Book Review: Dracula

I’ll be honest – I saw this review done by Robbie Eaton, and I thought, “You know, I should actually read that book and not just rely on retellings and various elements of pop culture.”  What’s more, she used an audiobook, and I found easily at my library an audiobook that seemed to have good production value.

The Book

dracula1stDracula
Author: Bram Stoker
1897
I’m not giving you an Amazon link because I don’t want you to feed the monstrous, bloodsucking company for a book that’s way past its copyright date.  Your library probably has an audiobook edition.

I got this from my library.  I first tried to find a free version on Kindle, but let’s be honest – I’m not paying them a damn cent for a book that they shouldn’t have control over.  I suggest you to look at your library rather thank Amazon.  That being said, this was a surprisingly good Victorian-era book.  I don’t like a lot of the books written in the 1800’s, which is probably why I hadn’t fully read this one yet, but I found Dracula to be pretty good.  Definitely suggest it if you want to read a classic.

Non-Spoiler Review

I was pleased by the story.  Though I’d read bits of Dracula for classes in high school, and though I’d heard bits and retellings here and there, I’d never heard all of the original story at once. I have to say it was a rather readable, well-told Victorian tale.

There was a transition part where Jonathan Harker was going back to England and Dracula came with him (though secretly) that didn’t make quite as much sense to me as I wish it would have.  I caught back up rather quickly, and it may have been my fault for listening while I was doing some boring things at work.  Other than that, the book was surprisingly understandable for something of its era.  I had initially feared its epistolary nature would have made it difficult to understand, but it actually worked rather well and added to the horrifying nature.

One of the things I liked from the book was the surreal horror.  It reminded me somewhat of Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell in this aspect, wherein it had English sensibilities cloud the supernatural elements.

5/5 Discoball Snowcones

5 Discoball Snowcones

SPOILERS REVIEW

One of the characters I hadn’t known much about prior to reading this book was Quincy Morris.  I don’t even think I knew he existed in the first place before reading Dracula in one sitting.  Anyway, I was pretty happy/excited to see an American in the book, and I was even more excited to see him as a Bowie-knife wielding, gun-happy badass who totally ran into the thick of trouble when it needed to be done.

Van Helsing was as interesting as I expected he would be, and Mina Harker was surprisingly well fleshed-out throughout the book.  Some of the stuff Stoker said about her wouldn’t have flown in a modern context, but it was really good given the time it was written.  The multinational flavor of the characters was also interesting, and I think it suited the day it was written.

Next week:

 

12 thoughts on “Book Review: Dracula

  1. crispina kemp says:

    For some reason I’m pleased that you enjoyed the read. I remember reading it (had from the local library) even though it’s now years (and I mean years) ago. It must have made a big impression on me. An enjoyable one, though I don’t usually do horror.

  2. robertawrites235681907 says:

    I loved Dracula but then I do love lots of classic books that other people aren’t as keen on. I bought the audio book for about US$12 which is cheap for an audio book. The Wheel of time books are US$50 a pop if you aren’t subscribed to audible. I loved the characterization of van Helsing and all the clues as to why, despite being a man of science as he was, he was able to think out of the box and realise Dracula was a vampire.

  3. joanne the geek says:

    I’ve got a lovely hard cover edition of Dracula. It’s fangtastic

    My criticisms are that it’s a book of it’s time. It’s very male centered, and even when the group of them are discussing what to do about Dracula, they leave Mina out and she’s just left to type everything up for them. Also, I found it bit weird Dracula was targeting her and none of them noticed, until she was pretty much under his influence.

    I also side with vampires in vampire stories, a part of me always hopes the vampire will prevail in the films and stories I see and read, even though they are horribly evil (it’s why Astrid survived)…, so the ending always disappoints me. I know it shouldn’t, but it does.

    All that said, I do really like the book, and I’m thinking of doing a re-read of it sometime over Christmas.

    Good review 🙂

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