A collection of nine short stories in the Gothic horror genre.

Publication year: 1914
Publication year of the Finnish translation: 2012
Format: print
Finnish translator: Inkeri Koskinen
Page count: 201
Finnish Publisher: Tammi

The stories:

“Dracula’s Guest”
“The Judge’s House”
“The Squaw”
“The Secret of the Growing Gold”
“A Gipsy Prophecy”
“The Coming of Abel Behenna”
“The Burial of the Rats”
“A Dream of Red Hands”
“Crooken Sands”

The first story is supposedly an extract from the manuscript of Dracula. Some sites disclaim it but a note from Stoker’s wife is included here. The narrator’s name isn’t mentioned but he seems to be Jonathan Harker who has a misadventure on his way to Dracula’s castle.

All of the stories are horror or mystery and most of them have supernatural elements, although in a few stories they are explained away. A few of them also have romantic elements. Most of the stories worked for me although some of them have comedic elements which I suspect are not intentional; for example in “The Judge’s House” the main character is warned that drinking too much strong tea will affect his nerves badly.

The story “Squaw” has an eccentric American who reminds me of Quincey Morris in the novel Dracula. Many of the stories underline the nature of Englishmen as brave, adventurous, and loyal but also as vain and stubborn. Unfortunately, the women are a far cry from Mina Harker; mostly they are delicate flowers who are quick to faint or have a hysteric fit. Some of the stories have first person narrator and some are told in the third person. However, in every story the main character is a British male.

The stories are old fashioned horror, without much splatter or violence. They rely more on atmosphere and psychological effects.

The Finnish translation has the translator’s introduction about Stoker’s life and influences. That was fascinating to read about.

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