Dracula

by Bram Stoker

{ 1897 | Archibald Constable and Company | 448 pgs }

Having never seen any Dracula movies, I knew only the basics of the original story: there’s a vampire named Dracula.

Not much to go on, really. But the book was fascinating. The plot is told through first-person narration by many of the characters as they keep diaries or journals, and also contains relevant news clippings or communications that the characters collect. And really, the story was so much more than just “a vampire named Dracula.” Although the first quarter of the book takes place in Dracula’s castle, the Count himself makes very few appearances after that. And aside from the antagonist there isn’t one main character; rather, the group of individuals who are trying to stop Dracula make up the protagonists.

I was surprised that I enjoyed Dracula so much. You’ve heard that Mark Twain quote about classics, right? “A classic is a book everyone wants to have read and no one wants to read”? I feel that way about most 19th century books. The writing style tends to be a lot harder to navigate (for me, at least), particularly when authors insist on paragraphs that go on for pages. I’ve never cared much for lengthy narration without some interesting dialogue. And that’s what I expected from Dracula – but I was wrong. Because the book is narrated in first-person, and each of the characters is attempting an authentic record of events, the writing is simple and there is plenty of dialogue. The only complaint I had was the writing and speaking of Van Helsing was in ridiculously broken English. Baa. I always felt like someone had made a bunch of typos.

That being said, I found the plot fascinating, though I am left to wonder how on earth (or why) so many of the Dracula movies are R-rated. The book is minimally violent, given the presence of a vampire, and it’s extremely religious. But who am I to say anything when Hollywood has already spoken?

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One thought on “Dracula

  1. Katie says:

    Now I’m even more excited to read this. I snagged it off of book mooch awhile back. I got interested in reading it after reading The Historian. I’m glad you liked this book, I’ll have to make time (sooner than I thought) to read this!

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