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I, Strahd: The Memoirs of a Vampire: Ravenloft: Strahd, Book 1 | [P. N. Elrod]

I, Strahd: The Memoirs of a Vampire: Ravenloft: Strahd, Book 1

Some of the parchment pages were the color of cream, thick and substantial, made to last many, many lifetimes. Other pages were thin and desiccated, positively yellow from age, and crackled alarmingly as Van Richten turned them over. There were no ornate illuminations, no fussy borders, only lines of plain text in hard black ink. The flowing handwriting was a bit difficult to follow at first; the writer's style of calligraphy had not been in common use for 300 years. No table of contents, but from the dates it looked to be some kind of history.
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Publisher's Summary

Some of the parchment pages were the color of cream, thick and substantial, made to last many, many lifetimes. Other pages were thin and desiccated, positively yellow from age, and crackled alarmingly as Van Richten turned them over. There were no ornate illuminations, no fussy borders, only lines of plain text in hard black ink. The flowing handwriting was a bit difficult to follow at first; the writer's style of calligraphy had not been in common use for 300 years. No table of contents, but from the dates it looked to be some kind of history. He turned to the first page and read:

I, Strahd, Lord of Barovia, well aware certain events of my reign have been desperately misunderstood by those who are better at garbling history than recording it, hereby set down an exact record of those events, that the truth may at last be known....

He caught his breath. By all the good gods, a personal journal?

©1993 TSR, Inc., 2006 Wizards of the Coast, Inc. (P)2012 Audible, Inc.

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  •  
    Susan 01-29-14
    Susan 01-29-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
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    "Not your normal paranormal story...."
    If you could sum up I, Strahd: The Memoirs of a Vampire in three words, what would they be?

    Intense, logical and riveting.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The story works- yes, it's a vampire story, so there are parts you have to suspend belief in reality some, but it's a sensible suspension, a logical thing. The intensity of the characters, the building of the story made me stay with it and waiting for the next part. The viewpoint is from the main character and remains true to his station and background, and historically, is pretty true to the times.

    The emotional content is also fierce, as is the main character, so you would expect no less. Sex, often over used in many novels, is almost not here at all, except for alluding to , not describing it. I'm not a prude by a long shot, but it was nice the author didn't just put in excess sex scenes that didn't work in this story as per the times and mores, and that the story ran smoothly for that exclusion in this book. This was a book more about revenge than sex,but love plays a role, too.

    It held my attention all the way through the book and I'll look for the next one.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The entire book was excellent, no one scene was the "everything" scene and all downhill after that.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    No, but I could "see" the characters, wonderfully detailed and yet not bogged down.


    Any additional comments?

    Worth the money.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Think about this 01-28-14 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A good gothic vampire story"

    This is a wonderful narrative about the becoming of a vampire, and why, as told by the vampire himself. He's an evil entity, but you can't help but feel compassion for the guy, as true love drags him into the depths of hell. Which is a good complement for the author, because Strahd, the commander is heartless, but you understand why he is the way he is, and how that makes him a good ruler of Ravenloft. His downfall is falling in love, giving up his soul and humanity, for 'His heart's Desire", thus the painful existence begins for an eternity. The narrator does an excellent job taking you back hundreds of years to hear the story, kinda gives you the same feel as "Interview with the Vampire" from Anne Rice.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan Bartonville, TX 03-22-14
    Susan Bartonville, TX 03-22-14 Member Since 2012

    Myst/thrillers and ✨fun fantasies✨are my favorites but always open for a good story.  

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Marvelous Memiors"

    I was not expecting to like this book as much as I did. I found it rather interesting how in the Ravenloft series each book is written by a different author. In this addition Strahd Von Zarovich has lead his men through the war and now they are on their way to claim his land and property. When he arrives at his newly acquired castle his younger brother is there to greet him along with some of the locals. The two brothers eventually fall in love with the same young girl and because Strahd is so much older she chooses, falls in love, and plans to marry Strahd's younger brother. He is heartbroken and in a desperate hour tries to evoke black magic. This is when he is approached by what he considers "death itself", and is promised that he will have all of his hearts desires for a price; in his weekend state he accepts. Strahd is forever changed and lives an endless life in search of his one true love until.....

    All in all a pretty good, non sappy vampire story that is a definite throw back to the old, scary kinds of the undead. Paul Boehmer does a great job with the narration. I was not aware until I was finished listening that he also narrates the Nicholas Flamel Series.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard Chung West Covina, CA United States 04-10-14
    Richard Chung West Covina, CA United States 04-10-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    "A fantastic story brought to life!"
    Would you listen to I, Strahd: The Memoirs of a Vampire again? Why?

    Yes, the story is incredible and engaging.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of I, Strahd: The Memoirs of a Vampire?

    From the first few pages, the reader quickly gets into the heart of the Ravenloft world...


    Any additional comments?

    As nice as Paul Boehmer's voice was, the original (abridged) version with Roddy McDowall was PERFECT. I really wish McDowall would have read an unabridged version of the book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ryan Conrad bismarck, ND United States 03-15-14
    Ryan Conrad bismarck, ND United States 03-15-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Love it...just one complaint...."
    Would you listen to I, Strahd: The Memoirs of a Vampire again? Why?

    Yes, definitely


    What other book might you compare I, Strahd: The Memoirs of a Vampire to and why?

    Gene DeWesse's King of the Dead and Lord of the Necropolis. As well as the anthology called Tales of Ravenloft.....but sadly, see below....


    What about Paul Boehmer’s performance did you like?

    very adequately done, hard to compare to the abridged version read by the late incomparable Roddy McDowell though.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I actually did listen to this in one sitting.


    Any additional comments?

    By far one of my favorite books. I can't tell you how often I had listened to the abridged audio read by Roddy McDowell. I actually have the first 20 or so pages memorized I have read this so much. My only real complaint isn't so much about this book, as it is about the series. I, Strahd 2: The War Against Azalin is offered on Audible, but the two excellent Azalin books written by Gene DeWeese are not. The second book in the series ties directly into events from both Strahd novels. Likewise other "iconic" Ravenloft novels as well as ones for other lesser known Dungeons & Dragons worlds like Spelljammer, Planescape and Darksun are also missing. I feel like these should be added. At the very least the books I mentioned by Gene DeWeese, the excellent and rare anthology called Tales of Ravenloft which has another Strahd short story in it, as well as books from different worlds by J Robert King, Simon Hawke, and Nigel Findley should be added. I urge fans of these books or even the curious to request them through audible. Hopefully someone will listen to us some day.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. 03-04-14
    J. 03-04-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Best book I've read years"
    What made the experience of listening to I, Strahd: The Memoirs of a Vampire the most enjoyable?

    It moves along quickly, more drama than neck-biting. It moves quickly I've had to read it three times.


    What other book might you compare I, Strahd: The Memoirs of a Vampire to and why?

    I've been a Tom Clancy , Dan Brown, and reading latest on Kennedy killing so I can't compare the books. The right Kennedy book is book but I would love to have one of the vampires bite LBJ and HH.


    Have you listened to any of Paul Boehmer’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No, but I'll try one now I do hope there are follow ups to this one.


    Any additional comments?

    Great book. Oh, I'm 65 years old .

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kevin GILROY, CA, United States 02-17-14
    Kevin GILROY, CA, United States 02-17-14 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    12
    2
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    "An interesting take on a darklord"
    What does Paul Boehmer bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    The narrator does a good job most of the time. The accents are enjoyable and you get some good swapping between characters with the voices the narrator tries. The one issue I have is that Boehmer's voice is somewhat stilted in some of them like he's trying to enunciate too much, you can ignore it most of the time, but there were a few points where it bugged me a little.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The moment when it becomes clear just how Strahd's curse is going to work. You just know he's screwed and this will only end badly for him and his insane delusion that he will succeeded after the failures start being measured in the triple digits.


    Any additional comments?

    I'd recommend it, it was an interesting book to listen too.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thomas Norrtalje, Sweden 09-20-13
    Thomas Norrtalje, Sweden 09-20-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
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    5
    5
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    1
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    "An excellent classic vampire story"
    Would you consider the audio edition of I, Strahd: The Memoirs of a Vampire to be better than the print version?

    I don't know. I haven't read the print version.


    What other book might you compare I, Strahd: The Memoirs of a Vampire to and why?

    Brad Stoker's Dracula unsurprisingly


    Which scene was your favorite?

    In this book, the moment Strahd finds Tatianna's killer and condemns him to a nightmarish death.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    The same as the book's undertitle, because it mostly just explores how Strahd became a vampire and how it was being an vampire.


    Any additional comments?

    This book is good, but the second book is even better. It's worth listening to this just to be able to listen to the sequel.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda Knoxville, TN, United States 02-07-14
    Linda Knoxville, TN, United States 02-07-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    45
    ratings
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    214
    95
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    3
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    "OMG! Yes! Excellent!"

    I had only vague knowledge of the Ravenloft world. I think I played in one game set in it. But I know many who love it, so I thought I would give this book a try Strahd is a long standing fixture of that world. I wasn't sure what to expect from it and after having listened to some of the books on Lord Soth (one of my favorite characters) and having them be huge disappointments, I wasn't really sure this one would be a good either.

    OH how wrong I was. The Narration was phenomenal. Exactly what you would expect from the reading of an ancient vampires personal journal of his life. The tone, the inflections, it just fit, I felt like I was truly listening to Strahd tell his story.

    The story of Strahd, is fairly similar to that of Vlad Dracul / Dracula, different names of places and peoples, some similar enough to make it noticeable, but different enough to keep you engaged even if you know the story. I do not know enough about the Ravenloft world to say if the book follows the story in the games of that world. But it is a good tale in and of itself, rich in details and emotions. Full of background and well developed characters with history to them.

    I highly recommend it. It is not long and I finished it in a single day as it kept me well entertained and I am grabbing the second one now.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 02-05-14

    I grew up on Golden Age Radio, and while I love to read, I typically consume more books via audio thanks to a job that lets me listen while I work. As an aspiring writer, I try to read a great deal of non-fiction in addition to a variety of fictional genres. I especially love history, historical fiction, science fiction, fantasy, and old-style gothic horror.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Derivative, But Fun"

    With the atmosphere and trappings of Stoker's Dracula, combined with the autobiographical bent of Rice's Interview with the Vampire, this Ravenloft tie-in novel is the first of the books in Strahd's "journal." If you're looking for originality, don't look here. Then again, if you're looking for originality, why are you reading vampire novels? What you will find here is a well-written Gothic novel with all of the classic bits in place. It's quick and fun read, pure and simple, and serves (as all tie-ins do) to breathe life into the Ravenloft campaign setting, if you'll pardon the unintentional pun.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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