“I must not deceive myself; it was no dream, but all a grim reality.”
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We double checked and can happily report that the original Dracula thankfully does not sparkle.
Bram Stoker brought to life the Dracula that sparked a pop culture phenomenon that has spanned over a century already and will likely last for many generations more. Written and set in the 1890’s, Count Dracula wants to move from his castle in Transylvania to the more densely populated London, England where there are many more people to feed on and minds to overpower.
The first two parts of this book are exciting. One of the main characters, Jonathan Harker travels to Castle Dracula to assist its master in purchasing property in London, not knowing what it is he is helping, and soon becomes a prisoner in Dracula’s castle. The great thing is that Dracula doesn’t have to show his monster side to be scary. There is just something off and as Harker realizes this, it becomes eerie.
The atmosphere of this part of the book was exactly what we think of when we think of Dracula and classic vampire stories. Empty stone corridors, dusty rooms, long shadows, wolves howling in the night.
The second part moved the story to London where Dracula has begun feeding on humans in his new city and the human characters attempt to solve the mystery of why their friend is losing blood every night but cannot see where it is going.
In this part, the scare-factor of Dracula is based on the reader knowing what the danger is more than the characters do. Every night, the reader knows what is coming but the characters in their ignorance are unable to stop it from happening. Dracula is largely “off screen” for this part of the story but this just adds to mystery and general creepiness of Count Dracula.
The final part, which amounts to about the last 75%, is absolutely the weakest of the whole book which makes the ending really disappointing. Dracula flees London to return to Transylvania so this part consists mostly of the rest of the cast chasing him down and trying to put an end to him.
Frankly, it was just boring. The suspense completely failed at this point as there was hardly any action until pretty much the last scene after the previous Transylvania and London sections had built up so well.
This classic story shows how a monster doesn’t have to be scary to scare you. Dracula’s big presence and charm are enough to seduce you into bending to his will, and ultimately getting the life, literally, sucked right out of you.
I am not a fan of classic novels. They are usually slow and boring. They tend to drag on and for most of this book, Dracula did not drag. There are times it does but overall a interesting story. I am really interested in reading some of the other monster books thanks to Dracula. Only thing that slows this book down is is the last third of this book drags to a near stop.
Dracula was somewhat shallower than I expected it to be. This is not necessarily a negative as it was still a good read but I guess I expected there to be an underlying theme. Like, what does Dracula a symbol of? Why does he continue to live on in our imaginations?
I know that now he is looked upon as a symbol of sexual repression in Victorian times but I kind of got the feeling that most of the depth that is prescribed to this story was granted well after the fact, after it had become popular.
Again, that is not necessarily a bad thing as I read plenty of books that don’t have some deep meaning them and are just good fun and storytelling and this one is absolutely among them.
Reading this did make me thing about how the various types of vampires that exist now in fiction. I feel like there are two types of vampire stories. There are stories that focus on how sexy vampires are and that sexiness seems to translate into romance. Then there are those like this one where the vampires are monsters and there is no way around that. There is a dark sexiness to them but the reader/audience is never allowed to forget that they are dangerous and evil.
I 1000% like the latter over the former. I don’t want sparkles, I want monsters. I want sexiness that kills.