Here’s another classic I knew nothing about. All I knew about vampires was from today’s pop culture (Buffy, Twilight, Hotel Transylvania…). I know, it was pathetic, which was why I took it upon myself to finally read the original.
I understand vampires originated from folklore, so Bram Stoker’s “Dracula” wasn’t the creation of vampires, but the recording and distribution. The other peculiarity of “Dracula” is that it’s entirely “epistolary,” or composed of journal entries and letters between six main characters.
Speaking of characters, Van Helsing’s my favorite, even though he writes the least and is not what today’s media portrays him to be. What is he then? He’s an old scholar that puts ideas together and takes action. He also likes to talk a lot with odd syntax and grandiose descriptions. 😛
Anyway, Dracula himself was not what I expected. He does not sleep/hang upside-down, or sizzle (or sparkle) in sunlight (thank goodness). He is, however, stronger than many men together, crawls like a lizard down walls, can turn into a bat or dog, controls wolves and rats, makes people fall asleep, create a thick fog, and turn other people (particularly women) into nocturnal blood-sucking vampires (whom he can influence and control). All in all, he’s a pretty creepy guy, but has some major inhibitors that keep him at bay.
“Dracula” is a classic horror about a demon of sorts, and there are some interesting religious themes and discussions concerning the Undead. It’s gruesome and suspenseful, but not vulgar. The main characters were idolized and too perfect, especially the women, but the characterization is still fascinating as you get into their journals and heads. I took a lot of notes while reading this one, and I honestly think I’ll read it again someday. ****4 Stars****