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Dracula
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Gr 9 Up-Each volume includes the abridged story plus a generous amount of additional information, including an illustrated list of characters, an author biography, time lines, and an article about film adaptations. Students who are writing reports and readers who move on to the original novels will be well served by these extras. SAT vocabulary words are defined in footnotes, which also clarify plot details or offer historical context. Fortunately the font is small enough to be ignored easily, so these notes do not interrupt the flow of the story. The drawings are fluid and expressive, with skillful shading and dark tones that emphasize the stories' drama. The square, horizontal paneling is not especially inventive, but it makes the texts easy to follow. While these titles might not be as popular as superhero and manga comics, they are accessible introductions to the classics, and should make life easier for reluctant readers.-Lisa Goldstein, Brooklyn Public Library, NY Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

Verdict: Though this is a remarkable bargain at $40,Åpublic librariesÅprobably can pass, but academics should purchase. Background: Like many works now staples and classics, Stoker's Dracula debuted to mediocre sales and reviews, but, like the count himself, had something that has kept it alive for more than a century. Klinger, who scored a hit with his New Annotated Sherlock Holmes, provides an identical take on the big D. Using several previous annotations as a springboard, Klinger offers straight scholarly notes, but to give the book extra bite proceeds as if the characters and events were real, with names, etc., changed by Stoker to throw readers off (this tack no doubt will annoy some readers). Regardless, the text is weighty with annotations-in fact there are so many pages of notes that it's sometimes hard to find the story-and illustrations ranging from period to current. The book also sports numerous appendixes dating the story's events, Dracula in fiction and film, and Stoker's short story "Dracula's Guest," which may/not have been a piece cut from the novel.-Michael Rogers, LJX Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

Klinger brings the same impressive breadth of knowledge that distinguished The New Annotated Sherlock Holmes to this definitive examination of one of the classic horror novels of all time. Adopting the conceit that Stoker's narrative is based on fact, Klinger elucidates the plot and historical context for both Stoker devotees and those more familiar with Count Dracula from countless popular culture versions. Because he had privileged access to the typescript Stoker delivered to his publisher, Klinger is able to note changes between it and the first edition and comment on the reasons for them. Through close reading, Klinger raises questions about such matters as the role of lead vampire-hunter Van Helsing and whether the villainous count is actually dispatched at book's end. An introduction by Neil Gaiman, numerous illustrations, essays on topics ranging from Dracula in the movies to the academic response, and much more enhance the package. 8-city author tour. (Oct.) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

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