Review of Bram Stoker’s “Dracula”

DraculaTitle: Dracula
Author: Bram Stoker
Release Date: May 26, 1897
Genre: Gothic, Horror
Pages: 554

DRACULA is an 1897 Gothic horror novel by Irish author Bram Stoker. Famous for introducing the character of the vampire Count Dracula, the novel tells the story of Dracula’s attempt to move from Transylvania to England so he may find new blood and spread the undead curse, and the battle between Dracula and a small group of men and women led by Professor Abraham Van Helsing. DRACULA has been assigned to many literary genres including vampire literature, horror fiction, the gothic novel and invasion literature. Although Stoker did not invent the vampire, he defined its modern form, and the novel has spawned numerous theatrical, film and television interpretations.

Classic Challenge – Book Review by Wendy

I was excited to read Dracula.  I admit, I am one of those fans of a certain overly promoted series of books revolving around vampires and werewolves. I never went full out fan-girl and never backed either Team Edward or Team Jacob, but I loved their supernatural world, the characters and their relationships….preferably the book versions over the movie versions. Either way, that story and those relatable characters were easy to visualize, much in the same way that I connected to the story and characters in Dracula.  It could very well be because Dracula seems to be a basis of vampire legacy and pieces of Bram Stoker’s story have been told, retold, altered and embellished since its inception.

Bram Stoker weaves together an intricate retelling of this complicated story through journal entries, letters, diary pages, published news articles and doctor’s notes.  The first four chapters begin with Jonathan Harker’s journal entries and kept me captivated.  I was at a loss when the story changed from primarily his perspective in the Transylvania castle to the characters back in England!  For me, the book hit a lull for a time initially after this transition, but only until I found myself again engrossed with the events and emotions of the English personalities. The story is cleverly written and I loved seeing how events unfolded to incorporate the full story.   Even though the unspeakable horrors Jonathan experienced and witnessed in Transylvania are addressed, we never did get all the details or learn how he managed to get out of that evil castle, ALIVE and return to England.

I agree with Audrey, the very proper and antiquated speech can read like another language at times.  While reading, if I need to regularly refer to a dictionary my fascination tends to fizzle-out and my mind wanders.  Although I love Dr. Van Helsing, he can be quite a wind-bag (no disrespect intended).  In fact one of his own quotes from this very book sums up much of his monologue tendencies…”Alas, but that sentence is a puddle is it not?” 

Because I have read, watched and heard plenty of vampire stories, I had an idea of how this book would end…Wow! I was so wrong! I LOVED that I incorrectly predicted the ending to this legendary folktale. I won’t recap the ending in case there is anyone reading this who hasn’t yet read Dracula, but I will say it was a welcomed surprise.

Wendy’s Rating: 5/6

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