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Paperback , pages. Published October 31st by Back Bay Books first published More Details Original Title. Other Editions Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Dracula, Prince of Many Faces , please sign up.
Be the first to ask a question about Dracula, Prince of Many Faces. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Feb 01, Dean Morgan rated it it was amazing. I did not just read this book I studied it. I was so intrigued by the real Vlad the Impaler, that every time I read this book, I sat down with a notebook, and took meticulous notes as to what I was reading.
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I live high in the rocky mountains, and I recall that one summer's night I sat outside reading this book by candlelight while sipping a cup of red wine I'm big on creating atmosphere when reading books of this sort. In the distance, a pack of coyotes began to howl at the nearly full moon.
I have to say, even though this book is about the real Dracula and not the vampire count Anyway,I learned a lot about Vlad the Impaler and his world in this book. I like medieval warfare and battles and strategy and tactics, and this book was light on these issues. Vlad the Impaler's battles were definitely discussed, but not in the detail I would have liked specifically, I would have liked more maps, discussion on weapons, tactics, etc.
Still, this book contained tons of information on the politics of Vlad the Impaler's time. Hopefully I don't sound like a monster by saying this, but when the book was done, I did not see Vlad the Impaler as the blood-thirsty demon he is often perceived as. He is a hero in his home country. As this book referenced the atrocities of the middle-ages, Vlad's brutality did not seem that terrible compared to the brutality of some of his contemporaries such as his arch-enemy, Mehmet II.
The reality is, the middle-ages were a bitch, and Vlad Dracula was a product of the medieval world. Each page of this book is chalk full of interesting facts on warfare and politics in eastern Europe during the middle ages. The picture that is painted is that of a world filled with brutality, persistent and violent wars, plague, torture, betrayal, and tyranny. True, Vlad the Impaler employed monstrous tactics and devices in his rise to power, but had he not done this, he would not have left the bloody footprint on history that he did.
I think it's safe to say that Vlad Dracula is a hero in modern day Romania because modern day Romania would not exist if not for the vicious exploits of Dracula I would venture to say we all have a morbid fascination about Vlad's moniker, "the Impaler. But I confess that I, like many, was morbidly curious as to what exactly Vlad's medieval form of impalement consisted of. I won't go into gruesome detail, but I will say this book does not overlook this topic.
Vlad's favorite form of execution is discussed in detail, giving attention to the actual numbers of people he executed, and the techniques and methods he used and I am not averse to blood and violence, but as I read some accounts, I had to cringe. Impalement has got to be one of the worst ways to go.
After reading this book, I was certain Vlad the Impaler is not someone I'd want at my house for dinner.
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However, if I was a peasant in medieval Transylvania, with the Ottoman Turks barking at the boarders of my homeland Vlad the Impaler is the man I'd want to be in charge. It is said the world needs a hero. In midth Century Wallachia, Vlad the Impaler was that hero. Once you read this book and learn about Vlad, this simple truth will bring into cold, harsh reality, just how brutal and awful the middle ages really were. Hey, I like to read about the middle ages, but there is nothing If you're in doubt about this statement, read this book.
View 2 comments. Aug 11, Michael rated it really liked it Shelves: biography , replaced , non-fiction. Vlad Dracula was a very disturbed yet unique individual. His title "Vlad the Impaler" couldn't be more appropriate. This guy had serious mental malfunctions. If you could capture the stages of his life accurately and vividly on the big screen it would be an amazing spectical to see. Especially "the Forest of the Impaled"!!!!!
Probably the most horrific and effective scare tactic in the history of warfare. Its not hard to see how this guy was the inspiration for Count Dracula, the vampire. Honestly, I think this guy was scarier. And everything he did was REAL! There is times the book will take you off the subject a little, giving you more eastern European history than you really need to know to understand Dracula's story But his story is so interesting and bizarre and violent and cruel that it keeps you going. Aug 04, Jacob Aitken rated it really liked it Shelves: biography , fighting-the-new-world-order , heroism , islam.
Count Dracula is a historical frustration. His life illustrates why it is difficult for historians to make simple moral judgments on time periods they know little about.
But it's worse than that: as horrible as he was Dracula singlehandedly kept Europe from being overrun by Muslims. As Florescu notes, "Europe was more interested in political in-fighting that in resi Count Dracula is a historical frustration. As Florescu notes, "Europe was more interested in political in-fighting that in resisting the Turks. Only the Slavs were willing to push back the Turk" The authors note that had not Dracula resisted the Turk, "the Muslim world would have extended from the Bosphorus to the Atlantic seaboard" Turkish goals were simple and thorough: Mehmed "planned to strike at the pillars of European civilization and bring it tumbling down into his control.
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Though Dracula ruled a small country, he was quite as determined and proud as the sultan himself. It seems that the Popes had learned from their previous mistakes. It appears they never took the Turkish conquest of Byzantium seriously.
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They were probably thrilled that Muslims were punishing the Greek schismatics. That explains why the Popes always hem-hawed on sending armies to fight off the Turk in the 15th century. After the fall of Constantinople the popes probably realized how precarious their existence was. While Dracula did the brunt of the fighting and deserves most of the praise, the popes did do a decent job in rallying much of Central Europe. Dracula, however, never achieved a complete victory over the Turk. He did frustrate Turkish plans for conquest and he did keep his Romania largely free, but Turkish power was not broken and much of Southeastern Europe was still enslaved.
The authors end the book with three different ways of interpreting Dracula: According to the German catholics, Dracula was Satan incarnate it's probable the Germans invented a lot of the blood-sucking rumors. According to the Russians he was cruel but just. The Romanians view him as a nationalist freedom-fighter. The authors suggest that all three views are accurate when combined.
Aug 08, Alice rated it really liked it. I've read lots more 15th century Eastern European history than I was ever exposed to in school. Vlad Dracula was indeed real, an illegitimate son of Vlad Dracul who very much wanted the throne his father had.
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He succeeded to that throne 3 separate times. The authors did extensive research from the perspective of the Hungarians, Saxons, and Russians that described a man who was considered by his enemies to be cruel and vicious. Some of the local peasant folklore painted him as a fair and just ruler who took from the rich and gave to the poor. By many he was considered to be a valiant military leader who fought to keep the Ottoman Turks out of Eastern Europe.
Radu Florescu and Raymond McNally did extensive research and wrote a very readable and fascinating history. Radu Florescu has continued research since this book was published almost 20 years ago; Raymond McNally died in Florescu is now Professor Emeritus at Boston College. Mmm, books that I pretend to buy for uni work And reading those said books while trying to study something completely different. Do I need to say I love my comparative religion course? Anyway, I bought this pretending I absolutely need this for that essay. I don't. But hey, it's Vlad and it was cheap! The book, not Vlad.
View all 3 comments. Mar 19, Shane O'Neill rated it it was amazing. I have read this book over a dozen times over the years. In recent years, I have heard criticisms of some of the accuracy with some content. Yet, I still have used it as a reference many times in my own work, and feel it gave a very good portrayal of the type of man Vlad Dracula was; better than most I have read.
I love this book regardless. Dec 14, Alexandra rated it liked it Shelves: non-fiction , own , biography , history. Very interesting read for those who are curious about the true story behind the legend of Dracula.
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The authors are a little biased toward their subject but do a good job of showing how the different views of this historical figure originated. Aug 04, Andrei rated it really liked it. Comprehensive and captivating! I know I'll keep coming back to it for years. Apr 23, Steve Asher rated it it was amazing.