Something in the Blood by David J. Skal

Something in the Blood

Bram Stoker, despite having a name nearly as famous as his legendary Count Dracula, has remained a puzzling enigma. Now, in a psychological and cultural portrait, David J. Skal exhumes the inner world and strange genius of the writer who conjured an undying cultural icon. Stoker was inexplicably paralyzed as a boy, and his story unfolds against a backdrop of Victorian medical mysteries and horrors: cholera and famine fever, childhood opium abuse,...


Details Something in the Blood

TitleSomething in the Blood
ISBN9781631490101
Author
Release DateOct 4th, 2016
PublisherLiveright
LanguageEnglish
GenreBiography, Nonfiction, History, Horror, Paranormal, Vampires
Rating

Reviews Something in the Blood

  • Jeffrey Keeten
    2016-12-04
    ”I long to go through the crowded streets of your mighty London, to be in the midst of the whirl and rush of humanity, to share its life, its change, its death, and all that makes it what it is.”---Count Dracula I’ve never known much about Bram Stoker. He always seems to be in the shadow cast by his most famous book, merging with the castle wall of Dracula’s lair or blending with the wallpaper of John Seward’s house. A majority of peopl...
  • Caroline
    2016-10-23
    There is a Bram Stoker shaped hole at the centre of this book. For a biography that claims to explore the inner world of the man himself, I learned an awful lot about almost everything else in his life except him. Partly, no doubt, that is because Stoker was a very private man and his descendants have protected that privacy; partly because Dracula may now be regarded as a genuine classic and a staple of popular culture but in his day it was very ...
  • Tracey
    2016-12-21
    I was glad to receive this audiobook from the publisher on CD, because using the CD player in my car makes what is for me a long commute that much easier. This book in particular wasn't much of a boon, however; I pass on my audiobooks to my boss, whose commute is twice mine. This one went with the warning that, given the sometimes plodding writing and the near-monotone of the narrator, it might be a driving hazard. I don't think the narrator will...
  • Mlle Ghoul
    2017-03-18
    “Dracula never ends. Not in my life, or in yours.” writes David Skal in the opening pages of Something in the Blood. I can attest to that. I have been obsessed with the story of Dracula ever since I stole the book from my mother’s dusty bookshelf when I was but ten years old. It is a story that I hold sacred and there is nothing that will ever compare; it is timeless and as much a part of me as my own blood. I cannot help but to think of th...
  • Zulfiya
    2017-04-26
    I really liked all the ramblings of the book, whether they are about sex and gender, Victorian morality, psychiatry, and the nature of art. The book gets three stars because some of these ramblings went way too far and had hardly anything to do with the literary motifs of Dracula. They were entertaining and engaging, but I always wondered if they were pertinent to the subject matter.
  • Patrick Book
    2017-03-10
    I knew nothing about Bram Stoker's biography, but the scope of his career, his interactions with fellow literary luminaries, and his possible secret life was absolutely shocking! What a neat story.
  • Alberto
    2018-09-22
    Algo sobre Drácula y su autor… pero solo algo porque la mayoría del texto va sobre la época victoriana y los coetáneos de Stoker, el poeta Wall Whitman, el escritor Oscar Wilde, el actor de teatro Henry Irving etc. Quizás esperaba algo más y es que Drácula sale muy poquito. De todas maneras se lee con interés y la edición de Espop, como todas las suyas, es para tener un orgasmo directamente. Ahora voy a por The New Annotated Dracula" q...
  • César
    2018-08-14
    Detrás del vampirismo está la certeza de que, por muchos siglos de existencia que arrastres, por muchos poderes excepcionales que poseas, siempre necesitarás del otro. Por mucho que uno se eleve sobre la condición mortal, el prójimo es insoslayable, imprescindible, recipiente que contiene la esencia sin la cual no hay más opción que el polvo. El autor traza una semblanza de la victoriana Inglaterra convirtiendo a Stoker en hilo conductor y...
  • Rachel
    2017-06-06
    This book is rambling and speculative, and not really a proper biography, but I think Skal has to some extent earned the privilege of writing and publishing whatever he wants to about Dracula, at this point in his career. And if he wants to do is speculate about Stoker's potential romance with Hall Caine (and the hypothetical love letters which Florence Stoker could have burned, if they had existed - ooh, do tell us more about your historical RPF...
  • Prima Seadiva
    2018-01-31
    Audiobook reader pretty good.This seemed more like a journal of the times with biographic information about Stoker interwoven than a biography. The author wandered all over the time period of his life and years after his death, spending lots of time on Stoker's heroes and associates such as Henry Irving, Oscar Wilde and Walt Whitman. It was interesting but at times I wondered who's biography it was. One person mentioned I would have liked more de...
  • Jaime F.
    2019-01-27
    Very disappointed with this book. I got to know more about his parents and acquaintances than Bram Stoker himself. Hard to follow his biography since the author goes all over the place with some not so reputable facts and some assumptions. Was looking forward to read about Bram Stoker life and how he got to create 'Dracula', but very little chapters deals with this topic. Might need to look other books about him. Very disappointed!
  • Berna Labourdette
    2019-01-28
    Una estupenda biografía de Bram Stoker, con muchísima información no sólo de su vida y la ya conocida relación con Henry Irving (su Drácula personal) sino también con una oblicua relación con Oscar Wilde, quien tendría muchas similitudes con el periplo de Drácula en la novela. Mucha información inédita y una tarea titánica de abordar temas como la sífilis en la época victoriana, la posible homosexualidad de Stoker, influencia de Eg...
  • Rebekah
    2016-11-29
    Skal’s book, Something in the Blood, is not really a book about Bram Stoker at all. It is, in fact, a book about vampires, and, beneath that, a book about Oscar Wilde.It does not surprise me that Skal would include Oscar Wilde in a Bram Stoker biography. Both Stoker and Wilde were born in Dublin around the same time, had attended Trinity College, and courted the same woman, Florence Balcombe (Stoker would be the one to marry her). These are int...
  • Susan
    2017-08-31
    Explore not only Bram Stoker’s life, but the Victorian era, contemporary authors, famous theater celebrities, and the various works of Stoker in this book.I grew up watching all sorts of Dracula and vampire stories and as an adult I finally read Dracula by Bram Stoker. It remains one of my favorite horror stories, being full of suspense and the darker, often repressed, side of human nature. When I saw that a biography on Stoker was available, I...
  • Jeff Richards
    2018-12-10
    This book felt more like a meditation on the life and times of the author of Dracula than a chronological biography. It helped me to understand the historical and psychological origins of the story and the character. The formal structure of the story centres on Dracula, a character with similarities to the Romanian 15th-century ruler Vlad the Impaler. However, the imagery around the story, apart from dark castles in Eastern Europe, has a more sig...
  • Joseph Hirsch
    2016-11-27
    Bram Stoker devoted most of his life to the career of the stage-actor Henry Irving, as previous Stoker biographies have made clear (especially Barbara Belford's "Bram Stoker and the Man who was Dracula"). This, along with Stoker's circumspect nature, presents a conundrum for biographers. That said, David Skal makes his task harder for himself in "Something in the Blood" by willfully getting lost not only in the details of the lives of people asso...
  • Jessie
    2017-12-31
    Book review: Something in the Blood: The Untold Story of Bram StokerSomething in the Blood: The Untold Story of Bram Stoker by David J. SkalAfter recently watching The Lair of the White Worm and The Brides of Dracula, I thought that I would do a little bit of light reading to find out more about the writer of these tales (Or more so the creator of Dracula, not the shitstorm of movies that came from the book). The book is a bit of a hefty one, nea...
  • Maria
    2018-06-29
    "You know the name Dracula. The vampire king has been haunting our consciousness, thanks to the movies, since the German film "Nosferatu" invaded theaters in 1922."Something in the Blood: The Untold Story of Bram Stoker, the Man Who Wrote Dracula is wonderful biography about the man who created one of the most memorable characters in fiction "(who birthed an undying cultural icon)". But Bram Stoker was much more than just the author of Dracula as...
  • Michael Samerdyke
    2017-07-09
    Romanians refer to Bram Stoker as "the Irishman," and "Something in the Blood" by David J. Skal shows there is a lot of truth in that.I had read Farson's biography of Stoker decades ago, and "Who Was Dracula?" a couple of years ago. Skal's majestic tome added much to what I knew.Stoker was very proud of being Irish. He supported Home Rule although he remained a Protestant all his life. (He died in 1912 before things got violent, so who knows how ...
  • Linda Doyle
    2018-08-15
    Oscar Wilde, Hall Caine, Ellen Terry, Henry Irving, and Horace Liveright are just a few of the intriguing personalities that the reader comes to know in what is supposed to be a biography of Bram Stoker, author of the novel Dracula. I read a good review of this so decided to read it because I'm a big fan of Stoker's novel. Though I liked this book very much, I was disappointed that it really doesn't shed much light on Stoker as a person. Apparent...
  • Nerdy_Obsessed_Bookworm
    2019-05-01
    Something In The Blood is the first biography I took a chance to read. Being a huge fan of Dracula, I already knew a little bit about Bram Stoker's life but was eager to learn more. The fact that it is written by one of my favourite film historians, David J. Skal, is what made me decide to give this book a chance...What I thought was going to be a boring textbook read became one of my favourite books of the year. I listened to the audiobook and I...
  • Jessi Collier Wakefield
    2018-03-16
    Count Dracula was not in the novel Dracula that much. He was always anticipated and felt throughout, but he had very little "screen time"in comparison to the bulk of the book. That is exactly what this "biography"is like. Bram Stoker is maybe in 30% of the entire book, despite its almost 600 pages of text. There was just as much written about Oscar Wilde in this book as the titular person. There is also a great deal of speculation of what MIGHT h...
  • Adrian
    2018-09-13
    Lo primero es entonar un mea culpa: mi error ha sido pensar que se iba a hablar más de Dracula que de otra cosa. Naturalmente es un poco el epicentro de la biografía, pero no parece suficiente para salvar el gran escollo del libro, que en mi opinión es que a lo mejor la vida de Bram Stoker no era tan interesante como para dedicarle seiscientas páginas.Uno aprende un montón sobre Henry Irving y los entresijos del teatro victoriano, sobre Osca...
  • Blaine Nicholson
    2017-11-01
    I have read through some other reviews of this book, and while I do agree that yes, this book did ramble on quite a bit about things not directly related to Stoker, I honestly don't think it ever went too far off the mark. Yes, the book discussed Oscar Wilde and Henry Irving in detail, but both men were a major part of Bram Stoker's life. Also, in my opinion, Skal didn't make unsupported assumptions about anything (syphilis, Stoker being gay, etc...
  • Kyle Burley
    2017-09-30
    A rather curious literary biography. Skal runs into the same problem of all biographers of Bram Stoker. The subject was an intensely private, and, it must be said, somewhat staid and dull individual. There are really only two interesting things about him, his absolutely slavish devotion to his employer, the actor Henry Irving, and the fact that he wrote a famous book about a vampire.One of the ways, Skal overcomes this is to spend quite a bit of ...
  • Antonia Malvino
    2018-12-08
    This book is a long and very thorough consideration of Stoker's career. It may not be to every reader's tastes, especially if the desire is for a quick, always on topic discussion. This book could seem to wander away from the main subject, but in accepting that stylistic decision by the author, I found myself delighted by the additional deep study he shared. Not only does he cover Stoker, his family, and his wife, but also significant contemporar...
  • Stephanie
    2017-07-17
    For readers who enjoy imbibing the atmosphere around a novel as well as the biography of the author, Something in the Blood offers a panoply of conjecture, culture, and choice stories from Stoker's and his family's lives. I enjoyed that Wilde was covered almost as thoroughly as Stoker in this novel. Most of all, I enjoyed how theatre is inextricably entwined in any imagining of Stoker's creative genius. All the insights on Victorian stagecraft, i...
  • Gene Ripka
    2018-08-14
    the book was a comprehensive study of vampirology, and did offer as complete a biography as we are likely to find of Bram Stoker. At times, however, he seemed almost incidental to a much larger story encompassing histories of Ireland and Britain, Victorian era, and theater. Some reviews I saw seemed dismissive of the extended sidetracks Skal takes in his tale, and I would allow that there is more conjecture than solid fact in his assertions about...
  • David
    2018-12-21
    An informative and engaging biography of Bram Stoker. I learned a lot about his life and his writings that I didn't know. I also liked that the book didn't stop with Stoker's death, but followed Florence Stoker through the remainder of her life and showed the evolution of Dracula as a popular stage and movie character. Skal does devote quite a bit of speculation toward Bram Stoker's sexuality and he meanders into detailed accounts of some people ...