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by Abraham Van Helsing,Reggie Oliver

Download The Dracula Papers, Book I: The Scholar's Tale fb2, epub

ISBN: 1907681027
Author: Abraham Van Helsing,Reggie Oliver
Language: English
Publisher: Chomu Press (January 19, 2011)
Pages: 504
Category: Genre Fiction
Subcategory: Literature
Rating: 4.8
Votes: 776
Size Fb2: 1519 kb
Size ePub: 1608 kb
Size Djvu: 1559 kb
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It transpires that Oliver has, as Gothic novelists will, uncovered a trove of papers, this one collected by Abraham van Helsing and relating to the life of Count Dracula. It's hard to be more specific about Oliver's thematic intentions with this epic story, because The Scholar's Tale is only the first quarter of it. This also leads to my one minor frustration with the book.

The Dracula Papers, Book I book. Pages XXIII - XXIIV Forward by Dr. Abraham Van Helsing - discussing the narrative of Martin Bellorius the Scholar in the title of the book and the teller of the Tale. Chapters I - III Narrator, Martin Bellorius, a doctor and scholar is also a fantastic story teller.

Professor Abraham Van Helsing is a fictional character from the 1897 gothic horror novel Dracula

Professor Abraham Van Helsing is a fictional character from the 1897 gothic horror novel Dracula. Van Helsing is an aged polymath Dutch doctor with a wide range of interests and accomplishments, partly attested by the string of letters that follows his name: "MD, . h. et., indicating a wealth of experience, education and expertise. The character is best known throughout many adaptations of the story as a vampire hunter and the archenemy of Count Dracula.

The Scholar's Tale The Dracula Papers: Book 1 . Bram Stoker's immortal Dracula told us about Count Dracula as an undead vampire.

Bram Stoker’s immortal DRACULA told us of Count Dracula as an undead vampire. Now, in fairness, I dislike theorems in reference books that draw too much kinship between Dracula and Vlad Ţepeş.

Book I: The Scholar’s Tale. Book I: The Scholar’s Tale. Published by Chômu Press, MMXI. The right of Reggie Oliver to be identified as Author of this.

The Dracula Papers, Book I The Scholar'. The Mammoth Book of Dracula.

The Dracula Papers, Book I: The Scholar's Tale. Reggie Oliver, Dr. Abraham Van Helsing (Foreworded by). 552 Kb. ��������.

The Dracula Papers Bk. 1 : The Scholar's Tale.

Bram Stoker's immortal Dracula told us about Count Dracula as an undead vampire. But how did this come to be? Who was Dracula in real life? There has always been speculation, but The Dracula Papers now offers the ultimate answer. It takes us back to the year 1576, to the wild land of Transylvania and to the early life of Prince Vladimir who came to be the horror known as Dracula. The result is a story as remarkable and extraordinary as the Bram Stoker classic. Battles, intrigues, sorcery, sexual passion, hauntings, a mechanical tortoise and a burning rhinoceros all have their part to play in a thrilling narrative that nevertheless plunges deep into the mystery of Evil. With The Dracula Papers Reggie Oliver presents a grand tour of the sixteenth century, and of every variety of occult lore surrounding the vampire myth, that is rollicking, wise, macabre, but always unexpected. The Scholar's Tale is the first volume of a scholarly and picaresque Gothick Extravaganza.

Comments:

Kulabandis
For lack of a better way to begin this review, I'm going to mention a few things that The Scholar's Tale, the first book of Reggie Oliver's Dracula Papers tetralogy, is not. It's not really a "strange story" in the way of Oliver's short fiction. There are short flashes of that kind of thing, particularly near the end of the book, but they're definitely more the exception than the rule. Also, despite what the title may make some readers expect, this isn't a vampire novel in the familiar sense of that label. Various forms and aspects of vampirism, both literal and metaphoric, pop up at intervals, but don't expect missing reflections, brandished crosses, or mysterious neck wounds. In fact, I might argue that The Scholar's Tale isn't a horror novel at all.

What is it, then? Well, if you put a gun to my head, I'd go with the overarching label "Gothic." But Gothic is one of those words that can mean just about anything depending on who's using it, so let me expand on that. For me, the essence of the Gothic is some form of exaggeration or excess. It can be narrative (unlikely events), stylistic (fevered prose), or thematic (taboo issues), or all three at once. In the case of The Scholar's Tale, it's most definitely narrative. This is the kind of novel where the protagonist narrowly escapes death three times in the first hundred pages, meeting a female outlaw queen, the Holy Roman Emperor, and the Wandering Jew along the way-- and that's before he even reaches Castle Dracula. It's the kind of novel where every castle has secret passages, and every resident of every castle has dark secrets, where a ten page diversion into a side-story of murder, lust, or religious mania is all part of the fun. And The Scholar's Tale is most definitely a lot of fun. It's also something more than that, however, which is a topic to which I'll return shortly.

But first, a plot summary. What exactly are the Dracula papers? The book opens with a fictional "introduction" credited to Reggie Oliver, which fans will recognize as a modified version of the story "The Devil's Number." It transpires that Oliver has, as Gothic novelists will, uncovered a trove of papers, this one collected by Abraham van Helsing and relating to the life of Count Dracula. There follows a foreword written by van Helsing sometime after the events of Dracula, though the "amusing" mangled English of Stoker's novel is pleasantly absent. Then we come to the meat of the text, an autobiography of sorts written by the Renaissance scholar Martin Bellorius. While still a young man, Bellorius was invited to become tutor to the sons of the King of Transylvania. More than fifty years later, he sat down to describe those events, and the dark shadow they cast over the rest of his life.

Readers of Oliver's short fiction will know that, like the great M. R. James, he is a master of historical pastiche. Here he manages to echo the straightforward, slightly pedantic style of Renaissance treatises (or rather, of the nineteenth-century English into which they were translated) without ever becoming boring. Bellorius may stop, as a scholar would, to describe the detailed layout of a series of rooms based on the Kabbalah, but his language has a simplicity and a deceptive delicacy that makes it all read very quickly. (I sped through the last 400 pages in a single night.)

This clarity of language, and the book's rollicking plot, may make it seem like The Dracula Papers is a mere potboiler, a vaguely historical, vaguely horrific entertainment that can be forgotten as soon as it's put aside. But that's hardly the case. Oliver once described M. R. James as a classicist writer, explaining that "the classicist believes in the principle that art lies in the concealment of art, in a pellucid surface with hidden depths." I have no idea whether Oliver would call himself a classicist, but such concealed issues are at the heart of The Scholar's Tale. This is a book that, without calling attention to itself, examines the complex, self-defeating hungers that define us as human beings. The brutality and excess of the Gothic novel are not mere lurid diversions, but a lens through which to view our desire for love, power, life itself.

It's hard to be more specific about Oliver's thematic intentions with this epic story, because The Scholar's Tale is only the first quarter of it. This also leads to my one minor frustration with the book. Bellorius, a good Gothic narrator, constantly hints at some great darkness toward which the events he describes are leading, to the point where he is himself a terrified, haunted old man. As the book rolls on, there is much drama and much tragedy, but nothing that exactly lives up to his dire warnings. The ending is also slightly abrupt; I can see how it represents a turning point, and there's a wonderfully chilling revelation mixed in, but I also felt a sense of anticlimax that was difficult to shake.

Perhaps, though, that was only because I didn't want the story to be over, didn't want to have to wait for the publication of the second volume of The Dracula Papers, about which the Afterword to Book I offers some tantalizing hints. I wanted, and want, more of this wide-ranging, funny, frightening, and thoughtful Gothic extravaganza. The Scholar's Tale was one of my favorite books of recent months. And it also contains this delightful sentence: "Meanwhile Razendoringer came up behind him and thrust the boat hook up his rectum." How can you not want to read more about that?
Frosha
Simply amazing detail. Beautiful structure. An awe inspiring tale, almost beyond fiction in it's realism. I purchased this tome after reading and greatly enjoying one of the author's short stories, and I am hooked. I impatiently await the next book in the series.
VAZGINO
don't bother, or waste your time. this was not even close to what I expected. certain things added into this book didn't even belong. I don't even give it a star. A waste of money.
OwerSpeed
This is a most extraordinary book written by one of the present masters among the practitioners of gothic & classic tales. The book is purportedly the memoirs of Dr. Martin Bellorius (1553-1635). It is preceded by a prologue (which is a slightly modified version of Reggie Oliver's "The Devil's Number") as well as an introduction from Dr. Abraham Van Helsing himself, eventually describing the strange, terrible, beautiful and often tragic chain of events that had introduced Bellorius to Vladimir, son of Xaltho, the King of Transylvania, and what had led Vladimir irreversibly towards becoming the infamous Count Dracula. Along with the protagonist [with a commission of teaching the princes of Transylvania] and his companions (a noble & enterprising dwarf, and a talented but shifty Matthew Verney), we travel from renaissance-touched (and blighted by fanatics) Germany, through dangerous forests (encountering cannibalistic robbers as well as the Wandering Jew in the process), to Prague (meeting Holy Roman Emperor Rudolph of Bohemia), running away with enemies in pursuit, towards Transylvania (where robbers hold them to ransom and almost kill them before they manage to escape) reaching Castle Dracula almost at the point of being eaten by wolves. Intrigue, tragedy, love, and suspense follows, mixed with unexpected dosaages of bawdy humour. Eventually, Ottoman Turks defeat the Transylvanian forces, and as a result of hateful treachury & conspiracy, our protagonists (now comprising the author, the dwarf, and Prince Vlad) are dispatched to Murad's court in Istamboul. Several supernatural and action-packed events follow them there as well, as they narrowly escape (this time also accompanied by a girl from Vizier's harem, who had fallen in love of Vlad, but whose love was never reciprocated by the prince, since he had loved the daughter of a noble from Bohemia) a purge when the Grand Vizier is found to be conspiring against the Sultan. Then they come under the clutches of a pirate, from whose clutches they escape miraculously, thanks to the sacrifices of the girl, and also with active support of [I know it appears unbelievable] 2 lions and a rhinocerous on-board the pirate ship. Then they reach Transylvania, only to be greeted by the news of Prince Vlad's elder brother (a brute, by all means) getting married to the girl whom Vlad loved. Then Vlad becomes a fugitive (since as per the King's decree he had to remain in Istamboul as hostage) and takes shelter with the Black Monks of Snagov, as Bellorius reveals the true story of Vlad's origin from a document composed by his mother, the queen of Transylvania. This part of the tetralogy ends at this stage.

Once again, the only comment that leaps to the mind while describing this book is "extraordinary". It is a product of meticulous research (into history & folklore of the people of the Eastern Europe and the Middle East), near perfect art of story-telling that has made Reggie Oliver a modern master, a sense of compassion for all the characters involved, liberal dosages of ribald descriptions often accompanied by humour (subtle as well as coarse, as per the demand of the situation), and a sense of epic proportion, as if the author is trying to hint at the significance of all these events & persona, while trying to draw our attention away from the future (which we know, thanks to either Bram Stoker, or Kim Newman) towards the grim-yet-vivid past being realised as present. I will be waiting for the other 3 volumes with suspended breath, to see how this saga unfolds.
Tujar
Don't buy this book to learn about the real life of Vlad the Impaler because it won't deliver. There are too many errors in the book to list. This is not historical fiction by a long shot.

However the book is very well crafted from the view point of the third author, one Bellorius, an accomplished young scholar who finds his life turned upside down from the moment he agrees to tutor the Tepe children in Transylvania in the 17th century. While the details of Vlad's life are confused and missing, the impression of how a court of that time period with the threat of the Turk right out side is very well constructed.

For some the details about punishments, crime, war, and internal family violence might be a bit too much but frankly it is written in such pedantic fashion really stripped the intensity from many of the grizzly scenes.

Reggie Oliver has made a good solid work of literature but it requires commitment to get through all the details.

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