Monday, June 27, 2011

Book Review: Dracula by Bram Stoker

My first experience with Count Dracula was the movie Van Helsing, and my second a play from Cary Applause! in October 2009. Shortly after that I watched the 1979 film with Frank Langella, then the 1992 one with Gary Oldman, and earlier this year (I think) the one with Bela Lugosi, released in 1931. I loved all of these, but the book is better than any of them.

For those of you unfamiliar with Bram Stoker's classic horror novel, woe unto thee, it is set (and was published) in 1897. Jonathan Harker goes on a business trip to the Carpathian Mountains of Romania to work for Count Dracula, who he soon realizes is not altogether human. The Count later shows up in Harker's home of London, where he hopes to make his residence and take over, for during his lifetime the Count was a fierce warrior who conquered lands. Harker and a small band of vampire hunters team up to hunt down the terrible Count before it is too late.

This novel started out rather slow, but one, I don't mind slow and two, it was written in 1897, before people had the distractions of video games and telly and all that. It had a very gloomy tone to it, which I loved. The only thing that I didn't quite understand was how Dracula transformed himself into a vampire without being bitten. I often wonder at this, and for werewolves too: where did the first come from? Before there was one to be bitten by?

Otherwise I really loved this book, and it's about time I've finally read it. I recommend it to any horror, vampire, or dark fantasy fan.

Final grade: B

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