Thursday, October 23, 2008
Dracula by Bram Stoker.
At the risk of exposing the breadth of my ignorance, I have to say that I honestly knew very little about this book before I read it. Seriously, I knew it was set in Europe and that Count Dracula is a vampire. And thanks to Deslily's review (that I only skimmed because I knew I was about to read the book and didn't want to accidentally learn anything) I knew the story was told through letters and journal entries and the like. Beyond that, nothing. And though I've heard the movie is nothing like the book, I've never seen it anyway. I truly am pathetic, aren't I?
Second admission, while I was actually quite excited to read it, I have to admit I was also a bit reluctant. After my less than wonderful experience with Frankenstein last year, I feared I simply wasn't cut out for the classics of horror.
I'm delighted to say that my fears were unfounded; yes, I was extremely surprised by how much I loved this book. I will admit that it started a bit slow for me, but by the time I hit page 50 or so, I was totally hooked!
The story itself is quite suspenseful. We follow Count Dracula, an aristocratic vampire, from Transylvania to London, England, through the eyes of a Jonathan Harker, a lawyer unlucky enough to have been hired to take care of some legal matters for the Count. In Whitby and London, we meet the rest of the cast of unfortunate people who will eventually take it upon themselves to stop the Count.
But as nail-biting as this tale is, the book offers so much more. The atmospheric elements surround and transport you to the late nineteenth century. From the cliffs at Whitby to the rugged mountain pass in Transylvania, it is a haunting trip back in time. You feel the fog settle around you.
And the characters. From the beautiful, tragic Lucy to the eccentric, brilliant Dr. Van Helsing to the insane, yet very complicated Renfield. Stoker did a wonderful job in bringing these people to life...and beyond.
I realize most people have already read this book, but if you happen to be one of those people, who like me, have been avoiding this book for one reason or another, I strongly recommend you rethink your reluctance. I can definitely understand how Dracula has come to be "a classic".
For more lucid thoughts on Dracula, you may want to try these reviews:
Deslily at Here, There, and Everywhere
Becky at Becky's Book Reviews
Nicki at Fyrefly's Book Blog
If you've reviewed this book, please feel free to leave a link in the comments and I'll add it here.
Oh how sad I will be to see RIP III come to an end!