Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Review: Dracula by Bram Stoker

14800993Title: Dracula
Series: n/a
Author: Bram Stoker
Source/Format: Borrowed from the library; Hardcover
More Details: Fantasy; Horror
Publisher/Publication Date: First published 1897

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Synopsis from Goodreads...
Written in the form of letters, diary entries, and news bits, Dracula chronicles the vampire's journey from his Transylvanian castle to the nighttime streets of London. There, he searches for the blood he needs to stay alive - the blood of strong men and beautiful women - while his enemies plot to rid the world of his frightful power. The now-famous cast of characters includes the English solicitor Jonathan Harker; his fiancee, the enchanting Mina Murray; and Van Helsing, the mysterious Dutch doctor and expert vampire killer...
So, Dracula is one classic book I’ve been meaning to read for a very-very long time. I was already familiar with the various adaptations of it, but I’d yet to read the original work. I didn’t get to it before 2018 was over, but in January 2019, I finally read it. I have no idea why I waited so long to read it. However, now I can say I understand why Dracula has remained so well-known and recommended since its initial publication. And while some of the language used is very outdated—as well as some eyebrow-raising and inaccurate medical procedures—the overall story was a solid piece of horror fiction.

Dracula was a long and somewhat complicated book. It was everything I was expecting it to be. Partially run-down and sort of (highly likely) abandoned castle? Check. Forests? Check. Vampires? Triple check.

There were also various odd and inexplicable incidents that happened to Jonathan Harker, and by extension the people he and his fiancĂ©e, Mina Murray, knew. As such, the story was well-suited to the mixed media format of letters, journal entries, and newspaper clippings. Because without the various—and sometimes brief—perspectives, much of the story outside of the experiences of Jonathan, Mina, Lucy, Van Helsing, and others would have been missed entirely. The various incidents only served to build up a, I guess you could call it, psychological aspect to the novel. Dracula—the character—was a suitably creepy antagonist, and there was a constant sense of suspense building over the duration of the book. Those, when combined with the horror elements, made Dracula a page-turner.

Have you read Dracula or seen any of the movies? What do you think about it?

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