Dracula – by Bram Stoker

Posted by Lawrence:


I am not sure that Bram Stoker would be mightily impressed with the modern incarnations of his hellish monster. The vampires today seem to devote much more of their time to pouting and preening than sating their unquenchable thirst for blood and murder. Though Stoker cannot be credited with the creation of the vampire myth (stories of blood-sucking demons had been around for thousands of years), his influence on the genre was monumental. The eponymous fiend in his novel ‘Dracula’ is the basis for most of the Vampire stereotypes that we have today.

The novel opens with a young and naïve lawyer called Jonathan Harker travelling deep into the Transylvanian countryside. He has been sent to provide legal support to the reclusive Count Dracula for his purchase of a house in England. After staying in Dracula’s castle a few nights he soon begins to suspect that something is slightly amiss with his creepy host. ‘Slightly amiss’ turns out to be a rather a large understatement when he discovers that Dracula is in fact an ancient blood sucking demon. Dracula then incarcerates Jonathan in his castle and sets sail for his new English abode. The rest of the novel focuses on his time in England, where he terrorises the uptight residents of a small English town.

The story is told entirely in letter format, a popular literary trope at the time (think Wuthering Heights, with a lot less Yorkshire and a few more vampires). I assume that vampires must have a lack of willing correspondents or an indifference to letter writing because the story is never told from Dracula’s perspective. This heightens the mystery and fear that surrounds the character. Stoker’s dislike of unrestrained sexuality, especially among women, also plays a major role in the novel. The vampire, a figure of pure carnal lust, embodies the danger Stoker associated with giving in to ones base sexual nature. When a woman is transformed into a vampire in the novel, the only cure is for her husband to repeatedly ‘stake’ her back to a submissive form. Stoker wasn’t exactly the most progressive figure when it came to women’s rights.

Misogyny aside, this really is a great novel. If you are a fan of horror in any form then you need to read this book; and not simply because of its classic status in the genre, but because it is terrifying and brilliant in equal measure.

 

Read this Book …
With a large amount of garlic, holy water and crosses within reach.

 

This book is a … Grizzly Read / Retro Read

 

Details:
Genre: Horror
Paperback ISBN: 9780007480418
ebook ISBN: 9780007420087

 

Buy The Book:

 

If you liked this, then you’ll love …
Dracula: The Undead by Dacre Stoker, The Strain by Guillermo del Torro, and The Accursed by Joyce Carol Oates