Cover image for The journal of Professor Abraham Van Helsing
The journal of Professor Abraham Van Helsing
Kupfer, Allen C. (Allen Conrad)
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Forge, [2004]

Physical Description:
204 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
General Note:
"A Tom Doherty Associates book."
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
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Item Holds
FICTION Adult Fiction Fantasy

On Order



Professor Abraham Van Helsing was the fictional creation of Bram Stoker for his dark work of fantasy Dracula--or was he?
Fragments of a recently discovered journal suggest otherwise.
For the first time, in his own words, the legendary vampire hunter tells his own story
- his background and early years
- his research in Rumania and the Mideast
- his medical work
-and most importantly his discovery of perhaps the greatest threat to man's dominion on earth, vampires.
Filled with data to inform, and tips to educate, the journal is more than a study of vampirism. It is also the story of a man's obsession with eradicating the world of its greatest scourge, a dark evil that claimed his wife in its thrall.
Working with the textural fragments he inherited from his grandfather, Professor Allen Conrad Kupfer, has managed to piece together the story behind the story that did not begin and end with Bram Stoker's" Dracula."

Author Notes

Allen C. Kupfer is a professor at Nassau Community College and specializes in film and literature studies particularly within the horror genreand has also sold several short stories. He lives in Floral Park, New York.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

In the introduction,upfer asserts that he found this journal, complete with notes from his grandfather, Daniel, in his grandmother's house after she died. The journal begins with Van Helsing's first exposure to vampires, when he attends a lecture given by a Dr. Borescu. Leaving his beloved wife, Rita, in Amsterdam, Van Helsing travels with Borescu back to his native Romania, where the skeptical professor has a face-to-face encounter with a lovely but deadly vampiress known as Malia. After tragedy strikes in Romania, Van Helsing leaves for home by train. When vampires attack the train, it appears that Malia is not going to let Van Helsing go without a fight. He arrives home only to face a great personal tragedy and the realization that he may never be able to escape the vampires. The journal format recalls that of Dracula, and with a movie about Van Helsing (unrelated to this book) due in May,upfer's spooky, atmospheric novel appeals to the film's prospective fans as well as devotees of Stoker's book. --Kristine Huntley Copyright 2004 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

Spoof, send-up or wannabe spook tale, this addition to the "vampire culture" that Kupfer claims is all too real today attempts to go for the throat but misses any vital artery. This slim novel purportedly contains an 1886 diary by the famous vampire hunter Van Helsing of Dracula fame, annotated by Kupfer's long-lost grandpa and unearthed in Kupfer's grandmother's attic. Clearly smitten by Keats's "Lamia" and "La Belle Dame Sans Merci" (Swinburne's overheated Lady of Pain), as well as by Lord Byron's darker proclivities, Kupfer struggles to give Van Helsing's jumpy journal entries a credible 19th-century flavor, though occasional flare-ups of Americanisms dilute the Transylvanian atmospherics. Kupfer's narrative professorial persona also updates his various subnarrators' tales with pseudo-scholarly footnotes that include an evidently irresistible whack or two at stingy academic administrators. Van Helsing's diary includes entries both before and after his London adventure that resulted in the gory destruction of Dracula, recounted far more satisfactorily by Bram Stoker. Embellished with befanged drawings signed "V.H.," Kupfer's little tale has all the depth of a comic book-without any of its whiz-bang pop art fascination. (Apr. 27) Forecast: The publisher has shrewdly timed this book's release with that of the film Van Helsing, which promises to be one of the summer's blockbusters. Expect a lift from film-goers who don't realize the two are unrelated. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Kupfer (film & literature studies, Nassau Community Coll., Garden City, NY) draws on fragments of a journal he inherited from his grandfather to cobble together this semiautobiographical novel. In it, English professor Allen Kupfer finds an old diary hidden in his late grandmother's attic. When he spies the name of Abraham Van Helsing, he immediately recognizes it as that of the vampire hunter from Bram Stoker's classic novel, Dracula. As he reads the journal, with its intriguing pen and ink drawings and margin notations by Daniel Kupfer (the author Allen's real-life grandfather), he becomes convinced that it is not a hoax but truly Dr. Van Helsing's disturbing account of his battle to eradicate the undead from this world. Although most of the events take place before and after Stoker's novel, the author deftly weaves the two stories together. This eerie, well-crafted tale of a vampire underworld and, with few exceptions, a blithely unbelieving human populace allows readers to suspend disbelief easily. It is worth noting that May will see the release of a major film titled Van Helsing starring Hugh Jackman, thus possibly translating into high demand for this book.-Patricia Altner, Information Seekers, Columbia, MD (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



THE JOURNAL OF PROFESSOR ABRAHAM VAN HELSING (Entry One) JULY 19, 1885 On this day I return to my home from a series of lectures on diseases and folklore that was delivered in the Ukraine at St. Peter's Hospital. I have always felt that there was more to what is commonly called "the folk cure"--the uses of herbs, animal products, even fetishistic objects--than my more distinguished and overly cautious colleagues in the medical profession. And while there was much of interest presented by eminent doctors who spent their time ridiculing the "people's" remedies--through rational, logical, and very clinical scientific means--I found myself much more interested in those homespun curatives that they could not with any certainty disprove. While I have never been prone to fanciful theories of medicine, I am not so set in my ways and methods that I would automatically discount new ideas, no matter how strange some of them might initially seem. For example, what do we physicians truly understand of the human mind? This being one of my areas of expertise, I can honestly say that while our research and literature into the troubles of the brain constantly grow, this field of study remains in its infancy, although I hear there is much work now being done in this area, particularly in Austria, the birth-country of my good friend Dr. Daniel Kupfer. So while I consider myself rather conservative regarding surgery and the prescribing of medicines, I am very interested in alternative approaches and methodology. It is through ideas inside and outside the canon that new and better medicine can be developed and practiced. [Dr. Van Helsing was the least conservative physician I have known since my days as a medical student. He not only listened to wild ideas regarding medicine; he sought them out. Today, some of those he sought out do not seem as wild. I have seen them put into play.--DK] Among the most intriguing presentations at St. Peter's was a lecture by one Dr. Radu Borescu, of Genesa, Hungary. He spoke of the people of his homeland's fears of the contagion of vampirism. I must admit that when he commenced his speech, I chuckled along with most of the physicians and other learned men in attendance, but the longer he spoke, the less skeptical I grew. It seems--according to the good doctor--that a type of plague has been spreading throughout his homeland, a disease of the blood that left its victims pale, at times comatose; but on other occasions it seemed to affect their minds to the point that they would become violent, even homicidal, and the infected would attempt to willfully spread the disease to others. Dr. Borescu explained that recorded cases of this malady had been growing in frequency for the last few decades, though there were rumored cases in existence for hundreds of years, the earliest of which was during the war against the Turks. He theorized that the contagion might have been brought into the neighboring Rumanian districts of Wallachia and Transylvania either by the Turks themselves or by returning Crusaders who might have been knowingly or even unknowingly infected. The good doctor's audience was attentive until he described what he referred to as nosferatu--I guess at the spelling of this term here--which he described as "the dead who walked." A particularly rude French colleague of mine, Dr. François DeMande, who specialized in dispositional disorders affecting the liver, sarcastically asked him if these "walking dead" were treated in public hospitals at public expense or if they could retain employment, and if they maintained all the rights and privileges of other citizens as least as they applied to Hungary. Dr. Borescu, not surprisingly, responded by calling the Frenchman "a closed-minded, effete snob." And he did so in what seemed to me to be flawless French. He then ignored the question and proceeded with his lecture, adding a strong comment that it was a great mistake to mock those things in our existence with which we are unfamiliar or that we do not understand due to our own ignorance. These last five words were clearly directed to the Frenchman, at whom he stared as he said them. But Dr. DeMande* had done the damage and changed the mood. Dr. Borescu lost his audience one by one until only I and Dr. Powers, a noted British physician whose studies on physical stress I was well acquainted with, remained. Dr. Powers nodded gratitude to his Hungarian colleague, but finally left quietly. I, on the other hand, approached Dr. DeMande, now, except for myself, alone in the great auditorium. I shook his hand, apologized as well as I could for my colleagues, and invited the man out to dinner. To my surprise, he evidently felt no humiliation whatsoever; rather, he explained that he was quite used to the reception he had received. Then, mentioning that there was thankfully usually at least one person at these colloquia who would not treat him as a charlatan, he accepted my invitation to sup. THE JOURNAL OF PROFESSOR ABRAHAM VAN HELSING Copyright © 2004 by Bill Fawcett & Associates Excerpted from The Journal of Professor Abraham Van Helsing by Allen Conrad Kupfer, Allen C. Kupfer All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.