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The conceit here is clever: enlisting the tropes and characteristics largely invented by Stoker for a story about him, and the proposal that his interest in this fantasy could well have trodden the line between fiction and personal experience. Although it’s unclear exactly how much licence has been taken with such insights, what becomes obvious is that Stoker did encounter something more formative than a streak of imaginative genius. What did he truly believe, as he wrote this seminal book at the tail-end of the 19th century?In its crafty structure and unhurried layering of dread, this addition to the canon is a brilliantly entertaining read, and offers a chilling response.