Stoker's Manuscript by Royce Prouty

Stoker's Manuscript - Royce Prouty

When the original manuscript for Bram Stoker's Dracula comes up for auction, Chicagoan Joseph Barkeley, an authenticator and purveyor of rare books, is hired by a European family to obtain Stoker's Manuscript and personal notes and deliver them to Dracula's Castle in Romania.

Barkeley, a Romanian orphan as a child, returns to the land of his Transylvanian ancestors with the manuscript, only to find out that he has been hired by the storied Dracul family.


The manuscript's mysterious buyer forces Barkeley to decipher Stoker's cryptic notes, which lead to the burial sites of certain clan members whose resurrections, would set off long-dormant family wars. When Barkeley discovers that he himself shares the Vampire family's bloodline, he has a choice to make - accept long life as one of their slaves or be disposed of. With lives at stake and his closest American confidantes already murdered, Barkeley chooses to burrow as far inside the family as possible to destroy them from within

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Set in present-day Chicago and Romania, the story weaves true historical events and figures from the 1890s with a fresh, science-based rendering of the vampire mythos. 

Prouty’s novel is rich in atmosphere, historical detail and offers a new vampire mythology; the author does an excellent job of blurring the lines between fact and fiction. It started really well, all unspoken menace and malevolent portents but I personally struggled with Prouty’s vision of the vampire. After I had come to terms with that I struggled with the romantic aspect (not necessary) and also the religious overtones (too much God).

However it was pacy and easy to read and it is always fun to ponder the question…what if Dracula, the novel, was based on fact…