Dracula by Bram Stoker
“When the Count saw my face, his eyes blazed with a sort of demonaic fury, and he suddenly made a grab at my throat. I drew away, and his hand touched the string of beads which held the crucifix. It made an instant change in him, for the fury passed so quickly that I could hardly believe that it was ever there.”
Bram Stoker’s legendary story Dracula is where the famous character Count Dracula originates. Now, Bram was not the first to tell tales of vampires, but he is the one that I think of started the mad craze of blood thirsty things in the night that can only be kept at bay with garlic and crosses. Having never read this story before and not being a big fan of the horror genre I had set my bar rather low. Upon finishing it I now understand why Stoker’s character of Dracula has endured and inspired many other works based on his characterizations.
Dracula is written in a very unique fashion that serves the story well. It is told through the personal letters, diary entries, and newspaper articles that characters would either come into contact with or write themselves. I liked this format very much because it gave the impression that I was allowed to piggyback on the journey by reading each character’s thoughts and secrets. This writing style just added that little extra to make this story more real.
The tale starts the reader out with the diary entries of young Jonathan Harker an English lawyer going to Castle Dracula to finalize papers of a real estate sale in England to a Count Dracula. Harker’s journey to the castle is not entirely pleasant as the local population of the area always seems to show fear and nervousness each time he mentions his destination. Being a good lawyer and trying to make his mentor happy he presses on. Upon reaching the castle and meeting the count things just do not set right and before Harker knows it he finds himself imprisoned and discovers the Count’s terrible secret.
Stoker then shifts the novel to England where Harker’s fiancée Mina is in correspondence with her good friend Lucy who has been proposed to by three men- a doctor, an American, and a man of British nobility. As the letters go back and forth the reader quickly learns that she is in love with Arther Holmwood the son of Lord Godalming and accepts his proposal, but when Mina goes to visit her friend she notices that Lucy is acting a bit strange. Mina quickly looks for help for her friend and all three men are ready and willing. Dr. Seward tries to help but when he cannot figure it out he turns to his mentor Professor Van Helsing who visits Lucy and sees that what is ailing her is not natural. As Van Helsing does research to figure out what may be causing Lucy’s sudden fatigue she quickly gets worse. Despite all their efforts Lucy succumbs and passes on, Van Helsing has the sinking feeling that it will not be the last time he will see her. Staking out her grave Van Helsing’s suspensions are proven correct. He then shows the doctor, the American, and her fiancée the terrible news and the four men vow to put a stop to whoever did this Lucy. Will they be able to? Will Jonathan Harker make it out of Castle Dracula and back to his Mina? To discover the truth you will have to read Dracula by Bram Stoker.
Bram Stoker’s Dracula is a good read and despite the fact that it was written in 1897 I found it to still be relevant and easy to relate to. I am still not a big fan of the horror/gothic genre but I am glad that I finally read the book that created one of the most famous fictional characters of all time. I liked his creative writing style using the character’s letters and journal entries to tell his story, but at certain points I did feel that it dragged on just a tad bit. Overall it is a good read and I give Bram Stoker’s Dracula four shells out of five.