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Dracula by Bram Stoker
Publication: May 12th, 1986
Genre: Classic Horror/Fantasy
The best-known figure of seductive evil in Western literature, bloodthirsty Count Dracula has inspired countless movies, books, and plays. but few, if any, have been fully faithful to Bram Stoker’s original best-selling novel of mystery and horror, love and death, sin and redemption.
Written in the form of letters and diary entries, Dracula chronicles the vampire’s journey from his Transylvanian castle to the nighttime streets of London. There he searches for the blood he needs to stay alive—the blood of strong men and beautiful women—while his enemies plot to rid the world of his frightful power.
Though Dracula‘s undertones of dark sexuality have always been of interest to readers of the novel, today’s critics see it as a virtual textbook on the Victorian repression of the erotic and fear of female sexuality. In Dracula, Stoker created a new word for terror, a new myth to feed our nightmares, and a character who will undoubtedly outlive us all.
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There is no way to write my review on Dracula like my other reviews. This is not a book to break down into categories but to look at as a whole. What made this story become a timeless classic and why is Dracula such a profound character to this day? Honestly, I really loved this book. I didn’t think I would enjoy it as much as I did. Let me explain. I knew I would enjoy it because otherwise, I wouldn’t have wanted to read it but, I didn’t think it was going to be so thought-provoking. It really made me think and I wanted to understand every aspect of the novel.
One thing I love about Dracula is how much it drew me in. The whole story sucked me in from start to finish. It was told through letters and journal entries which were so unique and the full cast really had such distinct voices. Something else that is interesting is how erotic and sexually liberating classic vampire books are. I wrote an essay once on Interview with a Vampire about the homosexuality undertones and the sexual undertones in general. This book had that as well. The act of being bitten and just the aura of the vampires is very sexual. I enjoyed delving deep into those meanings especially considering the time period that this story came out in.
The full cast was exceptional. I listened to this on Audible so hearing from the different characters was really enjoyable. My favorite was Johnathan Harker. The whole story started with him and how was held as a prisoner in Count Dracula’s home for a time. Eventually, he escaped but the nightmare was far from over. I also loved John Seward because his character was someone not directly affected by Dracula but the people he loved were. Mina Harker was a brave woman. Her character was interesting and passionate. Really I enjoyed every one. My only disappointment was I wanted to get a point of view from Dracula’s point of view. He is one of my favorite myths/characters. I love all things Dracula so I wanted inside his head and not just what everyone had to say about him.
The writing was exceptional. As I said, it pulled me in from the moment it started. I was enamored with the story and the world that Stoker built. I was breathless by the time I finished. The vampiric moments had me holding my breath especially with how much they mimicked sexual acts. It was hard to put down. The purity and innocence of so many moments could be interpreted in many ways that had me thinking and questioning things. This novel was truly something else. I am just sad that it is over.
If you have not read this classic I highly recommend it. It should be read by everyone at least once. Even if it is not something that you love, I think it should be read. I wish this was a high school read because the conversations surrounding it would be interesting.
‘You cannot deceive me, my friend; I know too much, and my horses are swift.’ As he spoke he smiled, and the lamplight fell on a hard-looking mouth, with very red lips and sharp-looking teeth, as white as ivory. One of my companions whispered to another a line from Burger’s ‘Lenore:’ — ‘Denn die Todten Reiten Schnell’ — (‘For the dead travel fast’)
But I am not in heart to describe beauty, for when I had seen the view I explored further; doors, doors, doors everywhere, and all locked and bolted. In no place save from the windows in the castle walls is there an available exit. The castle is a veritable prison, and I am a prisoner!
What I saw was the Count’s head coming out from the window. I did not see the face, but I knew the man by the neck and the movement of his back and arms. In any case, I could not mistake the hands with which I had had so many opportunities of studying.
But the Count! Never did I imagine such wrath and fury, even to the demons of the pit. His eyes were positively blazing. The red light in them was lurid, as if the flames of hell fire blazed behind them.
Then the Count turned, after looking at my face attentively, and said in a soft whisper: — ‘Yes, I too can love; you yourselves can tell it from the past. Is it not so?…’
I may find a way from this dreadful place. And then away for home! away to the quickest and nearest train! away from this cursed spot, from this cursed land, where the devil and his children still walk with earthly feet!
We have met again. We seem at last to be on the track, and our work of tomorrow may be the beginning of the end. I wonder if Renfield’s quiet has anything to do with this. His moods have so followed the doings of the Count, that the coming destruction of the monster may be carried to him in some subtle way.
This is I know: that if ever there was a woman who was all perfection, that one is my poor wronged darling. I love her a thousand times more for her sweet pity of last night, a pity that made my own hate of the monster seem despicable.
As I looked, the eyes saw the sinking sun, and the look of hatred in them turned to triumph.
We could hardly ask anyone, even did we wish to, to accept these proofs of so wild a story. Van Helsing summed it all up as he said, with our boy on his knee: — ‘We want no proofs; we ask none to believe us! This boy will some day know what a brave and gallant woman his mother is. Already he knows her sweetness and loving care; later on, he will understand how some men so loved her, that they did dare much for her sake.’
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