Book 8 Completed
I am totally sad that I didn’t discover this book sooner. Dracula isn’t a totally easy read — there are moments of dryness in the retelling during its 400 pages — but let me tell you: Bram Stoker totally spooked me. That’s pretty impressive considering that the vampire genre is a tad over-played and all those clichés, while new to Stoker’s readers, are as familiar to me as an empty Big Gulp cup with a wad of bubble gum sitting on top (I’m a classy lady).
Sorry Eric from “True Blood”; you may be sexy, but when it comes to seducing sweet young things, Dracula’s gonna outplay you every time.
There is so much to this book. Stoker created atmosphere and mood; the howling wolves, the fog and bats, Renfield’s spider and fly collection; the suspense of Lucy’s fall into vampirism. This is a story well crafted. The characters are…well, they’re your run-of-the-mill Victorian/Romantic folk. You know, dapper young men and Christian-like young women. Although, Mina Harker is easily one of the first female heroines in literature and by heroine I mean that she is a complex lady with a brain. Stoker doesn’t do a lot in trying to make vampires sympathetic. It’s pretty clear that Dracula is evil – plain and simple. It’s refreshing that you don’t have any watered down vampires in Transylvania — he just wants to kill you. Or turn you into a zombie bride.
The thing that’s great about this book is that it has levels. And not in-your-face levels too. You can read it as a social commentary on women in the Victorian era; you can read it as a morality tale. You can also sit back and enjoy this story. It’s not great literature – the person who wrote the commentary for my version kept attacking Stoker’s attempt at colloquial language and basically said, “He’s no Henry James. But he sure does tell a good story.” He does tell a good story and it kept me reading. So, go Van Helsing!