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IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF DRACULA
By STEVEN P. UNGER (World Audience, Inc.; 2010)

Hereís a travel book I think we can all enjoy: a guidebook to the European locations specified in Bram Stokerís immortal DRACULA, as well as the stomping grounds of Draculaís historical predecessor, the Transylvanian Prince Vlad Dracula, a.k.a. Vlad the Impaler. Included are extensive photographs of the various locations as they appear today, as well as the authorís recollections of his own trip through those locales (no, he makes no claims of ghost sightings or demonic possession) and much historical info on Stokerís novel and its real-life inspiration (which supply all the horror one could ask for).

     Author Steven P. Unger writes in an open and friendly manner thatís never less than compelling. Heís also admirably zealous in seeking out the precise areas of modern-day Romania where the novel took place, and where Vlad the Impaler reigned. The photographs show that in many cases the scenery looks much the same as Bram Stoker described it back in the 1890s, while the (largely intact) ruins of Vladís castle are every bit as eerie and foreboding as you might expect. For good measure Unger also includes photos of London, where Bram Stoker spent his later years.

     As with any worthy travel guide, detailed maps and financial details are included. The latter, thankfully, are quite budget-conscious, with an eye for the least expensive options (proving Steven Unger knows his audience). Thus IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF DRACULA is mercifully free of my main objections to most travel books, which are usually a). aimed at people with millions of dollars to throw around, b). predicated on fantasizing about traveling to exotic locales rather than actually making the trip, and c). about places I donít care about!

     None of those things are true of this book, which is worth reading even if you arenít planning a DRACULA vacation. Taken as a whole--with its historical details, personal recollections, travel tips and photographs--IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF DRACULA is an altogether unique and interesting concoction, at once jauntily enjoyable and quite spooky. 

     Get this book here.

     

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