Monday, October 19, 2009

Dracula by Bram Stoker

First Published: 1897
Pages: 422
Rating: 5 out of 5

Introduction: My original intention was to read Dracula by Bram Stoker for Halloween and review it. Then I saw this book:

I thought, "Hmm. Why not read and review all three books?" Frankenstein, Dracula, and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde were pioneers of horror tBoldales. All their stories were very original and creative that many storytellers of today still use the ideas and adapted them to the modern standards. This is my way of reminding us to give the credit where its due.

So...let's go on with the review.
Summary: Jonathan Harker is a young lawyer who travels to Transylvania to settle a business with Count Darcula. Little does he know that Dracula is a vampire who is set on having Jonathan as his next victim. Jonathan escapes, but the Count is far from over. He is determined to unleash his bloodthirsty terror on London society.

Review: Unlike Frankenstein and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Hyde, I already read Dracula. I was sixteen year old. It was one of the scariest books I'd ever read. I admit it gave me nightmares. You would think that I would stop reading it, but I didn't. The story was so amazing that it was hard to put down.

That's why seventeen years later, I decided to pick Dracula up again. While it no longer gave me nightmares, it still gave me the creeps. I do scare easily. I remember reading it this past quiet Saturday evening and familiarizing myself with the story again. While doing so, our family dog who slept next to me, got up and started barking. Startled, I nearly jumped out of my seat. Of course, I stopped there and picked up Norwegian Wood. I do have a wild imagination, and I like to immerse myself into what I'm reading...which is probably why I don't mind reading books with plenty of description.

But I digress. Like in most of my reviews, I don't really talk about what happened in the story. I like for the readers to find out about the story themselves.

Dracula is an epistolary novel. The story is told in different point of view by the characters. I didn't find myself bored or skipping through some parts. Mr. Stoker does a good job of building up one suspense after another. Even though I read it before, I thought it was exciting. I flew through this 400 plus page novel.

I love the characters here. The protagonists - Jonathan, Mina, and Van Helsing - were all very strong, and so were the minor characters who were all interesting in their own way. They are dealing with a powerful adversary here after all - Count Dracula. There are no veggie-eating vampires in this story (No offense to Twilight fans.) Just an evil, blood-sucking monster hell bent on causing his reign of terror during the night.

There are many vampires stories out there. While they are all unique in their own way, Dracula stands out as being the original and, to me, the best vampire book.

Recommendation: If you like horror, gothic, and suspenseful stories, this is the one to get especially if you are a huge vampire fan.

Happy Halloween, everyone!

EDIT: I forgot to include this in my post. I was reminded by it when Diane made a comment about the book covers. Last month while I was at the bookstore buying my copy of Dracula, I saw its illustrated version. The story, of course, was still by Bram Stoker but there were drawings made by the talented Jae Lee. For those of you who don't know, Jae Lee is a Marvel comic book artist. The drawings in the illustrated Dracula version were awesome. Anyway, below is the book cover of the Illustrated Dracula. There's Count Dracula himself on the cover.


  1. What part did you find scary as a child? Was it the paperwork? I know, the paperwork. Shudder.

  2. These are very cool cover that I have not seen before on Dracula and Frankenstein. It's been a long while since I read these.

  3. LOL, Amateur Reader. That was a hilarious post. What a relief that we don't have to use typewriters anymore.

  4. Diane, there was one by Penguin Classics. At first I thought it was blood dripping down the man's face, but in fact it was just hair that belonged to the woman holding him. Why Penguin chose that as a cover instead of the usual cross or graveyard...I don't know. I guess they did to be different.

  5. That Jae Lee cover is great. Genuinely creepy. But where is Count Dracula's moustache?

    I never got used to that moustache.

  6. I just read Dracula recently too, and I'm glad he doesn't sparkle! :D

  7. Haha. Blooey, I love that he doesn't sparkle either. And I agree about your take on Coppola's adapted film: I didn't think that Mina and Dracula should have been old, forbidden lovers. That just gives it the ick factor.