Becoming Dracula: The Early Years of Bela Lugosi, Volume 1 (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 onscreen.
“No one has chronicled the life and career of Bela Lugosi with more precision than Gary Rhodes. With Becoming Dracula: The Early Years of Bela Lugosi, Volume One, Rhodes and Bill Kaffenberger detail Lugosi’s heretofore obscure early life in Austria-Hungary with a level of focused research akin to literary paleontology. As fascinating as the future Count Dracula's journey through Europe to America is, Lugosi-philes everywhere will rejoice that there will be a Volume Two continuation!”
– Alan K. Rode, author of Michael Curtiz: A Life in Film (2017)
“The path to becoming a vampire is simplicity itself: one need only fall victim to the notorious Count Dracula. The path that led to becoming Count Dracula, though, was lengthy, arduous, and fraught with disappointment, especially for the noble bloodsucker’s initial cinematic portrayer, Bela Lugosi. Gary D. Rhodes and Bill Kaffenberger have returned to focus their impeccable research and unimpeachable historicity on that path. ‘Tis a path that begs to be followed.”
– John Soister, author of Conrad Veidt on Screen (2009) and Many Selves: The Horror and Fantasy Films of Paul Wegener (2017)