Monday, October 27, 2014

Dracula - Bram Stoker

Please excuse the terrible image. Penguin have updated
the cover multiple times since this edition. Source.

With Dracula finished, I'm officially a sixth of the way through my Classics Club books. High five, self! It seemed only appropriate that I read this in the lead up to Halloween. Because when you're talking about spooky stories, you really can't look past this one.

I'd read it before, back when I was about 14, and I remember finding it really boring. There were too many narrators and I didn't care about the random chase across Europe and UGH GET TO THE POINT ALREADY WE KNOW HE'S A VAMPIRE WHY IS THIS BOOK SO LONG?

Present Day Kirsti appreciated it a lot more than 14 Year Old Kirsti. I loved the multiple narratives and how they each offered different parts of the story and different viewpoints. Van Helsing and Dr. Seward offer medical opinions while Jonathan Harker's journal fills us in on who Dracula really is. Mina's journal, in contrast, is largely matter-of-fact. While it's initially filled with typical female thoughts from the time - look at the pretty scenery, isn't Lucy lovely, I'm a little worried about my fiance - it rapidly became the most interesting of the narratives for me.

I must admit, I had a full-on headdesk moment over the total inability to realise what was happening to Mina. I mean, you've literally JUST killed Vampire!Lucy and most of you saw Lucy all the way through her illness and TWO OF YOU HAVE MEDICAL DEGREES, but none of you can spot the exact same symptoms in Mina as were happening in Lucy? Okay, morons. Whatever. (Which isn't to say that it wasn't enjoyable to read. It just resulted in me feeling like I had to yell "LOOK BEHIND YOU" at them like they were in a pantomime for a decent chunk of the book...)

So yes. It was well written, I loved the different narration, and the voices were suitably different for each narrator. It was way creepier than I remembered, which was quite exciting because prior to this reread I was a little baffled by why such a big deal was made of the story. And it features all sorts of vampire legends in there from garlic to crucifixes to not being able to cross running water to turning into bats. It's pretty cool stuff.

And, as a fan of Supernatural, there was one moment that made me laugh quite a lot: "I propose that we add Winchesters to our armament. I have a kind of belief in a Winchester when there is any trouble of that sort around." (p. 417)

Have you read Dracula? What did you think?

K xx

3 comments:

  1. Dracula is also on my list though I haven't made any headway with that one really because I get sidetracked by new releases and contemporary fiction at the moment. I have some hope for my long distance flights and times at airports in November to help with my reading list.

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  2. Love this book! I read it a year or so ago around Halloween and I really enjoyed it. I think part of why is because it's kind of what started it all with the vampire genre. Yes, there were other stories before Dracula, but this is really the one which made it a big thing.

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  3. It is on my books to read! I wanted to get into it for Halloween but I am reading The Shining which is taking me longer than expected (darn eyelids! why can't they stay open at night!!). I mostly want to read it because a couple of years ago I went to Romania and 'Dracula's Castle' and even though Stoker never actually went to the castle, it is a little nostalgic for me. :)

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