Title: The Rivals of Dracula
Author: Nick Rennison
Genre: Gothic Fiction, Horror, Fantasy, Vampire Fiction, Short Stories.
If there is one thing readers and viewers of this blog should know is that I’m obsessed with the Gothic. After studying it as a module in my degree, and even writing my dissertation on Dracula, I have developed a deep appreciation for this particular genre of literature, architecture and story-telling. So when I was sent The Rivals of Dracula by Nick Rennison to review from Nudge-book.com, I was so pleased as not only does it combine Dracula and the Gothic, but also my love for short stories.
Published two months ago, The Rivals of Dracula is a collection of short stories which have been put together and organised by Nick Rennison – author, editor and bookseller – and it focuses on, as the sub-title states, ‘The Golden Age of Gothic Horror’. Stoker’s Dracula was first published in 1897, and despite being one of the most prolific and famous Gothic stories to come out from the fin-de-siècle of the century, it was not the only vampire story to emerge from this period. And within this collection, Rennison introduces the reader to fifteen different authors, fifteen different short stories, and fifteen different vampiric characters. With a mixture of well-known writers and lesser familiar authors, the collection is a succinct, well-documented and diverse collection of vampiric tales from around the globe.
Rennison clearly took his time in the organisation of what authors and stories to pick for the collection, as despite them all featuring a ‘vampiric figure’, some are more obvious than the others whilst others take more a supernatural/ghostly appearance. The stories are easily readable, and highly Gothic, in the sense that they actually gave me chills when reading them. I’d thoroughly recommend F Marion Crawfords ‘For the Blood of Life’ and EF Benson’s ‘The Room in the Tower’, as these were so tense. Rennison also includes a little author biography before every story, which gives information about the writer, as well as other texts they may have written. There is also an introduction written by Rennison about Stoker’s novel and the world of the Gothic.
I was so pleased that I got to review this book, as it’s definitely up my street. This is a good collection of classic tales of the supernatural, and I was very impressed with Rennison’s introduction and choice of short stories. A must-have for Gothic fans!
Big thank you to Nudge for making me one of their reviewers, and sending me these perfect books!