A Night in Transylvania: The Dracula Scrapbook by Kurt Brokaw
Grossett & Dunlap, 1st printing, 1976
Genre: non-fiction, horror
Synopsis & Review: “To be read only at night,” A Night in Transylvania is a compendium of information about the Romanian region of Transylvania and about the two Draculas that are its major claim to fame: Bram Stoker’s famous vampire and the fifteenth-century prince Vlad Tepes. Opening first with an introduction by the Drs Radu Florescu and Raymond McNally of Boston College, Brokaw moves quickly into an exploration of the legend of Dracula, both as villain and lover, and the mythology of Transylvania in popular culture. The first chapter covers the history of Vlad Tepes’ life and death, and his legacies in Transylvania. Chapters Two and Three explore Transylvania, with an emphasis on locales associated with the Wallachian prince: cities, churches, castles, and his tomb on Snagov. Practical aspects of travel in a 1970s Romania, down to costs (severely outdated thirty years later) and gratuities and the most helpful languages to have. Also included is a wealth of information about hotels, food, tchotchkes, and helpful phrases. Chapters Four and Five detail Dracula on film and in print, with the movies helpfully categorized by quality.
This book CHANGED MY LIFE. I am totally serious. Read the rest of this entry »
Last Monday, I received in the mail a couple of books I’d been looking forward to re-reading after many years: Tales for the Midnight Hour and Ballerina. The former was an elementary school spooky story favorite (before Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark hit big), while the latter was a trashy ballet novel I read several times during myjunior and senior years of high school. It was a lot of fun revisiting those two books, and took my mind off my main reading project of the week …
At long last, I finished When Christ and His Saints Slept! It was like a weight of 746 pages was lifted from my shoulders–such a relief! Don’t get me wrong, it was good, but it definitely was not my favorite Penman. It may be a while before I go on to read the rest of her Plantagenet books, though I’m sure I’ll revisit the Wales trilogy.
Back to the mails, I also received two children’s picture books I decided I just could not go without, A Dark, Dark Tale and The Patchwork Cat. A long-term project of mine is to build my library of children’s books back up (something that will come in handy in a few years, if you catch my drift!). Though I certainly won’t add them to my list of books read, I considered putting up a brief entry on them. What do you kids think?
I also received A Night in Transylvania: The Dracula Scrapbook, a long out of print book I used as a resource for a report back in fifth grade. I should have that entry up by this evening.
It’s been a banner week for acquiring books, what with all the mail, but I also was so lucky as to receive The Little House Cookbook as a graduation present this Friday! With my devotion to the Little House books and Laura Ingalls Wilder, it’s hard to believe that I never owned or read a copy till now. I cannot wait to read it and cook from it–and I’m sure it will have me re-reading the series as well. (Oh, and yes, I got to walk for my graduation from Portland State University with a BA in History this Saturday. Technically, I will be graduated after Fall term when I finish my last couple of classes, but they let us malingerers walk at the end of Summer term.)
Speaking of childhood favorites, I picked up Little Women a few nights ago, thanks to inspiration from Jenny of Jenny’s Books. I meant to not read it till fall came round, but I just couldn’t resist the siren call of the March sisters and their cozy world. I expect to finish it tonight or perhaps early tomorrow, so look forward to that entry. One of my older sister’s favorite stories about Little Schatzi involves my first reading of Little Women. Heh.
For the week, I will make myself finish some of the ambitious books I’ve checked out from the library: Everything is Illuminated, The Unbearable Lightness of Being, and Brideshead Revisited. I also hope to pick up The Hollow Crown once more, and if I cannot find my long-missing copy of Villette, then I shall have to acquire another! Wish me luck!