Dracula by Bram Stoker

Dracula by Bram Stoker

The Modern Library, New York, 2001

Borrowed from the library.

This is not a review, more a collection of thoughts.  Read for the R.I.P V challenge, this vampire novel brought back memories of my introduction to Count Dracula.  Bela Lugosi’s chilling portrayal gave my sister and myself nightmares, though I have to admit the idea of being able to change into a bat was fascinating. Dracula was not the first but is certainly the most famous vampire story.  I have read that Stoker was inspired by Sheridan Le Fanu’s Carmilla, a novella published is 1872 and available at Project Gutenberg.

Stoker’s novel, written as a series of letters and journal entries and published in 1897, is atmospheric and fast paced in places, overwrought and melodramatic in others. This is my second reading and,  filled with ideas of class and culture of the time and written in odd dialects, I found myself skimming in places that seemed to go on and on.  I am curious about the reactions to Dracula when it was first published, not so much the responses of critics or psychoanalysts, but the general public.

It is interesting,  how this one novel has influenced so much modern popular culture, from movies to books and television.  I must reread my all time favorite vampire novel, just to see how it compares, and then watch “Let The Right One In”.  If you haven’t seen this film I recommend it.  It is frighteningly beautiful.   I would also like to read the  novel the film is based on.

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17 Comments

Filed under Classic, Horror, Review, RIP V Challenge

17 responses to “Dracula by Bram Stoker

  1. softdrink

    I think there’s a new film out, Let Me In. I didn’t know it was based on a book…the book sounds darkly fabulous.

  2. I talked about this in my Sunday Salon. I HAVE to read Let the Right One In…it is has been on the “up next” list for me for months, and other things keep getting in the way. Now that the US version is out too, I’d love to read the book and see both movies and do a big comparison.

    And believe it or not, as much as I love horror, I’ve never read Dracula???

    • I like your idea of comparing the films with the novel. Never read Dracula? Have you seen the original movie? Have a great week, Sandy.

  3. I’ve never seen a film/TV adaptation of Dracula. I started to watch the one with Gary Oldman, because I love him, but it was so silly I had to give up. Maybe I should try the Bela Lugosi one.

  4. This October marks my first reading of Dracula and I’m quite enjoying it: it’s spookier than I expected it to be. I agree that the film (the Swedish version) of the Lindqvist novel was wonderful (one of those instances in which I truly did feel that a film did a novel justice), though the novel really fleshes out some of the characters you only briefly get to see in the film in a very satisfying way.

    • Thanks for your comment! Now I really have to read Let The Right One In. I also want to see the U.S. version of the film, just to compare.

  5. People have come up with literally hundreds of interpretations of Dracula from just about every angle imaginable. One that always stuck out to me was the idea of Dracula, an Eastern European Slav, as the threatening foreigner entering the heart of the British Empire and threatening the purity of its women. It certainly fits in with the patronizing, patriarchal treatment of Mina Harker – how the men send her to bed while they discuss how to protect her.

    • Wow, I hadn’t heard that analysis of Dracula before but it sure makes sense. That whole scene with Mina really pissed me off!

  6. I have never read Dracula, but a group of my besties and I are picking it up this week and reading it all month long. I’m super stoked about this because I honest to god have no idea what it’s even about. Ha, so silly.

    And also, I’ve had Let the Right One In on my shelves forever as well. That must be devoured this month too. I looooovvvveeeee October.

  7. I really must read this. I am really picky, though, and I can’t find a copy with a font size that I like… So, guess it will be one of my reads when I get my ereader. :)

  8. I have yet to read this, but all the RIP Reviews about it are making me think I’ll have to read it (at least for next year’s RIP Challenge.)

  9. Interesting what you say about the prose. Two years ago, my husband read a different book by Stoker and found it completely ridiculous, like he holds it as the worst book he’s ever read and judges other books on whether it’s “Lair of the White Worm bad.” He says after reading Lair of the White Worm, he can more easily see the bad parts of the writing in Dracula.

    I’ve yet to experience any of Stoker’s books, but I’m interesting to see how it’ll live up.

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