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Dracula Paperback – October 27, 2013
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— New York Times Review of Books
"An exercise in masculine anxiety and nationalist paranoia, Stoker's novel is filled with scenes that are staggeringly lurid and perverse.... The one in Highgate cemetery, where Arthur and Van Helsing drive a stake through the writhing body of the vampirised Lucy Westenra, is my favourite."
— Sarah Waters, author of The Little Stranger
"It is splendid. No book since Mrs. Shelley's Frankenstein or indeed any other at all has come near yours in originality, or terror."
— Bram Stoker's Mother --Bram Stoker's Mother
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Top Customer Reviews
Stoker never visited Eastern Europe, but within the first few pages it is clear he did his research. The food, the garb and the landscape of Romania are so detailed, that although it is a bit tedious to get through, I really got a feel for the country. I visualized the imposing mountains and their dark shadows. As I read about Jonathan Harker's journey to the castle, I heard foreboding music accompanied by howling in my head. I don't know if seeing so many movies let me imagine the story better, but it was very vivid in my mind. There is a sense of wonder when you travel to a place where you don't know the language, but also one of unease. The fact that Harker is a foreigner gave him more distance from his surroundings and made him more vulnerable.
After getting through the first few pages of exposition and Jonathan's journey to the castle, it got juicy. The novel Dracula is much more messed up and scary than any movie version I've seen. I had a preconceived notion because of film and television, but the book is different and I feel like I discovered a new story, or rather learned the true story.Read more ›
The plot is well-known and does not bear repeating here. However, it is worth mentioning liberties taken by various adaptations not included in the book. Mina Harker is never likened to the Count's deceased love; sunlight does not kill him; Renfield is not his servant; and no one ever says "I vant to suck your blood." The absence of these tropes forces the novel into subtle territory regarding motives and action, ultimately yielding a richer story than I initially expected.
Two major shifts in the narrative are instrumental in raising the novel above predecessors such as "The Vampyre," "Carmilla," and "Varney the Vampire." The first is the change in protagonist from Dracula to van Helsing, a shift which creates a mechanism to propel the narrative from start to finish. Whereas the Count's early scenes set the story in motion, it is the professor's later involvement and analysis which govern the other characters' actions and propel the remainder of the story. The second major shift is the change in victim from Lucy to Mina, which provides a psychological underpinning to the novel and raises it above genre fiction.Read more ›
The first section of the book where Jonathan Harker goes to Transylvania to assist Count Dracula in making preparations to buy a property in England is atmospheric, creepy and somewhat disturbing. Unfortunately, this only comprises less than a quarter of the book. The rest of it is a combination of diary entries and notes from the various other characters in the novel (including Harker but not including Count Dracula) and as such is reminiscent of other Victorian novels such as The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins.
Unlike The Moonstone, I found the characters in Dracula to be largely insipid and one dimensional. There is the gung-ho American, the stiff-upper lip Englishman, the love-lorn Doctor, the courageous Lord and women who do nothing but adore these men in a thoroughly pathetic fashion. And then there is Van Helsing - a 72 year old Dutchman who is a self-proclaimed expert in Vampires and a sort of supernatural Sherlock Holmes. I have to say that I found the passages from Van Helsing to be at times unreadable with the author obviously attempting to proclaim Van Helsing's foreign roots by having him write his entries with constant errors in grammar. For a world-renowned Professor I would have thought he would have been a better linguist to be honest.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
How can I rate a classic such as this. Listening to it is wonderful.Published 1 day ago by Sweet Pea
Great book very descriptive and has little dialog but has a certain charm to itPublished 5 days ago by Blake
The random style was groundbreaking amazing for the 18 hundreds. I was really disappointed with the abrupt anti climactic ending. Read morePublished 5 days ago by Amazon Customer
Great Book and made even better with the included audio version. You've seen the movie, now read the real story!Published 6 days ago by R. Jones
The original and the most intriguing story still to this day. It's draws you in so deeply you feel the cold castle on your skin and in your bones. Read morePublished 6 days ago by Reesa Hull