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Powers of Darkness

The Lost Version of Dracula
Length: 7 hrs and 27 mins

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Publisher's Summary

Powers of Darkness is an incredible literary discovery. In 1900, Icelandic publisher and writer Valdimar Asmundsson set out to translate Bram Stoker's world-famous 1897 novel Dracula

Called Makt Myrkranna (literally, 'Powers of Darkness'), this Icelandic edition included an original preface written by Stoker himself. Makt Myrkranna was published in Iceland in 1901 but remained undiscovered outside of the country until 1986, when Dracula scholarship was astonished by the discovery of Stoker's preface to the book. 

However, no one looked beyond the preface and deeper into Asmundsson's story. In 2014, literary researcher Hans de Roos dove into the full text of Makt Myrkranna, only to discover that Asmundsson hadn't merely translated Dracula but had penned an entirely new version of the story, with all new characters and a totally reworked plot. The resulting narrative is one that is shorter, punchier, more erotic, and perhaps even more suspenseful than Stoker's Dracula

Incredibly, Makt Myrkranna has never been translated or even read outside of Iceland until now. Powers of Darkness presents the first ever translation into English of Stoker and Asmundsson's Makt Myrkranna. With a foreword by Dacre Stoker, Bram Stoker's great-grandnephew and best-selling author, and an afterword by Dracula scholar John Edgar Browning, Powers of Darkness will amaze and entertain legions of fans of Gothic literature, horror, and vampire fiction.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©2018 Blackstone Audio, Inc. (P)2018 Hans Corneel de Roos

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  • Thorbert
  • 20-07-18

A worthy companion to Dracula

I greatly enjoyed this lost early version of Dracula. The Count himself was quite terrifying, more so than he seemed in the final version published by Stoker. I enjoyed this version of Harker's stay at the castle much more than that found in the final version. That said, the ending was rushed and nowhere near as developed at the rest of the book. The rushed ending aside, I found it to be a worthy companion to Stoker's final version of Dracula.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • thomas.galvin
  • 05-09-18

An unfinished work

If you've ever wanted an hour-long, self-indulgent memoire by a distant descendant of Bram Stoker on the enduring importance of Dracula scholarship, then this book is for you.

And if you want an additional hour or so of some guy's graduate thesis on whether or not some Icelandic newspaper publisher modified Bram Stoker's story without permission, or stole this version wholesale from a Swedish newspaper publisher who modified Bram Stoker's story without permissions, then you are in for a treat. If you were super hoping that this thesis contained a detailed analysis of the conversion rates between late nineteenth century Danish Crowns and 2016 Euros, you will not be disappointed. And if you were hoping that this academic treatise would include two appendices and also spoil every single difference between Stoker's original novel and this version before the novel even starts, then congratulations, you have hit a true goldmine.

But if you were looking for a Dracula story, this will leave you wanting.

The first quarter of the story is well fleshed out, and has some significant additions to the Dracula legend. But once Harker escapes Castle Dracula, the author seemed to lose interest, and it comes across more like a Wikipedia summary of a novel than an actual story. It's a true embodiment of "tell, don't show," and it will leave you wanting.

The translation is superb, as far as I can tell, and the performance is excellent, but far too much of this book consists of people talking about the novel, and not the novel itself, and when you actually get to the story, you're left unsatisfied just as the story's about to get good.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Chris
  • 29-04-18

Different take on an old classic

This is definitely a different take on Stoker's novel. Good or bad, I'll leave the individual reader to decide.
For me, although the story was good, it lacked some of the detail and dark seduction of Stoker's original. For example, Lucy's character, renamed, Lucia only serves as Arthur's sick fiance. There is little if any mention of her vampirism.
Really, the only thing the story shares with the original is some plot elements and some names. Jonathan Harker renamed Thomas, is still trapped in Dracula's castle, but his experiences are markedly different from the original. He is still sent to a hospital, but Mina, known as Wilma, ends up there as well because of a broken leg.
If you're looking for a unique take on the original, take a look. If you prefer the original gothic horror novel, give this one a miss.