am 23. Juli 2000
"Hither the Gods come not at any summons. The Nameless One has insulted them and is forever alone. Go not nigh, lest their vengeance wither you away!"
There are certain story elements I can't resist: Egyptology is one of them. Throw in a mummy's curse and I can be convinced to do all sorts of reckless things--like buying SPHINX, that appalling movie with Lesley-Anne Down. Thus I came to read THE JEWEL OF SEVEN STARS even though it was written by Bram Stoker, the author of DRACULA (vampires being one of my least favorite story elements).
Originally published in 1903, JEWEL tells the story of barrister Malcolm Ross who is summoned in the dead of night by a mysterious letter from lovely Margaret Trelawny, the daughter of a famed Egyptologist. Mr. Trelawny has sunk into a trance-like state following an attack by an unknown assailant--the only clue, the lingering odor of "Nard and Circassia's balmy smells." Trelawny has left strict instructions that in the event of such an attack he is never to be left alone, and no one must remove the peculiar Egyptian bangle around his wrist.
Slowly, with dragging mummy footsteps, this horror classic journeys its restrained way to its inevitable climax. Though possibly a bit slow and bloodless for modern audiences, I think Stoker gets full marks. True, the characters are recognizable Edwardian stereotypes: the blushing, virginal heroine, the stalwart hero, the obsessed patriarch, etc. Nor is there much mystery as to where this is all leading. All the same, JEWEL is an entertaining read; the ideal choice for a muggy summer night. A number of scenes, like the discovery of the tomb in the cliffs and the story's final tragic zenith, remain in one's memory like the persistent scent of bitumen drifting in an open window...
am 13. Oktober 1998
This book starts very well, the middle is full of suspense, and the last scenes are griping, just the end leaves you wanting more. If you are a fan of Bram Stoker you'll really enjoy this, he frames the ere scenes so well you are suspicious of every- one and thing. I could choke on the air in the house where it takes place. I couldn't walk through the Egyptian exhibit at the museum without getting the creeps after reading this book. It does have some drawbacks, but is much better then Stokers "The Lair of the white Worm", because he doesn't rely on psychological symbolism to much. You'll definitely want to know what's going to happen next. The 1970's movie is not very good.
am 28. Mai 1999
None of Stoker's other works can match "Dracula," but this one is pretty darn good. Great atmosphere, and the plot's faults (a little cluttered and repetitive) can be seen as strengthening the presence of the house itself, shut up and cluttered with Egyptian relics as it is. The ending is equivocal, but, I thought, very satisfying -- I won't give anything away but I believe you have to think twice to understand what really happened, more like Henry James than typical Bram Stoker.