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Hollywood Gothic

The Tangled Web of Dracula from Novel to Stage to Screen

David J. Skal

Faber & Faber

The primal image of the black-caped vampire Dracula has become an indelible fixture of the modern imagination. It's recognition factor rivals, in its own perverse way, the familiarity of Santa Claus. Most of us can recite without prompting the salient characteristics of the vampire: sleeping by day in its coffin, rising at dusk to feed on the blood of the living; the ability to shapeshift into a bat, wolf, or mist; a mortal vulnerability to a wooden stake through the heart or a shaft of sunlight. In this critically acclaimed excursion through the life of a cultural icon, David Skal maps out the archetypal vampire's relentless trajectory from Victorian literary oddity to movie idol to cultural commidity, digging through the populist veneer to reveal what the prince of darkness says about us all.
The primal image of the black-caped vampire Dracula has become an indelible fixture of the modern imagination. It's recognition factor rivals, in its own perverse way, the familiarity of Santa Claus. Most of us can recite without prompting the salient characteristics of the vampire: sleeping by day in its coffin, rising at dusk to feed on the blood of the living; the ability to shapeshift into a bat, wolf, or mist; a mortal vulnerability to a wooden stake through the heart or a shaft of sunlight. In this critically acclaimed excursion through the life of a cultural icon, David Skal maps out the archetypal vampire's relentless trajectory from Victorian literary oddity to movie idol to cultural commidity, digging through the populist veneer to reveal what the prince of darkness says about us all.

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Hollywood Gothic
Copyright © 1990, 2004 by David J. Skal All rights reserved
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REVIEWS

Praise for Hollywood Gothic

"Tracks Transylvania's most popular vampire with dry wit and the skills of a fine detective." --The New York Times Book Review

"Witty, comprehensive . . . For those who take Halloween seriously, this is something to gnaw on long after those trick-or-treaters are gone." --The Los Angeles Times Book Review

"Meticulously researched, engagingly written and packed with rare, archival images . . . The history of Dracula reads like a novel itself." --The San Francisco Bay Guardian
"Tracks Transylvania's most popular vampire with dry wit and the skills of a fine detective." --The New York Times Book Review

"Witty, comprehensive . . . For those who take Halloween seriously, this is something to gnaw on long after those trick-or-treaters are gone." --The Los Angeles Times Book Review

"Meticulously researched, engagingly written and packed with rare, archival images . . . The history of Dracula reads like a novel itself." --The San Francisco Bay Guardian

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • David J. Skal

  • David J. Skal is the author of numerous books on popular culture, including The Monster Show (Faber, 2001) and Death Makes a Holiday. He is the co-editor of the Norton Critical Edition of Bram Stoker's Dracula.
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Hollywood Gothic

The Tangled Web of Dracula from Novel to Stage to Screen

David J. Skal

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FROM THE PUBLISHER

Faber & Faber

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