Book Reviews
Dracula: Bram Stoker
16th Mar 2010Posted in: Book Reviews Comments Off on Dracula: Bram Stoker
Dracula: Bram Stoker

The original classic vampire story, first published in 1897, the one that spawned all those lurid films by Hammer and others, all those comic strips. I hadn’t read it, and was surprised to find it over 400 pages long and beautifully and intelligently written and cleverly structured. The story is told by way of the journals and letters of the main characters, which gives the unfolding events a very authentic feel and creates a sense of discovery in the reader. The measured pace is exactly right and disbelief all too easy to suspend.

The novel moves from Dracula’s castle in Transylvania, where Jonathan Harker, a solicitor, has gone to arrange the details of a property sale with the Count. It continues via Whitby and the fate of poor Lucy to London, where the different strands of the story come together and the four men and Mina, Jonathan’s wife, set out to defeat the vampire. The fantastic events are written with authority and woven through with details of location and history that make this a fascinating read. I did find Dr Van Helsing’s accent rather tiresome towards the end where he has a lot to say, yet he’s a fairly lovable character so I forgave him for it. I was slightly puzzled by Dracula’s reputation for being irresistible to women, which suggests a sexual attraction that isn’t stated in the book itself, although the Count’s victims do seem to become more voluptuous and lascivious creatures as he returns to feed from them again and again. Hmmm…

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