18 May 2015

Book review: Dracula, Bram Stoker


Title: Dracula
Author: Bram Stoker
Published: I June 2008, Oxford University Press (originally 26 May 1897)
Pages: 389
Source: Bought
Format: Paperback

Rating: 5/5
"In 1897, at the age of 50, Bram Stoker was touring manager to the actor Henry Irving and was enjoying a modest success as a journalist and writer. Publication in that year of Dracula was to bring him international fame. The Dracula mythology has inspired a vast subculture, but the story has never been better told than by Stoker.  His myth is powerful  because it allows evil to remain mysterious. Virtuous action has no more impact than Jonathan Harker's shovel.  The high virtue of Lucy can simply be drained away, as her blood is drained away, until she too joins the vampire brood. Van Helsing's high-thinking and scientific skill cannot resist the dreadful potency of the undead. Only the old magic - a crucifix, garlic, a wooden stake - can provide effective weapons against the Count's appalling power."

I absolutely loved Dracula. Although I found it quite a difficult read, it is now one of my favourites. I've also found it quite hard to write this review because it's such a classic. It's why it has taken me so long to get this posted - I finished reading it weeks ago.

Dracula is told mainly via the diary entries of Jonathan Harker, Mina Murray, Dr John Seward, Lucy Westenra and Dr Van Helsing. This helps to build up a complete picture of what occurs and shows clearly how each character contributes to the investigation. The narration, in essence, left no stone unturned. In places the plot was quite slow, i.e. when a character was travelling, but it was also fast at points too. The language was at times quite difficult to get my head round but it was written beautifully. Like many of the old classics the description was unreal.

I liked all the characters. I really liked how Mina was portrayed as being rather clever and that this lead to the men actively including her in the investigation. Jonathan is extremely brave to help the others investigate especially after the experience he had in Transylvania. I see Van Helsing as a older and wise grandfather/father-type figure to the others. He is extremely clever and guides the others perfectly. I felt extremely sorry for Arthur, Seward and Quincey. They all loved Lucy in their own way and had to witness her deteriorate in front of them from a then unknown cause.

Count Dracula is a fantastic villain. I feel that you never completely learn his plan, other than moving to England, so this makes him even more frightening and mysterious.

I would definitely recommend Dracula to everyone - especially those who love the Classics. Although it took me ages to read and I did struggle in places I really do count Dracula as one of my favourites now.

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  1. Great review. I really need to read this book someday. I’ve been putting it off because I’ve heard it’s difficult.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

    1. You should read it! I did find it difficult but I couldn't put it down.


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