Friday, February 17, 2017

Book Review with James Paradie: Dracula by Bram Stoker

The version I have, which has very cool artwork and has an otherworldly feel to it

Dracula is one of those books I've always wanted to read. There's just something about Dracula that never ceases to grasp his fangs of interest into any culture or any generation. My mother gave me the book (the very same edition you see above) for some holiday that I forget. I read perhaps fifty, maybe sixty or more pages and stopped. The reason why I stopped is, I'll admit it's laughable, is because I couldn't quite grasp the dialect. Of course, early 1900's English varies differently than today's English, so there was a lot of scratching the head on my part. I didn't pick it up again until I downloaded it onto my iPad for free, because iBooks has a lot of classics for free. I don't know if this was an updated version or maybe my vocabulary advanced from the last time I read it, but I read the iPad version with very little problems and pretty much understood everything from cover to cover. 

The story, if you do not know, follows Johnathan Harker on a business trip to Transylvania where he is meeting with a potential buyer. Harker is basically what is now known as a real estate agent. After some weird occurrences on his trip, he finally makes it to castle Dracula, where he meets with the Count Dracula. Through a diary expose style of writing, you learn, along with Harker, that the Count is a very strange fellow. Pale skin, blood red lips, and his canine teeth are pin-pointed sharp. He is quite flamboyant, however, he seems quite charming for the most part. That is until his real intentions turn their ugly head and the head is in the shape of a bat poised to make Harker, and everyone he is associated with, lives a living hell. 

I do not like revealing too much of the story, so I'll give a few reasons why Harker is starting to become suspicious of his client. Dracula tells him exactly what to write in his letters. That he is to arrive on such a date and that everything is fine. But everything is not fine and is about to become worse. One night, Johnathan Harker is asleep and awakes to three lustrous women who want to kiss him ... with their teeth. Dracula tells them basically, "he's mine!" and to leave Harker alone until he's done with him. Among other strange and downright frightening experiences, Johnathan and the reader will fear for his life. But Johnathan Harker's story is only the tip of the searing teeth that will serenade you to read more. 

My Review: 

My first love of this book is the way it's told, through diaries of all characters and Dracula actually has a good ensemble cast of dynamic characters. I really love that and felt immersed in the story. I believe too many novels nowadays tell it through either first person, or the more common, third person narrative (I admit I'm guilty of this as well). 

Dracula is pretty much how I've always pictured him: an intimidating character that you're suppose to hate, but it's really hard, because he is such a loved character in fiction. I'm fine with the fact that he is not over sexualized like he is in modern entertainment. In fact, even though this is the original, it's refreshing. 

One thing you will learn very quickly ...

Van Helsing is not as bad ass as this^ in the book. He is an old man whom is just as much smart as he is caring about everyone around him. He is an enjoyable character, though his over exposition can be tiring. 

Another reason why I stopped reading this originally was because the beginning was extremely slow. However, right after (what I'll just call) the boat incident, that's when the progress becomes a bit better. Strange events turn into even stranger. The book get's quite spooky to downright scary in areas. The author really immerses you into the environment with great explanations. 

Final Verdict:

I can see why this is a classic. Although the book is over one hundred years old, it's still a page turner. It still has an intriguing value and will continue to do so. Hopefully. I definitely recommend it. 


Both images for this review were found using Google. I do not own them. 

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