Few creatures have proven more durable in modern literature than the dreaded vampire. Ever since these undead, blood sucking demons of the night first began appearing in literature in the early 19 th century, each generation has taken the opportunity to reinvent the infamous characters. For reasons that remain unclear to me, it seems that vampires have become even more popular over the last few decades.
A classic of the gothic horror genre, the book stands up rather well for this modern reader, but in ways that are rather unexpected.
Bram Stoker's Dracula
The book is a collection of journal entries and letters written by the main characters, occasionally supplemented by a newspaper clipping or two. Starting out with an entry in his journal, Jonathon Harker describes his harrowing trip into the Carpathian Mountains of Transylvania to visit Count Dracula, who is interested in buying some London real estate.
This lengthy, textbook demonstration of foreshadowing does a remarkable job of setting the tone for the rest of the book. This storytelling format works well to provide multiple perspectives, thereby making the implausible events more believable and terrifying.
Dracula by Bram Stoker - Book Review
Full of all sorts of romantic literary traditions, like frail damsels in distress, passionate speeches of undying love, dauntless chivalry and repeated draughts of therapeutic brandy, the prose displays its Victorian Era origins at every turn. The travails of the intrepid fellowship of vampire hunters, led by Dr. Van Helsing, often prompted memories of the best X-Files episodes, as the protagonists had to put aside their scientific skepticism and accept the reality of supernatural, undead villainy.
Common Sense says
Similarly, the synergistic interactions of the various team members — each bringing their own unique strengths to the fore — reminded me of a Super Friends episode or an Avengers movie. Interestingly, the title character appears only sparingly, serving more as an omnipresent source of fear and pure evil that permeates the story.
By modern standards, this decision forfeits much of the potential for suspense and dramatic conflict, although the story is still plenty riveting and dreadful. Subsequent versions have made the roles of Dracula and his brethren a much more visible part of the storyline.
Over the past years, it seems that readers and viewers have become more fascinated by the villains in the story, trying to understand their passions and drives, while the heroes have become relatively more bland.
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Despite its vintage, I can still enthusiastically label it required reading for any who fancy themselves true horror fans. Author Recent Posts dave Ceaselessly seeking out non-fiction writing on almost any topic, Dave can carry almost forty pounds of books in the pannier pack on his bicycle and knows all the librarians at his local public library by their first names.
A great book for all generations, not too scary and not too boring. And the thrill leaves you lying on the edge of the seat.
I really enjoyed reading this review. Although sprinkled with several graphic horror scenes, this book was not written as some attempt solely to scare people in some shallow way. It has so much depth to it, and I found myself admiring Mina for her courage and faith throughout the novel. The relationships these characters build with one another is very special. I felt I went in a time machine back to a place where people truly cared for one another and built intimate relationships based on true trust and friendships.
Dracula by Bram Stoker - review
Cover of the first edition in See larger image. Author Recent Posts.
Ceaselessly seeking out non-fiction writing on almost any topic, Dave can carry almost forty pounds of books in the pannier pack on his bicycle and knows all the librarians at his local public library by their first names.
Jakob May 9, at am - Reply. Dracula by Bram Stoker is a wonderful book full of exciting action, suspense and horror. Tiffany Dixon August 9, at pm - Reply. Leave A Comment Cancel reply Comment.