The original unabridged classic Vampire story by Bram Stoker.
Nosferatu, vrolok, demon---For centuries he has ruled armies of wolves, hordes of rats, legions of walking undead. He becomes a bat, a shadow, a moonbeam. He corrupts the pure and destroys the innocent. He enters dreams and torments minds. Now he means to take our world and feast forever on our blood.
But six people have faced his horror--and lived! Six mortals desperate enough to hunt him, to dare his evil. Mina Harker, whose coruage saved her husband from madness; lawyer Jonathan Harker, who unwittingly set him loose; millionaire adventurer Quincey Morris, Lord Godalming, and Dr. John Seward, who were forced to kill the woman they all loved . . . twice.
And Van Helsing, Professor Abraham Van Helsing, who alone knows his immortal ways, who knows the true danger to the hunters' lives and souls, who alone knows what it means to challenge the evil of DRACULA!
I was completely underwhelmed to be quite honest. The plot moves so slowly, and way too much of the book is dedicated to the various characters talking about why the other characters are so awesomely virtuous and admirable. The book finally picks up a little towards then end, but the final showdown with Dracula... wow.. That's it? Really? the book just kind of ends with a thud.
The Penguin edition was good because it had extensive end notes that explained some of the archaic language and gives some additional background. I ended up using two bookmarks while I read -- one for the main story, and another in the notes section.
If you like to read classics, this is it! Written in 1897 by the Irish Bram Stoker, it is a wonderful way to "stretch" your vocabulary and understanding of classics. "A classic, through its enduring presence, has withstood the test of time and is not bound by time, place, or customs. It speaks to us today as forcefully as it spoke to people one hundred or more years ago, and as forcefully as it will speak to people of future generations. For this reason, a classic is said to have universality." "DRACULA" contains the following characteristics: the use of intense emotion, the evocation of fear, impressive and frequently gloomy architecture, a woman who needs rescued, an evil, lustful villain, supernatural occurrences....a typical Gothic novel, as stated in the book's "Reading Pointers for Sharper Insights". Many of us have seen a "Dracula" movie of one sort or another and we think we know the story. We don't. I loved that this original story takes us from the beginning and fills in the blanks. Great Glossary and Vocabulary at back. Perfect time of year to drink a Bloody Mary and read this well written spooky story!
Bram Stoker's 1897 classic was a wonderful Halloween reading treat. Told through journal entries, letters, and newspaper clippings, the tale of Count Dracula takes some abrupt twists and turns, especially as Transylvania segues to the shores of England and the quest to destroy the Undead nears its end. I found the plot pleasantly suspenseful (and it would have been even more so if the story had not permeated the popular imagination), and the characters exude a sense of camaraderie. Beyond a good Gothic story, those interested in gender roles, Victorian nationalistic tensions, science versus superstition, and madness will find the story ripe for analysis.
This was a surprisingly enjoyable read, even for those who aren't into vampires or horror fiction or reading the "classics". I read it based on a recommendation from another member, and because I like epistolary novels (novels where the story is told in the form of diary entries or letters, etc). I am not really into vampires, but this was very enjoyable -- the writing was very descriptive and the characters well drawn, so it was easy to visualize the action in your head. It was also neat to read one of the "original" vampire stories and see where a lot of modern vampire works draw their influence from. There are a lot of notes, to help readers understand foreign terms, literary allusions and other things that would (hopefully) have been common knowledge in 1897. This particular edition, by Penguin Classics, had the notes at the end of the book, rather than the bottom of each page, for those who have a preference in such things. Highly recommended for fans of great writing, historical fiction or movie buffs.
Finally I finished this long-winded book! The story doesn't really need a synopsis as most people are familiar with the theme, whether or not they have read it. It is fascinating to read the book that spawned a whole genre of its own, but I had to constantly remind myself of the time in which it was written (1897) because so many things caused me to roll my eyes, especially the women. Which wouldn't have been so bad in itself, but the author waxes poetic on the virtues of the saintly protagonists ad nauseum. The book could easily have been cut by a hundred pages by reducing those portions in half. I was intrigued by the blood transfusions done without any typing whatsoever with no adverse effects on the victim, and the madman was also amusing. Van Helsing was a most interesting character, as well as Mina, who was given quite a brain by the author but still relegated to the role of the "weaker sex" by being kept out of the mens' discussions of how to deal with the vampire. I was totally exasperated by Stoker's ploy of maintaining the reader's suspense by Van Helsing's secretive manner, doling out information only bit by bit to his comrades, which really did not come across as very credible. That those characters did not insist on explanations sooner also was unbelievable, and became tiresome. The melodrama was over the top, but perhaps it was normal for the time period, and really brought to mind visions of black-and-white silent movies. I imagine it was pretty titillating to Victorian readers! While I'm glad I read it, I'm even more glad it's over. Now I have to gear myself up for Frankenstein.
A well written, frightening story. Not the kind of frightening that will keep you up at night, but enough to keep you reading. Written in 19th century "language", you really feel transported back to a different time. This was our book club's October read; we found all sorts of things to talk about!
Fantastic. I listen to this story every year in my car in month of October while I drive to work. The first time I read it was several years ago in October. I began with trepidation thinking a story so old could not possibly be frightening today, but I was afraid every night. Having become accustomed to the story (in fact, I have it memorized now), I find the male/female interactions interesting. Mostly I find Mina's own sense of her lack of self-worth somehow offensive and the way Van Heilsing refers to her constantly as "little" and "girl" is most disturbing.
Beware Count Dracula. He has been dead for certuries...yet still he walks the earth. He is a vampire-brilliant, bloodthirsty, and cruel. He hides from the light of day and emerges at night to search for his next victims. His Transylvania castle is a dark and mysterious place, where terror is constant and survival is rare. Visitors are always welcome...to a fate worse than death.
this was good. interesting. i'm glad i read this, the only "version" i'd read before was the movie tie-in and now i see how much of the story they re-wrote so it would follow the films story-line. as another pbs-er would say, phooey on re-writing the story. because it's written as a series of letters and journal entries it doesn't develop a good rhythm and flow like most novels, but that's part of its charm.
The writing is so vivid, it literally gave me chills, and yet it also isn't overdone. There is just enough left to the imagination to make your imagination run wild. I can certainly understand why it is considered a horror classic. Some of the writing is dated, of course, but it overall remains incredibly strong for a modern reader as well. I really do not know what else to say in a review, especially for a book that virtually everyone knows at least part of the story of, except that this is one classic that certainly shouldn't be passed up. I won't even go into the dreams I had due to the influence of reading the book, but they were certainly interesting.
Dracula surely needs little introduction, being the most famous tale of vampirism and the one to which all since it was published in 1897 have aspired to. However, with the numerous adaptations and cinematic rejuvenations and rejiggings of the legend (from Nosferatu to Blackula) have come many bastardisations of the original tale and character. The novel is told via the diary entries of the young solicitor Jonathan Harker, his fiancée Mina, Lucy Westenra and Dr John Seward (who is in charge of a lunatic asylum in Essex). We travel to the Transylvanian abode of Count Dracula, a strange and disturbing castle. His purpose is to settle a land deal for Seward but he is drawn into bizarre and horrifying experiences within the castle walls. The action then passes to England as the Count travels in amongst fifty large wooden boxes and on board ship finishes off the entire crew before disappearing at Whitby in the shape of a wolf. Back on land, Lucy is vampirized by Dracula and dies despite the intervention of the wise and knowledgeable Professor Van Helsing. Mina too is in danger and has to be protected from Draculas advances. The adventure concludes with a thrilling and conclusive return to Transylviania. Dracula is not Stokers only novel, and he also wrote short-stories and dramatic criticism but this tale stands apart. It was influenced by the story Carmilla in Le Fanus In A Glass Darkly (1872).
An excellent and wonderfully written classic. A great read for teens and adults alike.
Thanks to movies, DRACULA has many stories. It is a story of good and evil.
This original has very little of Dracula himself; the story is told entirely through journals of Jonathan and Mina Murray-Harker, Dr. Seward, and a few others. In fact, after Jonathan's opening entries from the Carpathians, most of the tension arises because Mina, Lucy, and Dr. Seward in London are totally, and at times frustratingly, unaware of Dracula. A common theme in horror stories.
Dracula himself is evil, ancient, animalistic, primitive, a supernatural creature. He uses the powers of nature and animals (wolves, bats, rats.)
The entire good side consists of five brave intellectual and rational men (two doctors, a lawyer, an English lord, and a Texan with lots of common sense) and one modern empowered woman (an excellent typist who also knows shorthand.) They are all rational, practical, scientific minded, work hard, and employ detective like deduction. They use the powers of man, church and the kitchen (libraries, transcripts, legal papers, crosses and garlic) to find and finally defeat Dracula.
Seriously, just as cheesy as the 20s movies. I couldn't believe it, but loved every cliche-ridden page and over dramatized battle between good and evil. I'm very much not a horror story reader, but this was just plain fun.