Dracula Daily: A Wrap Up

Back in May 2022 I posted about the online venture of having Bram Stoker’s Dracula emailed to you on the days mentioned in the novel. The final email was sent 8 November and honestly it was quite sad to know the journey has come to an end. For seven months I had been following the adventures of Jonathan, Mina, Lucy and a whole host of characters as they have their lives uprooted by Dracula.

It was absolutely fascinating to read Dracula this way and I spent a lot of the time trying to fathom how Stoker laid this out in the original because the build-up and the suspense was actually at times more terrifying in chronological order. The slow build of Lucy’s sickness, the chase to hunt The Count, the waiting to see if characters make it out alive all added to the atmosphere. Having the knowledge of what is hunting people while none of the characters did was amazing because they don’t know what is picking men from boats but we do, and reading their thoughts and fears of the unknown entity was chilling.

Of course, the downsides were weeks of waiting, not hearing from our friend Jonathan, never knowing if he was ok after his Ordeals, but it also reflects the other character’s experience as they too must wait to hear of news via telegram or mail.

It was a fascinating experiment, one I am glad ran for a second year because I adored it; the online community it created as well was excellent and getting to read a one hundred and twenty five year old story, readily available in the public domain, across seven months was delightful.

What was unexpected was how completely different the original story is to any other adaptation of popular culture depiction of Dracula is. It was its own story, a complex, character driven story that may have nothing much to do with modern depictions, but nonetheless was its own gothic horror story.

Mina is a strong woman and Van Helsing was knowledgeable, but also old and feeble to his own admissions (and my word can he talk!). It was a story of love and loss and while there is the obvious racism, sexism, misogyny which one can’t escape, there is also acknowledgement of the strength of women and their passion, also there are men openly weeping and confessing their love, this is definitely a found family story.

I can see why movie adaptations pick and choose from the story to embellish and rewrite, there is a lot more realism than you’d think, definitely more talk of train timetables, telegrams and booking hotels in part, but that adds to the charm because of course you need to stay in places and attend your normal work, Dracula being on the loose doesn’t stop that. The epistolary style works in the character’s favour too because we see their thoughts intimately, and every character has a chance to tell their part in the story.

The creator behind Dracula Daily is putting a book out of the reordered story, including I believe a few of the commentary from the community read which I think would be fascinating to see. There is a chance it is running again this year so if you feel like partaking in a fabulous project and experiencing Dracula in a whole new way sign up and be delighted for a change when emails arrive in your inbox. It doesn’t matter if you have never read Dracula or you already know the story this is a fantastic experience and one I am incredibly grateful I got to take part in last year. I may still need to write a review because aside from the whole experience there was a lot of great things in the book that are worth discussing.

Dracula Daily

People, Devil, Vampire, Dracula, Halloween, Horns

I’m so annoyed at myself. I learnt about this weeks ago and planned to share it and then I completely got side-tracked and forgot about it. I was going to cut my losses but I am only a day or two late so I am charging ahead.

There is a fascinating project happening from Daily Dracula where the entirety of Bram Stoker’s Dracula will be sent to your inbox in snippets throughout the year coinciding with the time frame of the book. As the website states:

Bram Stoker’s Dracula is an epistolary novel – it’s made up of letters, diaries, telegrams, newspaper clippings – and every part of it has a date. The whole story happens between May 3 and November 10. So: Dracula Daily will post a newsletter each day that something happens to the characters, in the same timeline that it happens to them.

I think this is fascinating. You can read about the events in the story as it’s happening to the characters and because it’s in small segments and through various formats you can experience in a unique way. As I say, because I am late doing this, and not sending it around last week like I had hoped, you’ll miss the start in your inbox. However! You can catch up on the posts you’ve missed on the website archives, or read the beginning of the book and catch up before relying on those handy inbox arrivals to get your daily Dracula fix.

This is something that happened last year and the individual posts are available on the website so you can read them there, catch up any you miss in future and see how it went down last year. It might be a good place to start, not only because I am late in telling you about it, but you can see if the structure is something you’d want in comparison to having it in the book or another medium. The best part is because they’ll be coming to your inbox you can read each one as it comes or save up a few and do them in groups, read at your own pace.

Because of the way the story is written there won’t be an entry every day, and naturally they’ll vary in length, but if you’ve always wanted to read Dracula and felt daunted by the size of think it’s too intense, maybe this could be your way in.

And the Winners Are…

It’s time to announce the winner of my 9th blogiversary giveaway!

Thank you to everyone who entered, I wasn’t expecting many given my long break but you proved me wrong again so thank you for your ongoing support.

The winners were drawn via Rafflecopter and I’m very pleased to announce that the winners are

Jess

Nancy P

The winners have been notified by email.

Congratulations!

9th Blogiversary + Int Giveaway!

NINE YEARS! Nine! What does that even mean? What kind of time frame is that? Nothing goes for nine years! And yet here we are, nine years later after a lot of everything happening I’m still here posting my nonsense and babbling on. It’s been incredible fun and rewarding. I can think back to the early days where I had some amazing opportunities and no idea what I was doing, to the surprising influx of writers asking for my reviews, then having to stop doing that for a little while because I couldn’t say no and got myself so incredibly stressed. One day I will reopen them and try not to be so pleasing to everybody.

A lot has happened over the years and yet it seems not that long ago either. I have had a lot of fun writing these reviews. I get to share my thoughts and opinions about books I’ve loved (and some I have not) and seeing people read books based on what I have reviewed is always amazing to me.

Today is a day to celebrate though and so per tradition I am giving away goodies to celebrate my blogiversary. This year I am giving away two books to make up for my five month absence. I actually don’t have 5 top of 2021 (more on that in a later post) but I have included those that made the cut as well as some other favourites that I’ve read in the last few years that came close to five stars but didn’t quite make it over the line.

 

A poster that has eight book covers on it. The words Lost in a Good Book's 9th Blogiversary Giveaway are at the top. The word Enter to win one of these titles Open Internationally are at the bottom.

The Selection

Loveless by Alice Oseman

Sword in the Stars (#2) by A. R. Capetta*

The Adventure Zone: Crystal Kingdom by Clint McElroy*

Birthday by Meredith Russo

Finding Nevo by Nevo Zesin

Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia

Lenny’s Book of Everything by Karen Foxlee

The Incredible Adventures of Cinnamon Girl by Melissa Keil

 

*This item is a sequel that possibly won’t make any sense if you haven’t read the previous ones. Keep that in mind when picking your book.

 

To enter: For a chance to win one of the pictured books simply enter here and complete the Rafflecopter form.

Please note: This giveaway is international on the basis the Book Depository ships to your country. To see if you are eligible you can check their website.

Thank you for helping me celebrate and if you entered the draw I wish you the best of luck!

Giveaway runs until midnight AEDT on Sunday 20th February 2022

A List of Shakespeare Retellings

This post will be exactly what it says on the label: a list of Shakespeare retellings. When it comes to Shakespeare there are a myriad of sources that borrow from the bard in storyline and content. A lot of the time the focus in on movies that are replicas of the plays or are modern retellings like 10 Things I Hate About You, Kiss Me Kate, and Gnomeo and Juliet, but there are a range of books that retell some of Shakespeare’s most famous works and rework them into completely new and wonderful stories.

There are far too many to create a list myself so this will be a post of mainly links but I am putting my faith in the internet for gathering up some amazing titles I never would have heard of otherwise. I am looking at a range of formats – I have fiction, YA, children’s books, graphic novels, LGBTQIA stories and yes, more film retellings so hopefully one, some or all of these will pique your interest.

Also, a few years ago I did an entire month long celebration for Shakespeare’s 400th birthday so feel free to check that out and find some more fun Shakespeare goodies!

Young Adult

Rewriting Shakespeare

13 Shakespeare-inspired Young Adult Novels

Best YA Shakespeare Retellings

13 Shakespeare Adaptations Aimed at Teens

As I Descended by Robin Talley

 

LGBTQIA

LGBT Related Adaptations of Works by William Shakespeare

Sapphic Shakespeare Retellings

That Way Madness Lies ed. Dahlia Adler

 

Graphic Novels

Manga Shakespeare

4 Graphic Novel Adaptations of Shakespeare

10 Best Shakespeare Comics and Graphic Novels

 

Fiction

Shakespeare Adaptation Retellings

 

Film

William Shakespeare Screen Adaptations

William Shakespeare Movie Adaptation Viewing Guide

15 Great Adaptations of Shakespeare

Shakespeare Movie Adaptations

 

Picture Books/Children’s Books

Teaching Shakespeare with Picture Books

William Shakespeare

Romeosaurus and Juliet Rex by Mo O’Hara

Ella Ballerina and a Midsummer Night’s Dream

Shakespeare Adaptations for Children

Do you have a particular favourite Shakespeare retelling? Are there any amazing books you’ve read that do the Bard proud in how it has been reimagined? Let me know in the comments.

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