Paul Bibeau - Sundays with Vlad
(Constable & Robinson)
Paul Bibeau is a man on a mission. He wants to tell the world the story of Dracula, the real Vlad the Impaler facing off against Bela Lugosi’s Hollywood-ised version, and explaining why never the twain can meet. His itinerary for this travelogue includes a honeymoon to a grim Romanian village, trawling eBay for memorabilia, copious email interviews with academics hot on Bram Stoker and research trips to fetish clubs and role-playing groups. At one point, Bibeau dresses up as a garlic bulb for a Dracula Parade.
His is a rapid-fire, conversational narrative with blow by blow accounts of the minutiae of his search made engaging by the force of his personality and his ability to spin a tale out of leather and fake fangs. You may be unclear that a destination has been reached, but with the interesting digressions and exhaustive research, you’ll be glad you hitched a ride.