Terrifying Tuesday: Dracula

Posted 15 October, 2013 by April @ The Steadfast Reader in Reviews

Terrifying Tuesday: DraculaDracula by Bram Stoker
Published by W W Norton & Company Incorporated Genres: Classics, Fiction, Horror
Pages: 492

A rich selection of background and source materials is provided in three areas: Contexts includes probable inspirations for Dracula in the earlier works of James Malcolm Rymer and Emily Gerard. Also included are a discussion of Stoker's working notes for the novel and "Dracula's Guest," the original opening chapter to Dracula. Reviews and Reactions reprints five early reviews of the novel. "Dramatic and Film Variations" focuses on theater and film adaptations of Dracula, two indications of the novel's unwavering appeal. David J. Skal, Gregory A. Waller, and Nina Auerbach offer their varied perspectives. Checklists of both dramatic and film adaptations are included. Criticism collects seven theoretical interpretations of Dracula by Phyllis A. Roth, Carol A. Senf, Franco Moretti, Christopher Craft, Bram Dijsktra, Stephen D. Arata, and Talia Schaffer. A Chronology and a Selected Bibliography are included.

Trying to review this is like trying to review Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. It’s classic – the penultimate vampire novel from whence all others sprang (sprung?).

I love the way the story is told through the diaries of young Jonathan Harker (an attorney!), ship’s logs and the diary of Professor Abraham van Helsing. Bram Stoker’s Dracula is a monster, he’s a far cry from Anne Rice’s Vampire Lestat but still is more than the mindless monster of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. The way he preys on Lucy speaks to a certain sort of cunning. 

Without Dracula our fictional landscape, literary, television, and movies would be extraordinarily different. I find it hard to overstate the cultural importance of Dracula. The vampire as the monster has eventually morphed into the vampire as the outlier (Ricean/True Blood vampires). Ultimately creating an allegory for the monster within us all. Or maybe it’s just fun to get scared. Either way, what a book! 

I’m not generally a fan of Victorian era fiction — but this is easy – and fun. Check it out. Especially since you can get it for free at Project Gutenberg.

(SO much better than Twilight – yeah I know, hater’s gonna hate.)


#802 – 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die (2010) 

April @ The Steadfast Reader


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