The subtitle to In the Footsteps of Dracula is A Personal Journey and Travel Guide and this book contains exactly what it says on the tin. It’s a travelogue in which the author describes his journey following the events from Stoker’s novel Dracula from the Borgo Pass to London and gives the reader an itinerary she can follow, including places to stay and an estimation of the costs. The book is an breezy read, due to Steven Unger’s easy-going writing style. The book interweaves Mr Unger’s memories of his journey with the history of Dracula and his author, Bram Stoker, and the historical inspiration for Dracula, Vlad the Impaler.
The historical parts on Stoker and Vlad are very interesting. It’s clear the author has studied his subject well. Unger keeps his descriptions lively and keeps the reader moving, literally, from city to city. There is no time to get bored, because there is something new around each corner. What shines through the text is Mr Unger’s love for Stoker’s Dracula and history and his affection for Romania and its inhabitants. His fondness is apparent in the anecdotes interspersed throughout his account of his travels and he not only manages to inform the reader on the history of Vlad Tepes, but on more recent Romanian history as well.
The pictures which document Mr. Unger’s journey and illustrate the book are nice, giving a good feel for the places he visited. But not just the places, he also shows the people he met there, ranging from people who have come to visit the Gothic Festival at Whitby, to a child and its grandfather in Snagov, to two teenage Goth girls in a graveyard in Romania. These add live to a book that otherwise could just have been filled with pictures of old buildings and empty landscapes. The one thing I could have wished for is that they could have been printed in colour, because I think they could have been even more captivating. Then again, I reviewed the first edition and there is a second edition out now, and it maybe that this is in colour.
In the Footsteps of Dracula is a book for the true Dracula enthusiast. They will find a lot to like about this book. I enjoyed reading it, especially having just read Dracula before it. If you love Dracula or are a fan of travelogues, give this book a try, you’ll be sure to enjoy it.
Update: Mr Unger contacted me to let me know that the 2nd Edition is available now in paperback and e-book formats from its dedicated World Audience Web page as well as from Barnes and Noble, all Amazon stores and in Kindle edition.
This book was sent to me for review by the author.