Tentatively, Convenience's Reviews > The Jewel of Seven Stars

The Jewel of Seven Stars by Bram Stoker
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it was ok
bookshelves: literature

1st, let's get this misunderstanding out of the way that Bram Stoker invented the Mummy story ("the curse of the Egyptian mummy formula which it introduced" - Keith Deutsch's afterward in the edition I have; "He did invent the Mummy story, and this is the book that started it." - a quote from another Goodreads review). Theophile Gautier, a French author who died in 1872 (long before "The Jewel of Seven Stars" was written & published) wrote "One of Cleopatra's Nights", "The Evil Eye", &, most importantly, "The Mummy's Foot". This latter is the most relevant here. It's a short story about a man who buys the mummified severed foot of an Egyptian Princess in a curiousity shop. In Stoker's story there's a severed hand of an Egyptian Princess. In Gautier's story the Princess appears in his home & tries to reunite w/ her foot. In Stoker's story, the Princess is reunited w/ her hand by people experimenting w/ reincarnating her. So, no, Stoker didn't invent the genre - more likely he just took Gautier's story & turned it into a novel.

Why did I waste my time reading this? Ok, I read Dracula when I was, maybe, 12 years old. It was the 1st thing I ever read w/ that type of atmosphere & I liked it but I never felt motivated to ever read anything by him again. Since then, it's my feeling, that the vampire theme has been done to death (pun intended, of course). Maybe the reason why it gets brought out so much by Hollywood is to encourage the attraction of young girls for WAY older guys. Hhmm..

So why did I read this? I started reading an H.G.Wells bk & I've been thinking: "Why am I reading this?" so I took a break from reading an English novel 1st published in 1911 to read.. what? an English novel 1st published (according to this edition but contradicted elsewhere) in 1912. Like I don't have anything better to do?! So I figured reading this wd be a quickie, a distraction, some fun, & I'd fill in my knowledge of Stoker a little - in the end, hardly a worthy goal.

In the meantime, the G20 is approaching Pittsburgh, the intensified police state outside is crazy & I'm inside reading this stupid bk. Wch isn't to say that I haven't been participating in G20 protesting-related activities - I have. But, still, there was a big protest today & I didn't even know about it. Sheesh! What a jerk-off I'm becoming.

ANYWAY, is this a review or what? reading bks is usually good for stimulation & even this piece of fluff made me interested in finally reading the Egyptian Book of the Dead or some other such bk that I might learn something about hieroglyphs from. But, really, I don't recommend this to anyone & the large quantity of editions that it's been published in is disgraceful. This was a piece of sensationalist pop crap in its day that's probably best worth forgetting about. In fact, I cd barely care enuf to pay attn while I was reading it &, THEN, the ending was so lame it was pathetic.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
September 20, 2009 – Shelved
September 20, 2009 – Shelved as: literature
September 20, 2009 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-3 of 3 (3 new)

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Brittany Laccetti You must have read the revised copy. The original copy has a "gruesome" ending that Stoker was forced to change because of all the negative reviews.

Tentatively, Convenience Damn! Maybe you're right. The ending of the edition I have has the final 4 paragraph ending begin w/ "In the autumn Margaret and I were married." Is this the censored/revised ending? If so, thanks for letting me know!

Brittany Laccetti The older version has a a chapter called "Powers- Old and New". Basically the unraveling of the mummy and her possessing Margaret's body.

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