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Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?
Definitely, and I have already. See my review/comments below.
Who was your favorite character and why?
Too hard to pick, since you loved them one moment, and hated them the next.
Which character – as performed by Colin Moody – was your favorite?
Vlad's best friend Ion, (I think that is the way it is spelled, pronounced like yahn.)
Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
Both, and most of all it made me rage, and feel such deep, abiding sorrow for who and what Vlad became, and so angry at the people around him who claimed to love him and then betrayed him.
Any additional comments?
I waited a couple of months to write this after the second listening, just to make sure I wasn't just enthralled by another Dracula book. Since I still am thinking about it, I decided it was time to give my opinion. I cannot express how much I loved this book. It was rather difficult to get into, and I don't think I would have read it in paper format. After the first couple of hours, I was completely engrossed. Once I finished it, I could not stop thinking about it, and within a month had listened to it again, and will probably do so yet again. Having read every book out there on Dracula and vampires (and this before there was the huge vampire genre) this book was truly a revelation. I have been seduced by the vampire legend for many years, but this book was fascinating for delving into what made Dracula; the man, the story and the myth, all woven into one.
There are so many horrific and poignant events in this book, from his time with the Turks; where he learns to stitch his leatherwork, admire his teacher, learn of his enemy's most effective methods of torture, and then upon his return to his homeland; to have such undying faith, to love deeply, and then know such betrayal from both, to stay true to his ultimate goal of ridding his land of the infidels, and to remain silent, for his best friend's benefit, of the truth of his supposed ultimate betrayal of Ion's great love, it was engrossing, exhausting and exhilarating. To be so thoroughly appalled, and yet understanding of his torment and subsequent torture, made me realize that this book will rank as one of my most favorite books of all time. It was brilliant, I think I will listen to it again very soon.....
6 of 6 people found this review helpful
Heralding itself to be the first novel written of Vlad the Impaler (can that really be so?), I walked into this one with more curiosity than expectation. The story lends itself to gratuitous and brutal spectacle, with the subject matter almost dictating a level of inhumanity that you'd expect to find these days on HBO. It's the kind of thing we can get desensitized to very quickly. And that's really the point of this book. It takes a skilled writer to get inside the head of a personality such as Vlad and turn him into something far more interesting than a mere monster, to show how and why this man became desensitized to the very things he is known for.
All of the familiar hotspots of the legends are here, all of the brutality and cunning you expect are present, but there is much more you might not expect to find. I found humanity, sympathy, and compassion as much as I found all of the classic bits that are the mainstays of the Impaler legend. The tightrope that is walked here is done so with precision, presenting a vivid reminder that perhaps any of us might be capable of anything given a time, place, and circumstance. Various histories of the crusades that I've read over the years would suggest that Vlad is indeed a product of own circumstance, combined with the strength to persevere. This tale is the classic warning of history, to be careful of becoming that which you oppose. C.C. Humphreys has done exactly what he tells you he intended in his introduction: he tells the story of the man and leaves you to judge the level of the monster. There's an old saying that every man is the hero of his own story, and there is no greater face of evil than the face of good. If you think you're ready to meet the man behind the Impaler, give this one a read.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful