Review: Stoker’s Wilde by Steven Hopstaken and Melissa Prusi

Editor’s Note: Our friend and colleague Frank Michaels Errington passed away on May 31. Since then, it’s been our honor to continue to run, with the gracious permission of Frank’s family, the reviews Frank had filed with us before his death. Today, it’s with great sadness and great pride that we run our final Frank Michaels Errington review. We miss you, buddy.

Stoker’s Wilde by Steven Hopstaken and Melissa Prusi
Flame Tree Press (May 30, 2019)
288 pages; $16.48 hardcover; $10.37 paperback; $6.99 e-book
Reviewed by Frank Michaels Errington

Stoker’s Wilde is the first novel by the writing team of Steven Hopstaken & Melissa Prusi. At first look, readers may be tempted to skip this book—after all, the authors are relatively unknown. It’s written entirely in journal entries, letters, and various articles, a format I generally find off-putting. And then there’s the subject matter: Bram Stoker and Oscar Wilde fighting werewolves and vampires.

But wait, it works. It’s actually quite remarkable and surprisingly enjoyable. I’ve read more than fifty books thus far in 2019 and Stoker’s Wilde is in my top five so far for the year.

Excerpt, taken from a letter from Oscar Wilde to his fiance…

I would like to say that Greystones is a charming, picturesque fishing village. I would like to but cannot. It is a squalid shantytown that smells of rotten fish and rotten sailors – many of them pirates, I suspect. If I were a werewolf, it is just the sort of place I would seek out. Remote, rocky and shrouded in mist.

Oscar, known for his caustic wit, is one of many fully developed characters. Of course, there’s his friend and nemesis, Bram Stoker.

From the journal of Bram Stoker…

Although I have met Oscar on a few different occasions, this is the first that I have spent any significant amount of time with him. To say he is annoying is an understatement. He has affected a London accent, and from time to time will slip into speaking French, Italian or Greek as if to prove his intellectual superiority. Alas, he merely comes off as a pompous twit.

I think you get the idea. I can’t say enough nice things about this book. It has it all. A wonderfully complete and entertaining story with werewolves, vampires, and vampire hunters. Above all, Stoker’s Wilde is a fantastical tale and yet it retains its believability.

No excuses. Buy this book and read it ASAP.

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