Dracula’s Guest

Last week I signed up to participate in The Reading Life’s Irish Short Story week.  There is only one day left so I thought I better get busy and post.  I read Bram Stoker’s “Dracula’s Guest.”  There is some debate about the origination of this short story.  Some claim that it was originally part of his novel Dracula and that his editor removed it.  Others claim that this is false since the style of the short story is off and the storyline doesn’t jive completely with his novel.  To be honest, I couldn’t tell either way so I’ll leave it to the experts to debate it.  The story was published in 1914, a couple of years after Stoker’s death.

The story is about an Englishman who has stopped in Munich before continuing his way to Transylvania.  The man is never named leading to more confusion if it was originally part of Dracula.  The Englishman wants to look around, but the residents warn him that it is Walpurgis Night and “according to the belief of millions of people, the devil was abroad–when the graves were opened and the dead came forth and walked.”  The hotelier warns the visitor not to be out late and the carriage driver is hesitant to go near an “unholy” village.  The Englishman laughs off the fear of the carriage driver and ventures out on his own.    He walks for a few hours and reaches a valley.   A snow storm suddenly appears.   To make matters worse, he finds that he wandered into a cemetery.  The storm intensifies and so does the Englishman’s imagination.  Or is it real?  He ends up in a tomb, he hears a woman screaming, and he is hours away from civilization.   To make matters worse, a large wolf with flaming eyes enters the scene.  Will the Englishman live to tell his story?

The story is a gripping tale.  It is only 12 pages long, but it kept me on the edge of my seat.  When I read Dracula last summer I marveled over Stoker’s ability of getting my heart rate going.   He knows how to keep the tension mounting with each sentence.  While I read “Dracula’s Guest” I found myself wishing I hadn’t read Dracula yet since I wanted to visit the book with fresh eyes and to feel that excitement all over again.  If you are a fan of Stoker, I think you would like this story.   And there are other short stories out there by him and I plan on reading them.

About TBM

TB Markinson is an American who's recently returned to the US after a seven-year stint in the UK and Ireland. When she isn't writing, she's traveling the world, watching sports on the telly, visiting pubs in New England, or reading. Not necessarily in that order. Her novels have hit Amazon bestseller lists for lesbian fiction and lesbian romance. She cohosts the Lesbians Who Write Podcast (lesbianswhowrite.com) with Clare Lydon. TB also runs I Heart Lesfic (iheartlesfic.com), a place for authors and fans of lesfic to come together to celebrate lesbian fiction.
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27 Responses to Dracula’s Guest

  1. Pingback: Dracula 2012 3d by Vinayan : Preview – Theater Balcony « Theater Balcony

  2. Caroline says:

    Sounds great, quite a discovery, I hadn’t heard of it before. I’ll have a look if I find it in one of my anthologies.
    I’m sorry you had to rush – Irish Short Story week lasts now until March 31. A long week. 🙂
    It’s just too much fun and people enjoy it. I’ll post again this weekend.

    • TBM says:

      Maybe I will try to check out another story. We’ll see. This month has been crazy, but I really enjoyed reading this short story. If it isn’t in one of your anthologies I think you can find it online since it is in the public domain.

      I’m glad it is turning into more of an Irish short story month! So many good writers out there!

  3. Mel u says:

    Thanks so much for joining us. I read this story last year.. I will come back an comment on your post soon but i wanted everyone to know Irish Short Story Week is now extended until march 31. Next week i will post on Irish Folk and Fairy tales and emerging Irish women writers. Thanks again and i will be back soon

    • TBM says:

      That sounds exciting! I look forward to learning more about it! And I’m glad that Irish Short Story week as been extended until the end of March. That’s great that there has been so much interest!

  4. poegeek says:

    I remember reading this in a Bram Stoker short story collection. It was good and there were some other really good ones in there. I probably mentioned it, but I’ve read his novels The Mystery of the Sea (a favorite for its romance) and Jewel of the Seven Stars and enjoyed them both very much.

    • TBM says:

      I will search for copies of both. It is so much fun to find a writer and to fall in love with his/her writing style. Reading this short story brought back so many fond memories of reading Dracula last summer. I am a huge fan now!

  5. Novroz says:

    Just like you, I also posted my Irish short today, hehe I have too many things to write and I almost forgot to squeez this event in between my schedule.

    I have one Bram Stoker to read, but time is not enough for this event, I will read it nevertheless. The story you read sounds interesting. I couldnt pass through page 5 when I first read Dracula, that was when I was teenage…I should give it another try. Maybe I should start with this short first.

    • TBM says:

      Dracula might start off a bit slow but once I got into it, I couldn’t put it down. I’m curious what you would think of it now. And if I remember correctly, you like detective shows. Dracula was a lot like solving a mystery to me. This short story is a good tease but it isn’t a substitute for the novel. The novel far surpasses the short.

      • Novroz says:

        I agree!! It was sooooo slow at the beginning, it bored me and I stopped reading it. Maybe now I can pass the boredom because of the age difference.

  6. Twelve pages–that is really short. You’ve piqued my curiosity. I usually avoid vampire stories like the plague, but may have to read this and Dracula.

    • TBM says:

      I think you would be surprised by Dracula. Yes it is about a vampire, but it is also more about friendship and bravery. I loved it since it felt more like a great mystery than a horror story. Don’t get me wrong, it scared me, but not in the Friday the 13th way. It is a much more sophisticated type of scary. And I’m not a fan of scary movies.

  7. Oooh, this sounds good! I think I’ll have to find it and give it a try. I loved Dracula but read it a few years ago now, so it’s not too fresh in my mind.

    • TBM says:

      If you loved Dracula I think you’ll like this story. It was fun and it made me want to reread the novel. He such a great writer.

  8. Hi TBM, this does sound like a fascinating read. Reminded me of the Gaiman short stories I used to enjoy immensely. I should read more short stories. 🙂

    • TBM says:

      I haven’t read any Gaiman yet, but I’m participating a group read of Neverwhere in May. I’ve heard so many wonderful things about him I’m excited to find out myself. I’m also trying to read more short stories. Good luck!

  9. Fergiemoto says:

    I’ve never been able to get into dracula or vampire stories, but with only 12 pages, I can do it! Thanks for the summary.

  10. lynnsbooks says:

    Finally, a short story that appeals – I had no idea that Stoker wrote these short stories.
    Lynn 😀

    • TBM says:

      I didn’t either! I’ve only associated him with Dracula. But Carl swears that his other works are great as well. I’m so excited to read them.

  11. Lynne Ayers says:

    Vampires are not my thing and the recent film/tv fascination confounds me … but, you have piqued my curiousity so perhaps … just twelve pages …

  12. The Hook says:

    Sounds very cool! Especially considering the length!

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