Read Renfield: Slave of Dracula by Barbara Hambly Free Online
Book Title: Renfield: Slave of Dracula|
The author of the book: Barbara Hambly
Edition: Berkley Books
Date of issue: October 1st 2007
ISBN 13: 9780425217894
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 848 KB
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Reader ratings: 7.5
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By Barbara Hambly
Penguin Group, October 2, 2007
332 Pages, Hardcover
Rating: 5 Stars
Hambly retells the chilling tale of Bram Stoker's most enigmatic character, Renfield, the faithful servant of Dracula. Eater of flies and spiders and whatever else should land in his cell at the asylum, he yearns to rejoin his daughter and wife while serving as a dutiful slave to his master Dracula. Escaping whenever he can, he scales the walls of the asylum to join his master at night only to be caught and brought back to his cell. Unfortunately, the madman's ravings become repetitive, tedious and improbable once certain truths about him are revealed. Though Renfield dies eventually at the hand of his employer in the original story by Bram Stoker, Hambly contrives a story that prolongs Renfield's involvement in an imaginative way to illustrate to the reader that a more exciting vampire story is unfolding outside of the asylum and the events of the novel.
Poetic, Charming and dark, this story follows the life of a madman through the days in an asylum as he rants and raves about his master and other things. Meticulously accounting for all the "life" he captures and then eventually consumes, thinking that he can atone for something involving his wife and child, he pleads to his master to be set free to rejoin them ultimately. This book shows a side of the Dracula story that is in the original Bram Stoker classic. Although Renfield is in the original story, it was not known as to why he ended up going mad or why he ended up in the service of the vampire. This book answers that question. It does take some time getting there, but it does get there.
Also in the forefront of this novel is the story of the doctor that treated the poor madman. He was a hapless victim in a sense. An innocent bystander who had not had the feeling to turn the man away when he needed help. Back in those days, many went to sanitariums for many different things, so it was not uncommon to see madmen walk into asylums and never come out. Renfield was one of them. His ramblings are as fiction, and that as hallucination fits of hysteria and nothing to take seriously. His escapes were common and seen to be that as a madman's wanderings. They were able to catch him and bring him back each time.
The doctor befriends the famed Dr. Van Helsing when the friend of a woman he loves (but doesn't like him back) is in a questionable state. Barbara Hambly writes of a long journey, terrible illness and a fight of the girl's life.
Barbara Hambly is a beautiful storyteller; I have not seen many writers who can craft a tale with such skill as she.
The writing is exceptional. It's almost poetic and musical. She follows the same note as Bram Stoker to keep with the period, yet uses modern terms not to confuse the readers. It's important to note that she has written about vampires before. Therefore, she has an exceptional quality to her writing of the supernatural. I am always pleased to read her novels. It is not confusing like Neal Stephenson, and it is not jerky. It flows smoothly and weaves in and out so well the pages go by, and you never know what hit you.
The characters are well designed and drawn together that they seem to be real and three dimensional. They have separate voices and personalities that are definite and purposeful.
As the story unfolds, the plots begin to come clear. At first, they are an uncertain thing as there are so many factors at play as there seem to be many characters. However, about a quarter into the book, the plots begin to take form, as Renfield starts to do certain things in his cell it makes sense that there are goals for him other than merely serving a master and eating insects. He has thoughts and feelings outside that in which the master has planted in him.
The secondary plot focuses on the doctor and the girl's friend. The secondary plot becomes a storyline in and of itself. Renfield is partially a part of this storyline; and, it takes up the majority of the book.
This story ties in nicely in the end. It involves several characters, not all human, and Renfield does something to himself I never thought possible! With an ending that is so unpredictable, I was pleased that I had read this book.
WHAT I LIKED:
The book took an impossible turn towards the 75% mark involving Renfield and a non-human. I won't say whether it was his master or a subordinate. It took me by surprise, and I loved how the story went from there. It didn't make sense at first, but as the story went along, Ms. Hambly wrote it in such a way that sense was all it did have.
WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE:
His time in the asylum was too long. It dragged on forever. All the days on and on marking how many insects he had eaten, and it seemed pointless. I think there could have been more explanation or action than what had been going on.
I liked this book as a Bram Stoker fan. I loved Dracula and was concerned that this book would not do Stoker's book any justice. To my surprise and amazement, it did. I was happy about that. The story was cold, dark and pleasing for a vampire fan without being gory, disgusting and altogether full of mayhem like many of the new day vampire stories are. This one was tasteful and full of intrigue and catching dialogue.
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Read information about the authoraka Barbara Hamilton
Ranging from fantasy to historical fiction, Barbara Hambly has a masterful way of spinning a story. Her twisty plots involve memorable characters, lavish descriptions, scads of novel words, and interesting devices. Her work spans the Star Wars universe, antebellum New Orleans, and various fantasy worlds, sometimes linked with our own.
"I always wanted to be a writer but everyone kept telling me it was impossible to break into the field or make money. I've proven them wrong on both counts."
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