The Dracula Tape
by Fred Saberhagen
Bram Stoker published his renowned epistolary novel Dracula in 1897. It is been adapted into numerous films, and personally my favorite is Francis Ford Coppola's Bram Stoker's Dracula. Since Dracula, there has also been a multitude of vampire novels, and the vampire has not been confined to one persona. Vampires has taken the role of villain, victim, and hero.
In 1975 Fred Saberhagen published a rebuttal novel to Stoker's Dracula called The Dracula Tape. Saberhagen's version of Count Dracula is admirable; he is a victim to misunderstanding and circumstance that are beyond his control.
Dracula divulges his side of the story into a tape recorder in the car of Mina Harker's descendants. Saberhagen establishes Dracula as a misunderstood protagonist through recounting the events of Dracula's quest to make London his new home and imploring the rationalization of his version of events. For example, Lucy was on the verge of death not because Dracula drank her blood but rather because of Van Helsing performed three blood transfusions.
The Dracula Tape is an interesting way to reintroduce Dracula as a virtuous man. However, I cannot say I fully enjoyed reading it. Throughout the book Saberhagen included lengthy quotes from Stoker's book to substantiate his assertions. Thus, the book contained lackluster writing. On the upside, the ending was a surprise. The only creative feature of the book was telling the side of Dracula. Nevertheless, if you are interested in discovering the many facets of Dracula and vampire literature it is worth the couple of reading hours. Other novels of Saberhagen Dracula series is quite good such as An Old Friend of the Family.