I had never heard of this book before, but when I ran across it and saw who the author was, I snatched it up and started reading. What we have here is a series of short stories published by Mrs. Stoker after the passing of her husband. The stories range from the disturbing supernatural tale of “The Judge” to the vampiric title tale of “Dracula’s Guest” some versions of this book include the “Lair of the White Worm” which although it is not one of my favorite of Mr. Stoker’s Cannon, it is still a very creepy and disturbing novella.
This is a VERY short read, and can be completed in a day without trouble. As with all short story collections some will be more to your taste than others. None really packed the punch of “Dracula” but then few tales do. My personal favorites were “Dracula’s Guest” in which a British fellow fails to head the warning of the locals and ventures into a hellish evening of wolves and the supernatural… and we are left with the feeling that his next venture may prove even worse for him.
“The Judge” was also interesting… though I really would have liked for there to be more to this story. A learned man takes up residence in the local haunted mansion to get some peace and quite while studying. He gets more than he bargained for in the end. This was a very interesting and dark tale with “Twilight Zone” or “Tales from the Crypt” written all over it. It is very cinematic in tone and could have been much longer.
In all there are tales of vengeance, redemption, the supernatural, pacts with the Devil, angry black cats, beggars run amok, murderers, insanity… if you love the short stories of Edgar Allen Poe, then you really need to pick up this collection. If you have read and re-read Dracula and can’t get enough, then pick up this book… it’s hard to find (my copy came from a used bookstore and it looked like a dog had gone to town on the cover) but it is well worth the hunt.