Author: Bram Stoker
Genre: Classic Horror
Synopsis: Young lawyer Jonathan Harker is summoned to the Transylvanian castle of Dracula to advise the Count on his relocation to England, but he soon finds himself imprisoned and terrified. Meanwhile, a fog of dark occurrences begins to creep across England, and it is up to a small group of men and women, led by Professor Van Helsing, to battle with the un-dead to save the souls of humanity. In this fast-paced Gothic horror, with its undertones of sex, violence and colonial politics, Stoker has taken the folklore figure of the vampire and transformed him into an immortal icon.
My Rating: 1/2
This is by far the oldest book I read this year and I am so proud of myself that I not only embarked on a classic but that I enjoyed it and finished it! It took me 2 1/2 months to complete this but it was because I did not dedicate my time to reading. I am, like most people, familiar with the concept of Dracula. I have seen some movie adaptations and have a general understanding of the myth and the surrounding mythology. Reading this was a bit different than I expected. It was a lot more scientific than I anticipated.
The book is told in journals, memoirs, letters and telegrams. It is a manuscript put together by the small group of protagonist in order to document the events surrounding Dracula. This classic is very readable, quite approachable and not at all as intimidating as I thought it would be. We start out with Jonathan Harker, a young lawyer, traveling through Transylvania to meet Count Dracula, an eccentric gentleman living in an obscure region of the country. He arrives at Dracula’s house and soon realizes something is very wrong with the entire castle/Count. From there our story goes to Mina, who is engaged to Jonathan and still in England. We also get to know very well Dr. John Stewart who is the head of a psychiatric asylum in London where he studies the case of a “lunatic” who eats animals to gain their life source. Finally we also get to enjoy the famous Dr. Van Helsing who is the elder experienced doctor who has had an inkling of vampirism but is not the seasoned vampire hunter he’s often portrayed as, he’s above all a scientist.
This book is not without faults and that is mostly because it is a product of its time. The sexism is strong in this one, reflective of a Victorian era where women were seen as delicate and inferior to men and where creatures to be protected. That theme is constant especially when Mina is singled out as being a gem among women as she has the brain of a man. So those things one has to realize we are handling a 1890s social mentality but still made me roll my eyes and gnaw my teeth.
Other than that – I highly suggest this book especially if you’re afraid of classics, this is a very approachable novel. After reading this, I want to read more classics so I will definitely be putting that in my 2017 goals.