Thursday, September 13, 2007

Dracula - Bram Stoker



Rating: 4.0/5
Reason for Reading: RIP Challenge, Books to Movie Challenge

The famous tale of Dracula, the vampire who resides amid the Carpathian mountains, is told throughout journal atricles. They are mostly written by Jonathan Harker, Mina Murray (later Harker), Lucy Westenra, Dr John Stewart and occassionaly Dr Van Helsing. Other main characters are Dr Stewarts patient Renfield, Quincy Morris from Texas and Arthur Holmwood (Lucy's fiance).

Jonathan Harker is the first one to meet the Count when he travels to visit him to attend to some legal matters (he is buying some land in London, Carfax Abbey). Things turn dark when he realises he is being held prisoner by the Count who has inhuman powers and no reflection. Whilst he is recovering in church after finally escaping from the castle, Lucy Westenra friend of his fiance Mina Murray, begins to ail. Two strange marks appear on her throat and she seems to be suffering from ameamia (a loss of blood). Are the two connected and if so, how?

The book is very quick to sweep you up in its narrative. The ending is very intense as the friends battle to defeat Dracula before the sun goes down. I have seen the Francis Ford Coppola film version which brought it to life very well. It stays very close to the book, apart from introducing a romantic element which shifts your perspective to pity the Count. The book has none of this which makes it easier in some way to focus on the main plot. The only thing missing really was how Dracula became a vampire in the first place and his real reasons for wanting to purchase land in England. I am curious and want to know more of the back story.

11 comments:

Chris said...

Glad you enjoyed it :) I'd like to know more about his origins as a vampire as well. I'd be curious to know if Stoker ever went back and wrote on the subject...I'm guessing he didn't, the intro I read didn't mention anything about it, but who knows...maybe it's out there.

Becky said...

I'd be curious as well.

Callista said...

Not my cup of tea. I have no interest in vampires. I've added a link to your review from the Book to Movie challenge listing. Let me know when you finish and review the other books on your list so I can add them. I also have the prizes, come read!

Miss said...

I love vampires in fiction, and Dracula is the ultimate vampire novel, head of the genre and all that. One of the things that I didn't realize til it was pointed out to me, but that I find interesting is that Dracula himself only appears on about 58 pages of the novel - the rest of the time he's merely talked about.

Also, read that last scene very carefully, and you'll note he doesn't die, though it appears that way.

Fred Saberhagen managed an entire series of Dracula in the modern age novels because of that detail.

-- Melissa

Nymeth said...

Where was it that it was said that he needed to buy land in England to have a place to fill with coffins full of dirt from Transylvania so he could rest in it? Probably one of the movies. Anyway, it's a great book, isn't it? I'm glad you enjoyed it.

tanabata said...

I'm reading this right now. I'm only about 50 pages in but enjoying the atmosphere of it so far.

Literary Feline said...

I'm so glad you enjoyed this one, Rhinoa! I was surprised I liked it as much as I did.

Framed said...

I didn't think I would like this book but read it because of the reat reviews I'd read last year. I found it to be extremely well-written with a great story line that deals with more than just the vampire,

Court said...

Great review! I'm happy to hear you enjoyed the book, it's such a wonderful story!

Stephanie said...

It seems everyone is reading Dracula this year for the RIP challenge! I know it's on my list !

Dewey said...

I just picked this for a challenge, too! I've never read it, and I keep seeing RIP posts about it, so I added it for a 2008 challenge. So you recommend the movie, too, huh?