“The vampire novel that started it all, Bram Stoker’s Dracula probes deeply into human identity, sanity, and the dark corners of Victorian sexuality and desire. When Jonathan Harker visits Transylvania to help Count Dracula purchase a London house, he makes horrifying discoveries about his client. Soon afterward, disturbing incidents unfold in England—an unmanned ship is wrecked at Whitby, strange puncture marks appear on a young woman’s neck, and a lunatic asylum inmate raves about the imminent arrival of his “Master”—culminating in a battle of wits between the sinister Count and a determined group of adversaries.”
What I thought:
I always find it harder to review classics, because you’ve either read this already, or you haven’t but know what it’s about anyway because everyone does but don’t care to read it for various reasons. No one’s going to be surprised if I say that Dracula is the original vampire novel, right?
So I won’t bore you with what the book is about, and hop straight to the review 🙂 If you do have questions about the plot, ask away.
(Oh, also, I was an idiot and forgot to note down quotes for this review, so it’ll lack in that regard. What I do have might include spoilers, so be careful with them)
I loved the first few chapters, especially Harker’s journey to Dracula’s castle. I did roll my eyes a couple of times thinking ‘ugh, cliche’, and then remembered that Bram Stoker is the genius who invented these cliches. So if this seems full of cliches to you remember it’s only because everyone else copied him 😛
The only bits I wasn’t sure about were Mina’s diary entries, but later on it became clear how they were relevant.
I am too miserable, too low-spirited, too sick of the world and all in it, including life itself, that I would not care if I heard this moment the flapping of the wings of the angel of death. And he has been flapping those grim wings to some purpose of late – Lucy’s mother and Arthur’s father, and now…
When I read classics, I always worry that the writing style will be too different to modern novels and that I’ll struggle to get into it because of this, but that wasn’t the case here. Dracula was easy to read and follow (a few paragraphs written in heavy accent notwithstanding) and even though the writing obviously isn’t modern, I didn’t find it difficult. The paragraphs spanning an entire page could have been shorter, but the story was engaging enough that they didn’t bug me too much. The descriptions were beautifully atmospheric and made it easy to imagine everything in vivid detail.
The only thing that surprised me which you might not expect is that Dracula himself doesn’t feature more. He acts behind the scenes throughout the book and is behind just about every event, but he doesn’t appear actively often. Everything happens because he makes it happen, but he possibly has the fewest lines out of all the characters.
Reading a book knowing it’s the story that started all these other incredible stories was special, and I think I enjoyed it for that alone. It’s not often you read a book that created a genre!
If you’ve been wanting to read more classics and like horror or vampire books, this could be an excellent starting point. The writing is easy to follow, the plot engaging, and it is the vampire novel that started it all 😉
Have you read Dracula? Get some cookies, drop me a comment and let’s get this book club going!
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