Becoming Dracula: The Early Years of Bela Lugosi, Volume 2 (hardback)
Nominated for the Rondo Award!
The cobwebs of time and space are finally cleared. Drawing on years of research
across four countries, excavating and analyzing thousands of yellowed documents
in archives as well as every digitized source, Gary D. Rhodes and Bill Kaffenberger
shine light from their candelabrum onto a long-forgotten past, onto the creation
of a legend. Becoming Dracula is a two-volume biography covering Bela Lugosi’s life
from his birth to 1930, when he first played the famous vampire on screen.
“Dracula left his native land and crossed the waters by ship in search of fresh killing fields. Bela Lugosi headed for America not looking for blood but for a fresh start. Gary D. Rhodes and Bill Kaffenberger, with their usual precise and careful scholarship, chronicle Lugosi’s attempts to establish himself on stage and screen in his new homeland. While fans might think they are familiar with this period in Bela’s life, this excellently written book will provide them with many surprises and an astonishing amount of detail.”
– Henry Nicolella, author of Frank Wisbar (McFarland, 2017) and Many Selves: The Horror and Fantasy Films of Paul Wegener (BearManor Media, 2017)
“By presenting a staggering wealth of well researched details, Gary D. Rhodes and Bill Kaffenberger create not only the context but the humanity of Lugosi becoming Dracula. Their portrait-in-words is nuanced, revealing and sympathetic, but still preserves the mystery and majesty of this most charismatic of actors. They introduce the reader to the Hungarian-American subculture in which Lugosi found himself when he arrived on the shores of the United States. Lugosi was initially the big fish in that small pond, but the authors portray his emergence into the vast ocean of Broadway and Hollywood and the fascination Lugosi created with his unique presence there.”
– Steve Haberman, screenwriter of Dracula: Dead and Loving It (1995) and author of Silent Screams: The History of the Silent Horror Film (Midnight Marquee, 2010)