Howl's Moving Castle
The Cat in the Hat
Green Eggs and Ham
The Magician's Nephew
The Lord of the Rings
The Importance of Being Earnest
The Complete Little House Nine-Book Set
The Once and Future King
Flame Of Recca, Volume 1 (Flame of Recca
The Return of the King
The Two Towers
Signet Classics The Inferno
Picture of Dorian Gray
The Book Thief
The Other Boleyn Girl
The Hangman's Daughter
Alice I Have Been

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Book #6: Dracula by Bram Stoker

Now, before you say anything, I didn't read this because of all the crazy Twilight vampire hype that has a couple of my students looking suspiciously like Cullen family groupies. It's a classic, and I have decided to devote a significant portion of my book reading this year to reading classics that I have never picked up!

I make it a point not to over-research things before I read them, so I really had no idea what I was getting into with Dracula. And I think that film has actually done a bit of a disservice to this novel. I wholly expected a somewhat graphic and horrific tale of a vampire running rampant around Europe. I am so very glad that I was wrong. It wasn't cheesy or gory, and it actually surprised me in it's thoughtfulness. I loved how many characters' points of view I was able to experience through letters and diary entries, and I enjoyed the complete lack of actual interaction with Dracula himself. Once you have gotten past the initial portion of the book with Jonathan Harker, Dracula himself is just a pleasant plot-driver. I think that mysterious foreboding feeling made the book so much more appealing that that of other novels' blatant and obvious villains.

I imagine that at the time this book was originally published, people squirmed in their seats while reading because they didn't exactly know what to expect, and even with vampires being thrust into the media so heavily these days, I STILL felt that. I think that's a good sign for any novel. It makes me wonder in some ways if a few decades down the road the Twilight Saga will still pack the same punch.

Overall, I was pleased and impressed, and I am so glad I picked this up for my first classic of the year!


  1. I've never read Dracula - never really had any desire to - but your review has changed my mind!

  2. I'm glad to have helped! It was a pleasant surprise to me too :)

  3. That's what I thought about Dracula when I read it last year too. It was really good read! Better than I thought it would be.

  4. I read Dracula for the first time about 20 years ago (at 13) and like you, I love the changing point of view and how mysterious Dracula remains. But when he appears, he's a powerful character.
    You may enjoy Anno Dracula by Kim Newman, which is my favourite vampire book (after Dracula of course). It's a what if story: what if van Helsing failed and Dracula went on to marry Queen Victoria?

  5. I loved the book as well, and I am by no means a horror fan. Linda Schierse Leonard does a great job at in depth reading of the text and then identifying the archetype. I am not sure if this was in On the Way to the Wedding or Witness to the Fire, though.

    The bed and breakfast we stayed in in Dublin a few years ago was half in the Dublin home of Bram Stoker and half in the next door dwelling of Lafcadio Hearn.