the reader to suspend disbelief and forget the existence of its author.

The author did some things well. He created a fantastic mood with the setting, using weather and the superstitions of locals to construct a convincingly creepy locale for his story. There was precisely one character that I found to be believable and sympathetic. And despite its mediocrity, I did read the novel from cover to cover, so his plot kept me at least engaged enough to finish.

It’s very rare for me to say I do not recommend something, but I do not recommend this book to anyone other than people who insist on reading every single vampire text known to man. Pass on this one and spend your time reading something better.

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