Dracula by Bram Stoker

I had planned to read ‘Dracula’ by Bram Stoker when I was studying ‘Frankenstein’ by Mary Shelley at school but never got round to it.  This chilling story begins with a young lawyer called Jonathan Harker visiting Count Dracula in Transylvania to conclude a real estate investment only to find he is effectively a prisoner at his castle.  He survives his ordeal but the nightmare does not end there – several strange events are occurring back in England involving Jonathan’s fiancée Mina and her friend Lucy.  It is up to Doctor Van Helsing to try and stop Dracula before it is too late…

‘Dracula’ is one of the most modern classics in terms of its style which I wasn’t expecting – if you are apprehensive about approaching nineteenth century classic literature then I think this is probably one of the best places to start.  Although it was first published in 1897, the novel seems like it could have been written much more recently as the language is not particularly archaic.  The story is told mostly through journal entries, newspaper clippings and letters between characters allowing the reader to see the events from multiple perspectives.  It is a very effective technique and the haunting atmosphere and suspense is well sustained throughout the novel.

At times, it almost felt like I had read ‘Dracula’ before given that Stoker’s vampire creation is so iconic and so ingrained in my consciousness already because there have been so many reinterpretations of the book.  As a result, Stoker’s Dracula still influences some if not all of the gothic horror genre today. Forget the Twilight saga though – ‘Dracula’ is the real deal when it comes to vampire fiction.

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12 Comments

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12 responses to “Dracula by Bram Stoker

  1. Thanks for the review! I’m planning to start reading classics and I think I’ll give this a shot.

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  2. Oh, I completely agree. ‘Dracula’ is the real deal. I read through it rather quickly just a few months ago. I must say, I did enjoy it. 🙂

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  3. I was put off Dracula by it being a class book when I was about 8 or 9 – far too young and fraidy and it gave me nightmares. May have to have another go at it now…

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  4. erdeaka

    which one is better, do you think?? the book or the movie??

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  5. I am currently reading Dracula at the moment and I have been sadly disappointed 😦 I don’t know if that is simply because I have to read it for uni rather than leisure or because I had such high expectations. At time I have found that it has been really ‘hard work’ reading it and not much has happened :/ maybe the last thirty pages will change my mind? Fingers crossed anyway!

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  6. If you read Dracula more than a couple of times you may find that Stoker is not a first tier author. However, Dracula is fascinating for two quasi-literary aspects that can make for a decent undergraduate study. First, the novel introduces a number of fairly new inventions which are key to the hunt for Dracula in England (think of the contrast of modern technology vs a medieval fiend that drinks blood and is immortal). Second, Bram Stocker didn’t just write the novel Dracula, he created a complete industry with the Dracula theme: novels and plays all advertised and hyped by the author (he even went on tour with his creation). So the question is whether Stephen King learned his horror or his marketing skills from Bram Stoker?

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  7. Livvy @Nerdy Book Reviews

    Dracula is a book I’m picking up in the next couple of weeks to read, so I’m highly thriller to hear that you enjoyed reading and that it’s not too archaic in the writing style because that is usually my problem with classics.

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  8. jamielynne82

    Dracula ranks in my top 5. I love that book – and mainly because of his style of writing.

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  9. Pingback: Dracula « Earthpages.ca

  10. Dracula is one of my favorite books. I read it about 20 years ago and I was surprise about the layout of the book. This is one of those stories that just haunts me over and over again.

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  11. You’re absolutely right about Dracula. I loved this book. The vampire is what he always should be: a monster.

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