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New and Readworthy: Darcul and Lovecraft

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DRACUL By Dacre Stoker and J. D. Barker. (Putnam, $27.) Co-written by the great-grand-nephew of Bram Stoker, this is a fictional prequel to the story of Dracula. Using notes that Stoker himself left (in which he recounted a strange experience with a dark presence), the authors imagine the events that would have led Stoker to compose his tale of the vampire count from Transylvania. LOVECRAFT By H. P. Lovecraft, adapted by I. N. J. Culbard. (SelfMadeHero, $35.) Culbard, a graphic novelist, offers his take on four stories from H. P. Lovecraft, the writer Stephen King called “the 20th century’s greatest practitioner of the classic horror tale.” These stories of madness and surreal worlds are rendered here with the crispness and energy of a comic book. THE VAMPIRE By Nick Groom. (Yale, $25.) Two hundred years after the bloodsucking creature first appeared in literature, Groom presents an authoritative take on the history of the vampire. He tracks its origin to the 18th century and rumors about vampirism that led proponents of the new science to investigate and scrutinize and fantasize about this monster. THE MANSION By Ezekiel Boone. (Emily Bestler/Atria, $26.) A successful programmer decides to resurrect a failed project from his idealistic youth: inventing a computer that can control every function of a house. The only problem is that people keep dying, thanks to the evil in the code. SLUM WOLF By Tadao Tsuge. (New York Review Comics, paper, $22.95.) These selections from the late ’60s and ’70s present the work of Tsuge in his prime as a creator of alternative manga that captured the sights and stories of the Tokyo streets. It’s a vision of bars, flophouses, gangsters and drunks, violence and sex.

In which we ask colleagues at Bloomgist Reader Center what they’re reading now.

“I recently took a break from the assigned reading I have to do for grad school (my other job) when my friend, a fellow Floridian, gifted me Lauren Groff’s new collection of short stories, FLORIDA. Most of the stories are actually set in the Sunshine State, where the writer has moved with her family. She perceives it as a weird place, which I think is, in its way, true. There’s a sense of apocalyptic doom threading all 11 stories together. It’s hard not to feel that way when you live in a state where, if the hurricanes don’t get you, the alligators or face-eaters will. These stories, with characters that include panthers, snakes and a restless mother who screams at her children because she’s so filled with rage about the state of the world, are haunting and arresting. Well worth procrastinating my grad school assignments to get through.”


— Isvett Verde, Editorial Assistant, Opinion, 
on what she’s reading.

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