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Dracula Hardcover – October 1, 1996

4.4 out of 5 stars 2,019 customer reviews

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Chapter I
Jonathan Harker’s Journal
(Kept in shorthand.)

3 May. Bistritz.1–Left Munich at 8:35 p. m., on 1st May, arriving at Vienna early next morning; should have arrived at 6:46, but train was an hour late. Buda-Pesth seems a wonderful place, from the glimpse which I got of it from the train and the little I could walk through the streets. I feared to go very far from the station, as we arrived late and would start as near the correct time as possible. The impression I had was that we were leaving the West and entering the East; the most western of splendid bridges over the Danube,2 which is here of noble width and depth, took us among the traditions of Turkish rule.
We left in pretty good time, and came after nightfall to Klausenburgh.3 Here I stopped for the night at the Hotel Royale. I had for dinner, or rather supper, a chicken done up some way with red pepper, which was very good but thirsty. (Mem., get recipe for Mina.) I asked the waiter, and he said it was called “paprika hendl,” and that, as it was a national dish, I should be able to get it anywhere along the Carpathians.4 I found my smattering of German very useful here; indeed, I don’t know how I should be able to get on without it.

Having had some time at my disposal when in London, I had visited the British Museum,5 and made search among the books and maps in the library regarding Transylvania: it had struck me that some foreknowledge of the country could hardly fail to have some importance in dealing with a nobleman of that country. I find that the district he named is in the extreme east of the country, just on the borders of three states, Transylvania, Moldavia and Bukovina,6 in the midst of the Carpathian mountains; one of the wildest and least known portions of Europe. I was not able to light on any map or work giving the exact locality of the Castle Dracula, as there are no maps of this country as yet to compare with our own Ordnance Survey maps;7 but I found that Bistritz, the post town named by Count Dracula, is a fairly well-known place. I shall enter here some of my notes, as they may refresh my memory when I talk over my travels with Mina.

In the population of Transylvania there are four distinct nationalities: Saxons in the South, and mixed with them the Wallachs, who are the descendants of the Dacians; Magyars in the West, and Szekelys8 in the East and North. I am going among the latter, who claim to be descended from Attila and the Huns. This may be so, for when the Magyars conquered the country in the eleventh century they found the Huns settled in it. I read that every known superstition in the world is gathered into the horseshoe of the Carpathians, as if it were the centre of some sort of imaginative whirlpool; if so my stay may be very interesting. (Mem., I must ask the Count all about them.)

I did not sleep well, though my bed was comfortable enough, for I had all sorts of queer dreams. There was a dog howling all night under my window, which may have had something to do with it; or it may have been the paprika, for I had to drink up all the water in my carafe, and was still thirsty. Towards morning I slept and was wakened by the continuous knocking at my door, so I guess I must have been sleeping soundly then. I had for breakfast more paprika, and a sort of porridge of maize flour which they said was “mamaliga,” and egg-plant stuffed with forcemeat, a very excellent dish, which they call “impletata.” (Mem., get recipe for this also.) I had to hurry breakfast, for the train started a little before eight, or rather it ought to have done so, for after rushing to the station at 7:30 I had to sit in the carriage for more than an hour before we began to move. It seems to me that the further east you go the more unpunctual are the trains. What ought they to be in China?

All day long we seemed to dawdle through a country which was full of beauty of every kind. Sometimes we saw little towns or castles on the top of steep hills such as we see in old missals; sometimes we ran by rivers and streams which seemed from the wide stony margin on each side of them to be subject to great floods. It takes a lot of water, and running strong, to sweep the outside edge of a river clear. At every station there were groups of people, sometimes crowds, and in all sorts of attire. Some of them were just like the peasants at home or those I saw coming through France and Germany, with short jackets and round hats and home-made trousers; but others were very picturesque. The women looked pretty, except when you got near them, but they were very clumsy about the waist. They had all full white sleeves of some kind or other, and the most of them had big belts with a lot of strips of something fluttering from them like the dresses in a ballet, but of course there were petticoats under them. The strangest figures we saw were the Slovaks, who were more barbarian than the rest, with their big cow-boy hats, great baggy dirty-white trousers, white linen shirts, and enormous heavy leather belts, nearly a foot wide, all studded over with brass nails. They wore high boots, with their trousers tucked into them, and had long black hair and heavy black moustaches. They are very picturesque, but do not look prepossessing. On the stage they would be set down at once as some old Oriental band of brigands. They are, however, I am told, very harmless and rather wanting in natural self-assertion.

It was on the dark side of twilight when we got to Bistritz, which is a very interesting old place. Being practically on the frontier–for the Borgo Pass leads from it into Bukovina–it has had a very stormy existence, and it certainly shows marks of it. Fifty years ago a series of great fires took place, which made terrible havoc on five separate occasions. At the very beginning of the seventeenth century it underwent a siege of three weeks and lost 13,000 people, the casualties of war proper being assisted by famine and disease.
Count Dracula had directed me to go to the Golden Krone Hotel, which I found, to my great delight, to be thoroughly old-fashioned, for of course I wanted to see all I could of the ways of the country. I was evidently expected, for when I got near the door I faced a cheery-looking elderly woman in the usual peasant dress–white undergarment with long double apron, front, and back, of coloured stuff fitting almost too tight for modesty. When I came close she bowed and said, “The Herr Englishman?” “Yes,” I said, “Jonathan Harker.” She smiled, and gave some message to an elderly man in white shirtsleeves, who had followed her to the door. He went, but immediately returned with a letter:–
“My Friend.–Welcome to the Carpathians. I am anxiously expecting you. Sleep well to-night. At three tomorrow the diligence9 will start for Bukovina; a place on it is kept for you. At the Borgo Pass my carriage will await you and will bring you to me. I trust that your journey from London has been a happy one, and that you will enjoy your stay in my beautiful land.

“Your friend,
“Dracula.”


From the Trade Paperback edition.

Review

"Those who cannot find their own reflection in Bram Stoker's still-living creation are surely the undead."


From the Trade Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 418 pages
  • Publisher: Barnes and Noble; Reissue edition (October 1, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679602291
  • ISBN-13: 978-0760722893
  • Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 5 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2,019 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,985,956 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Daniel Jolley HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 13, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Bram Stoker's Dracula is, hands down, the greatest horror novel ever written. In addition, it is also an enduring classic of literature. You may have seen every Dracula movie ever made, but you do not know the real Count Dracula until such time as you have read Stoker's book. Of course, unless you have been living under a rock, you will know the general plot line, but I assure you there is a wealth of rich material buried throughout the text that is sure to excite, intrigue, and surprise you. Perhaps the ending is a slight anticlimactic, yet I, having read this novel before and being quite familiar with the Count, read the final pages with bated breath, an anxious mind, and the sense of exhilaration that only the most talented of writers can induce.
The most striking characteristic of Stoker's masterpiece is its solid grounding in late 19th-century Victorianism. This may prove frustrating to some readers. It is far from uncommon for the men in the tale to weep and bemoan the dangers threatening the virtuous ladies Lucy and Mina; virtue and innocence of women are hailed rather religiously. Mina, for her part, assumes the role then deemed proper for women, accepting and praising the men for their protection of her, worrying constantly about her husband rather than herself, shedding tears she must not let her husband see, etc. Yet, it is most interesting to see Mina rise above the circle of a woman's proscribed duties; she in fact becomes a true partner in the effort against Dracula, expressing ideas and conclusions that the men, with all of their wisdom, could not come up with themselves.
Another thing I find interesting is the lack of a clear protagonist in Dracula. Technically, I suppose, Jonathon Harker is the protagonist, but Mina, Dr. Van Helsing, Dr.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I have never read the novel "Dracula" but with it being absolutely free for my absolutely wonderful Kindle, I decided to give it a shot. The book is written entirely in correspondence from the characters; letters to each other, diary entries, telegrams, etc. While I did have to use my built-in Kindle dictionary many times with the big (or antiquated) words, the book flowed freely and was a surprisingly easy read. Certain scenes were downright chilling. What's truly amazing is Stoker's creation of such an incredible monster that has stood the test of time.
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By A Customer on July 16, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
One of the scariest books in history, DRACULA is nevertheless misunderstood. Our civilization is removed from the Victorian era. We think of it as somehow distant and quaint, and ourselves as modern. But when Bram Stoker published DRACULA in 1897, the Victorian era _was_ modern. Stoker meant to make the book more frightening than most books by bringing an ancient horror into a modern, anti-superstitious world. He uses typewriters and phonograph disks the way a modern writer would refer to the internet and e-mail. DRACULA's first readers might've looked out of their town or country houses and expected to see Dracula's gaunt figure emerging through the fog.
He tells the story through a series of diaries, letters, clippings. Normally this is an unweildy method of storytelling, but in this case it is most effective.
The novel is divided into three broad sections. In the first, young Jonathan Harker and Dracula have the stage almost alone. Though Harker's diary we learn details of his journey through eastern Europe to meet a Count who wants to travel to England, and Harker carries him certain important papers. Count Dracula's character comes across very strong and well-defined, and grows ever menacing as Harker slowly learns he is not going to be allowed back to England, but will become food for Dracula's vampiric harem.
The second part of the book, set in England, deals with Mina Murray, who is going to marry Jonathan; Mina's friend Lucy; three men who are in love with Lucy; and a good-hearted but mysterious Ductch doctor, Abraham van Helsing. The bulk of this part deals with Lucy's mysterious disease, her decline to death, and her transformation into a vampire that her suitors must destroy out of love.
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Format: Paperback
I'll comment on the features of the Norton Critical Edition of "Dracula", as reviews of the novel can be found elsewhere. The novel, itself, is reproduced from the 1897 British edition that was published by Archbald Constable and Company and is preceded by a short but useful Preface that discusses the contexts in which "Dracula" was written and received over a century ago. The text of the novel is amply footnoted. Not only are terms defined, but allusions are explained, and passages of particular interest are treated with some commentary. The footnotes are worthwhile, but easy to ignore if you prefer. I had reservations about the footnotes in the early chapters of the book. Too many of them referred to points later in the story, acting as minor spoilers. I found this stopped after the action moved to England, so it only applies to a small portion of the book. Following the text of the novel are sections on Contexts, Reviews and Reactions, Dramatic and Film Variations, and Criticism.

"Contexts" includes some 19th century source material on vampires, Bram Stoker's working papers for the novel annotated by Christopher Frayling, and "Dracula's Guest", which was originally to be the novel's opening chapter, before Bram Stoker decided to situate the novel in Transylvania. The working papers are thoroughly uninteresting, and "Dracula's Guest" is not as chilling as the introduction that replaced it. "Reviews and Reactions" includes 5 reviews of the novel written shortly after it was published, in 1897 and in 1899, three of which are favorable.

"Dramatic and Film Variations" contains an essay about "Dracula"'s theatrical adaptations, including a list of major plays, by David J.
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