Friday, October 17, 2014

Dracula by Bram Stoker

A junior solicitor [real estate broker] travels to Transylvania to meet with an important client, the mysterious Count Dracula. Ignoring the dire warnings of local townsfolk, he allows himself to be seduced by the count’s courtly manners and erudite charm. Too late, the solicitor realizes that he is a prisoner of Castle Dracula, his guards a trio of voluptuous young women with sharp white teeth and a taste for blood.

Soon thereafter, the solicitor’s fiancĂ©e, Mina, visits a friend on the English coast. The town is full of speculation over a Russian ship run aground nearby, its crew missing, the dead body of its captain, crucifix in hand, lashed to the wheel. A giant dog was seen leaping from the deck before disappearing into the countryside. The ship’s cargo: fifty boxes of Transylvanian dirt. As the beautiful Mina will soon learn, Count Dracula has arrived.
Review by Patrick:
 It sucked. I mean I still have blood in my veins, but it sucked the reality from all around me as I was reading this book. I was not expecting a classic like this to be so intense.

As long as you could get by some of the format of this book, it really was interesting. The book was written mostly in a diary format, with some news article clippings, letters, and telegraphs... I guess that was interesting too. I was really amazed with the efficiency of the London telegram service in 1891. You were forced to read this book with the setting in mind, as timing and travel were essential to the book. Horses, carriages, steam and sail boats... all must be kept in mind when considering the time it takes to get anywhere.

We all know about vampires, right. They can't go out in the sun; they must drink blood to survive; they sleep like bats; etc. But it was really intriguing reading about the first vampire. This is where it all started. And it was really interesting. For example, the vampire was able to control the nearby weather, get in really tight places, must be welcomed into a building before entering, control nearby animals, and many more wonderful things. I was also amazed at some of the similarities to more contemporary vampire fiction.

The story (which, let's face it, is what it is all about) was amazing though. It pulled me close and I felt the fear, terror, hope, panic, bravery, and passion of the characters. The story was slow at first, and by slow I mean the main character going willingly to Count Dracula's castle and immediately becoming a prisoner and dinner. The story just kept on and on. It was suspenseful, tragic, epic, horrifying, thrilling, and ... well I'll let you find out the rest.
Overall, surprisingly good. I know I am a little out of the norm when it comes to a desire to reading classic books, but I think this would be a good read for many readers in the present day. I'm going to rate it a 4.
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