It is perhaps one of the best known and most influential novels in all of literature: 1897's Dracula didn't merely inspire countless adaptations for stage and film, it invented an entire genre of horror: the vampire story, which continues to evolve today into wildly varied directions, from noir detective pastiches (the vampire as night-owl P.I.) to tween romances (the vampire as dreamy but distant boyfriend). Anyone who wants to know where it all began must read this 1897 work, still startling and still terrifying even today. The story of English solicitor Jonathan Harker and his strange new client, Transylvanian aristocrat Count Dracula, this is the classic work of Victorian gothic horror, the continuing eerie wellspring of many of our cultural fantasies and nightmares. Irish author ABRAHAM STOKER (1847-1912) worked for more than a quarter of a century as manager of the West End's Lyceum Theatre, which drew him into London's literary and artists circles; he was a friend of such luminaries as writer Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and painter James Abbott McNeill Whistler. Stoker is also the author of The Lair of the White Worm (1911), among other books.