Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Book Review of Dracula by Bram Stoker
Author: Bram Stoker
Publisher: Barnes and Noble Books
Type of book: Vampires, supernatural, epistolary, horror, Harker, Dracula, Britain, 1890s, friendship, Eastern Europe
Year it was published: 1897 (version I have 1992)
"The girl went on her knees, and bent over me, simply gloating. There was a deliberate voluptuousness which was both thrilling and repulsive, and as she arched her neck she actually licked her lips like an animal... I could feel the soft, shivering touch of the lips on my throat, and the hard dents of two sharp teeth, just touching and pausing there."
Johnathan Harker, a solicitor's clerk from London, travels to Transylvania to settle some business with the mysterious Count Dracula. In England, Harker's fiancee, Mina, receives a visit from the Count as does her friend Lucy. Harker returns from his traumatic journey and joins Dr. Van Helsing on a "vampire hunt" in an attempt to rescue his beloved Mina.
Dracula. By day he sleeps in a tomb beneath his desolate castle. By night he stalks the countryside, driven by a supernatural and deadly hunger. His quiet smile hides canine teeth. His seemingly delicate, white hands are in fact coarse and broad with hairy palms and nails cut to a razor-fine point. His touch yields an uncontrollalbe shudder. His sustenance is the life-blood of others. His victims become helpless under his hypnotic spell. There is no escape from this evil being who inhabits the shadows of the dark and dismal night. Beware of the "ever-present blackness" and "shadows of the evening:" Dracula is a vision of your "ghostly fears" coming to life.
Flat and boring characters as well as never ending mentions of how they are great friends and how great Mina is and all the other things. Unfortunately they couldn't keep my interest thus my mind purged the bile and nothing really remains of the characters. (Perhaps the bad book version of repressed memories.)
Superstitions are life-saving.
This is an epistolary novel and its written in first person narrative from multiple characters' points of views. I barely understood anything that was going on, and the language was really mind numbing and somehow this became an extremely boring novel that I was only too happy to be finished with.
Bram Stoker was born in Dublin in 1847. He attended Dublin University where he studied mathematics. Stoker spent ten years working as an Irish Civil Servant in Dublin, writting only in his spare time. For five years he wrote for the Dublin Mail as a drama critic. He became friends with the actor Henry Irving and later became his manager. His other notable works were The Jewel of Seven Stars (a novel) and Personal Reminiscences of Henry Irving. Dracula is his most famous work and was published in 1897. He died in London in 1912.
Another victim of casualty of time. When I first read it as a teenager I enjoyed it and thought it was too short. Just like a story I keep telling over and over, now I find it confusing as well as boring and offensive. Really? Only crosses have any protection against supernatural? Why as well did Dracula originate from Eastern Europe and people there described as backwards and superstitious? Why did the western men have to play the savior role? 98 percent of the book promoted Great Britain as well as the men and women who lived there. What was so great about Mina? I really don't understand what. Maybe its because everyone kept saying that that caused me to role my eyes to the sky and wonder if I'll see the shooting stars. (Nope, never saw any so far.) Something that irked me is what is Dr. Seward's name; is it John or Jack? The last few chapters, desperate to get done with the book, I skimmed or speed read through. I would have liked to know how and why it was discovered he was a vampire and so forth, as well as what happened to Jonathan during the months he was absent, but nothing like that occurs.
1 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)