Synopses & Reviews
Professor Abraham Van Helsing was the fictional creation of Bram Stoker for his dark work of fantasy Dracula--or was he?
Fragments of a recently discovered journal suggest otherwise.
For the first time, in his own words, the legendary vampire hunter tells his own story
- his background and early years
- his research in Rumania and the Mideast
- his medical work
-and most importantly his discovery of perhaps the greatest threat to man's dominion on earth, vampires.
Filled with data to inform, and tips to educate, the journal is more than a study of vampirism. It is also the story of a man's obsession with eradicating the world of its greatest scourge, a dark evil that claimed his wife in its thrall.
Working with the textural fragments he inherited from his grandfather, Professor Allen Conrad Kupfer, has managed to piece together the story behind the story that did not begin and end with Bram Stoker's Dracula.
"Spoof, send-up or wannabe spook tale, this addition to the 'vampire culture' that Kupfer claims is all too real today attempts to go for the throat but misses any vital artery. This slim novel purportedly contains an 1886 diary by the famous vampire hunter Van Helsing of Dracula fame, annotated by Kupfer's long-lost grandpa and unearthed in Kupfer's grandmother's attic. Clearly smitten by Keats's 'Lamia' and 'La Belle Dame Sans Merci' (Swinburne's overheated Lady of Pain), as well as by Lord Byron's darker proclivities, Kupfer struggles to give Van Helsing's jumpy journal entries a credible 19th-century flavor, though occasional flare-ups of Americanisms dilute the Transylvanian atmospherics. Kupfer's narrative professorial persona also updates his various subnarrators' tales with pseudo-scholarly footnotes that include an evidently irresistible whack or two at stingy academic administrators. Van Helsing's diary includes entries both before and after his London adventure that resulted in the gory destruction of Dracula, recounted far more satisfactorily by Bram Stoker. Embellished with befanged drawings signed 'V.H.,' Kupfer's little tale has all the depth of a comic book without any of its whiz-bang pop art fascination. (Apr. 27) Forecast: The publisher has shrewdly timed this book's release with that of the film Van Helsing, which promises to be one of the summer's blockbusters. Expect a lift from film-goers who don't realize the two are unrelated." Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Lively fun, though not as stylish as Stoker or Kim Newman." Kirkus Reviews
"The journal format recalls that of Dracula, and with a movie about Van Helsing (unrelated to this book) due in May, Kupfer's spooky, atmospheric novel appeals to the film's prospective fans as well as devotees of Stoker's book." Kristine Huntley, Booklist
The personal diary of the legendary vampire hunter describes his studies in blood research and mysticism, his wife's madness and the death of their only child, and his obsession with eradicating the world of the dark evil of vampires.
About the Author
Allen C. Kupher is a professor at Nassau Community College and specializes in film and literature studies particularly within the horror genre and has also sold several short stories. He lives in Floral Park, New York.