Re-reading the classics: “Dracula” – book review

One of the most iconic books in its genre, “Dracula” is a horror novel written by Bram Stoker about the terrifying Count Dracula and his attempt to move from Transylvania to England.

The book is written in a diary format which I found to be pretty interesting and it makes the reading experience different.

We start off with the journal entries of Jonathan Harker who is an English lawyer that journeys to Transylvania to visit the count who is in need of legal support for his transaction for a real estate. As Jonathan travels trough the country he is warned by the locals that there is something darker about the count and give him a crucifix to protect him. After a horrific journey which involved an attack by wolves, Harker arrived at the manor. While in the manor he notices that he is basically the count’s prisoner. After a troubled stay at the manor Jonathan manages to barely escape but he ends up staying in Budapest with a bad fever.

During that time Dracula travels to England and where things get complicated. Mina (Jonathan’s wife) is concerned that her friend Lucy has started sleepwalking again and during one of the nights that she sees Lucy in some sort of sleepwalking state she notices two red marks on her neck. Mina also notices some sort of what she thinks is a bird on Lucy’s window as Lucy starts slowly decaying. This causes Dr. Steward to call upon his old friend Dr. Van Helsing.

Dr. Van Helsing deduces that in fact Lucy has been bitten by a vampire and that they need to find him and destroy him before he can harm any more people. So they set off to find the culprit and get rid of him.

Written in 1897, Dracula became one of the most iconic horror books in history inspiring tons of other authors and making vampires one of horror’s most common and well known creatures and it is clearly obvious why. The book is fantastically written and a bit slow paced and written complexly and high detailed which can turn some people off from the book and even though I usually am not a fan of that, I found myself enjoying it quite a lot. It is obvious that a lot of work was put into explaining and expanding some parts of the story and that makes the reading experience that much better. The characters are very well written and we can see how they think and interact in detail thanks to the way the book was written. I especially loved Renfield. For some reason he fascinated me a lot and the parts of the book about him were my favorite. Funny enough while reading the book again each time I came across his character I could not help but think of Peter MacNicol who played him in “Dracula: dead and loving it”.

My favorite part in the book was definitely the moment when Dr Helsing and the others burst into Mina’s room to find an unconscious Jonathan and Mina in the hands of Dracula himself. It was probably the moment that chilled me the most in the book.

The book has many themes that I can spend dissecting for hours. For example the theme of good and evil. Dracula represents evil in its purest form and the “crew of the light” represent the good. They might be imperfect and flawed but they all give their all in order to vanquish the evil.

Another interesting theme was the female sexuality and promiscuity. During the Victorian times women were expected to live private and secluded lives and be good wives. On one hand you have Mina. An educated woman who is also a devoted wife while Lucy is constantly searching for a husband while courting three men in the same time. She even says that she wanted to marry all three of them. Thus this “Freedom” that Lucy has ends up costing her “purity” as she becomes a vampire but Mina ends up being saved and remains alive.

Overall “Dracula” is a fantastic read and I can not recommend it enough. It is probably my favorite out of all the classics so far.

Final verdict: 8.5/10
Check it out for yourself and tell me if you enjoyed it:
Dracula (US) (Canada) (Italy) (UK) (Germany) (Spain) (Japan)

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