Saturday, January 11, 2014

ReView of DRACULA by Bram Stocker

Definitely not what I excepted of this novel.  Can you believe I have never read Dracula, until now? Well, after reading it for the first time I can safely say it is one of my favorite classic novels.  This is Dracula.  The real. The one and only. Cold. Evil. Terrifying. Utterly, mysterious.  The world's most famous vampire.

As you read Dracula you will not forget the words Dracula speaks to Jonathan Harker upon his arrival at the Dracula castle.

Welcome to my home.  Come freely.  Go safely.  And leave some things of the happiness you bring.

From an ordinary person, these words are a welcome one hopes to get, but from Dracula it's just creepy.  Wonderfully creepy, coming from the curious and excited reader.

The novel is told from the diary perspective of Jonathan Harker.
"Dracula - Bram Stoker's Gothic thriller recounting the exploits of an aristocratic vampire - has transfixed and haunted generations of reader. Perhaps the most seductive villain in Western literature, bloodthirsty Count Dracula has inspired countless movies, books, and plays. Few of these, however, have been fully faithful to Stoker's original best-selling novel of mystery and horror, love and death, sin and redemption.

Written in the form of letters, diary entries, and news bits, Draculachronicles 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. The now-famous cast of characters includes the English solicitor Jonathan Harker; his fiancee, the enchanting Mina Murray; and Van Helsing, the mysterious Dutch doctor and expert vampire killer.

Though Dracula's undertones of dark sexuality have always been of interest to readers, today's critics see the novel as a virtual textbook on Victorian repression of the erotic and fear of female sexuality. InDracula, Stoker created a new word for terror, a new myth to feed our nightmares, and a character who will undoubtedly outlive us all." GoodReads

The setting in Dracula is absolutely one of the reasons why I fell in love with it.  It is so well constructed to really get to your deepest sensations.  The landcape of gothic horror, the howling wolves, Dracula's wicked eyes, the various forms of villany, hair raising encounters, and the eerie pacing of the novel compels every bit of you to just keep going with serious wonder and excitement to see what happens and what else you uncover.  Menace drips off the page making you recoil with horror, and it's all the more exciting.  

I'm not one for horror books, or vampire books for that matter, but this novel will always stand at the top of my favorite books.  It is now my favorite vampire novel.  I will read it again and again.  What's even more beautiful about this novel is the fact that so many topics and themes can be discussed from this novel.  

I read it for the first time, and my main focus was getting acquainted with the novel and understand why so many people love the story of Dracula.  Along the way I have discovered there many deeper ingrained themes within the novel, themes that require a second reading, and ultimately a discussion. The two most intriguing themes that I will probably re-read the novel to better understand will be the theme of mythic folkore and the theme of the sensuality of blood-sucking vampires.  If there's a novel to cover those two themes.  This is the novel.

What do you know Dracula for?

Genre: Classics/Paranormal/Vampires
Format: Hardcover
Length: 406 pages
Publisher: Barnes & Noble Classics
First Published: 1897

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