Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Dracula: The Un-Dead

Here there be spoilers. Ye be warned.

Dacre Stoker, Bram Stoker's great grandnephew, has written an "official sequel" to the original novel Dracula. I'm worried that it's ruined the original novel for me.
Here's why: he took everything interesting out of it. He turned Dracula into some wangsty Twilight-style vampire. Turns out Dracula was a good guy all along (who only drinks the blood of animals, rapists and murderers) and was just trying to stop Countess Elizabeth Bathory. She's the evil one. And she's Jack The Ripper.
...Okay. ...?
Bram Stoker is a character in Dracula: The Un-Dead and there are special appearances from the Titanic and newfangled technology like motorcars and aereoplanes. There's even an "I am your father" moment.
Not only that, but Dacre Stoker basically undid pretty much everything that happened in the original novel. There's a scene in the book where Dracula confronts Bram Stoker for "writing lies about him."
Apparently Dacre just didn't like the fact that, in the original novel, Dracula can exist in sunlight without bursting into flame (his powers were diminished, that was all) so he just claims that's one of Bram's "lies."
Basically, rather than work with the source material, Dacre Stoker told the source material to go fuck itself and made up his own universe where Dracula was never a villain, thus taking a classic horror icon and turning him into an uninteresting bitch.
This book is completely stupid.

My heart isn't in reviewing right now, my heart is in complaining. So that's what I've decided to do.
First of all, I want you to ignore anything positive I may have said about And Another Thing... all those days ago. I have a bone to pick with all of these types of books.
There are a lot of books out now that are "official sequels" to books by dead people. There are also a lot of "Pride And Prejudice from Mister Darcy's point of view" type books, and I'm sure a lot of Pride And Prejudice And Zombies style books are on the horizon.
I'm sorry, people, but how is your fanfic getting publishing deals?
That's all these books are: glorified fan fiction.
"Oh, well I'm Bram Stoker's great grandnephew, and I wrote it with a vampire expert." So? Watch me care. Are you Bram Stoker? No. You're not. In the world of books, it can't be an official sequel if it's not written by the same dude. (These are my rules. I make them up.)
I don't care that And Another Thing... was based on Douglas Adams's notes. I don't care that Adams's widow asked Eoin Colfer specifically to write it. He fucked it up. All of the characters were wrong and the dialogue was awful. It isn't a real Hitchhiker's book.
Dracula: The Un-Dead is not a sequel to Dracula. Anything from the source material that's inconvenient gets thrown out for the sake of whatever nonsense it was Dacre Stoker wanted to do.
It's not clever to make Bram Stoker a character who happened to write a "fictionalized account of what really happened." It's lazy. You couldn't make your ideas fit into the real story, so you used some half assed explanation to throw the real story out the window.
Dacre Stoker and Eoin Colfer and whatever dingdong it was who wrote those godawful Harriet The Spy sequels need to stop it right now. So do all the people writing "revisualized" books or "Jane Austen and monsters" stories.
Write your own books. Don't fuck up the work of the dead.

End of line.

No comments: