Saturday, June 1, 2013
Dracula, by Bram Stoker
Publisher: Barnes & Noble Classics (My copy. Its in the public domain.)
Source: Barnes & Noble
Description: A young solicitor named Johnathan Harker goes to the Carpathians to finalize a real estate deal with Count Dracula. He soon realizes Dracula is a vampire and must help defeat him.
Review: If you've only ever seen film versions, parts of this book may come as a bit of a surprise. Mainly the number of characters and the fact Dracula isn't a suave guy in a tux, but there are a few other things that don't generally make it into film, or into the thousands of works influenced by Dracula. I personally don't recall any other works that bring up vampiric control of moths.
There are a few parts of the book that I did have problems with, that don't get even a cursory explanation. Such as, why is Renfield effected by the presence of Dracula's boxes of earth, before Dracula arrives in London? Why does Dracula seem so focused on one victim at a time? Why does Van Helsing not go through with a planned decapitation of a vampire victim, just because a crucifix was stolen from the corpse? None of them make the story less compelling, but they did all leave me scratching my head.
Despite it's age, being written in epistolary format, and really Victorian attitudes this book is still easily readable by modern audiences. There are a few bits that seem like filler, but most of it moves the story along. Overall, if you have an interest in vampire fiction, you should read this book.