1. ‘The Snake’s Pass’
the gist: a gothic-style romantic thriller. basically a guy and a lady fall in love but there are complications.
fun fact: this is the only stoker novel to take place in ireland, the stoker’s home country.
title for the porn version: the same.
best reason to read: probably the closest thing to a stoker horror novel before dracula.
2. ‘seven golden buttons’
the gist: perhaps best described as a dark fairy tale about a love that ignores the limits of life and death.
fun fact: this book was originally written on index cards. the material was honed for other stoker stuff, and it wasn’t until 2015 that the tokens were transcribed and published.
porn version title: 69 golden buttons. or possibly 7 brown buttons.
better reason to read it: because so few have. If you want to be the stoker expert in your friend group (and if your friend group somehow keeps beating each other’s stokers), then this is the one to read.
3. ‘The Watter’s Mou’’
the gist: maggie’s dad does a little bootlegging. maggie falls in love with william. William’s job is to stop smugglers. “but wait!” you say, “didn’t you just tell me that maggie’s dad is a smuggler!?” there you go
fun fact: the title of the book means “the mouth of water” and refers to a specific gorge. at some point, someone decided that “mou de agua” was a confusing name for a gorge, and the name “mou'” was changed to “moo de agua vieja”. “, which makes a little more sense, but not much.
porn version title: don’t know. I have three books and I already regret this category.
best reason to read it: a stormy night, some bad and good, and love caught in the middle. Pretty Shakespearean if you ask me.
4. ‘shasta’s shoulder’
the gist: romance set in the American West.
fun fact: there’s a character named grizzly dick in this one. well ok It was written after Stoker toured the United States with Henry Irving, an actor who had a strong physical and spiritual influence on the Count Dracula character.
porn version title: the [any other body part, actually] of shasta.
better reason to read it: because you’ve already read the other classic novels with soda titles like dr. pepper and mr. hyde and the ghost of la-croix-pera. Also, it’s pretty short.
5. ‘Miss Betty’
the gist: a Victorian cautionary tale/romance that… sorry I fell asleep there for a second.
fun fact: various outlets, based on the same mistake, give a synopsis of miss betty involving a young man who prostitutes himself on the streets of london and giving his own version of the gay underground movement from london in the late 1800s. it turns out this summary is for a book called the sins of jack saul’s plain cities, don’t miss betty. That being said, Sins of the Plain Cities sounds impressive.
title for porn version: miss betty does a lot of great sexual things with people. (not all puns, you know, sometimes it pays to be direct).
better reason to read it: honestly, many reviewers will say that this book was stoker’s attempt to appease some audiences after delivering the shock of dracula. I guess if you’re feeling dracula-shocked, you might as well give stoker a chance to get back on his feet.
6. ‘the mystery of the sea’
the gist: a political thriller about the domino effect of the Spanish-American War and the… wait, wait, there’s a treasure! and psychic premonitions! there are some good things here!
fun fact: in 1901 stoker was on vacation and met an old woman who supposedly had supernatural powers. This woman was the basis for Gormala, a character with psychic abilities who appears in Mystery of the Sea.
title for the porn version: the mystery of the three.
better reason to read it: search the internet, all you will see is information about how this book has many complex themes and deserves more study, but everyone is obsessed with dracula. While one might think that instead of writing about how criminally unstudied this book would be, someone would go ahead and study it, it seems this hasn’t happened yet.
7. ‘The Jewel of Seven Stars’
the gist: mom! this one has a mummy! sound the alarm, the stoker is back, baby!
fun fact: william wilde, oscar’s father, was an amateur egyptologist and shared stories of his exploits with stoker, possibly inspiring the seven star jewel.
title for the porn version: the jewel of seven porn stars. that’s a gimme
better reason to read it: there’s a mummy. and the mummy does some cool and creepy things. Let’s face it, the latest mummy movie wasn’t what we all expected. Go back in time and see how they did it in the old school.
8. ‘the man’
the gist: before there was “a boy named sue”, there was a girl named stephen in stoker’s the man. This is kind of a love story, though there are three rejected marriage proposals in a very short time.
fun fact: this book is sometimes known as the gates of life.
title for the porn version: add a preposition to the man and you have your movie.
best reason to read it: if you’re looking for one of stoker’s best female characters, you’ll find it here. she has a male name, but she presents a rather nice change, at least for two-thirds of the story or so.
9. ‘Lady Athlyne’
the essence: a romance. again. damn it, stoker! can’t a guy get a killer monster a little more often?
fun fact: the title ends up being a spoiler for the end of the book. I guess that fact isn’t so funny.
title for the porn version: lady asslyne
best reason to read it: if you’re studying the concept of the “new woman” which was being discussed quite a bit at the time, this and the man would be good choices. . It’s quite an interesting concept, and Stoker dabbled in characters that played into the archetype, though her “new woman” characters weren’t rewarded for their newfound femininity.
10. ‘the lady in the shroud’
the gist: a boy receives an inheritance on one condition: he has to spend a year in his uncle’s castle. yes, this is real he then falls in love with a mysterious woman who appears in the castle and possibly a vampire.
fun fact: the book is written in the epistolary style, which is the fancy way of saying it’s made up of letters, documents, and journal entries.
title for the porn version: the lady in the shroud
better reason to read it: It has some supernatural elements with some pretty nice twists. Plus, come on, this is the motivation for about half the plots in Scooby-Doo.
11. ‘The Lair of the White Worm’
the gist: mesmerism! deadly animal attacks! murder! A woman tears a mongoose with her bare hands! Best of all, there’s a giant, deadly white worm. with den.
fun fact: this was adapted into a somewhat terrible, somewhat film full of cult goodness in 1988, starring hugh grant. yes if you ever wanted to witness mr. notting hill himself slashing an old lady with a broadsword, this is the movie for you.
porn version title: the cape of the white worm
better reason to read it: this book made a somewhat notorious list of “13 Worst Stinkers of Weird” published in rod serling’s twilight zone magazine. others on the list included dracutwig (a novel about a daughter of dracula who turns into a vampire every time she has sex), count dracula’s canadian adventure, and the vampire tapes (a crap book that’s fun if you’re in the state in the right mood). if those sound right up your alley, the white worm might be too.