Dracula

[openbook booknumber=”0760748616″]

[rating:5/5]

The book Dracula is nothing like any of the movies or TV shows that try to depict him. There are no capes, unnaturally pointed faces or strangely coiffed hair, and no one ever says, “I vant to suck your blood!” Dracula is actually a fairly handsome gentleman with good manners (to a point) that does everything he can to appear as a normal human being: fashionable mode of dress, normal hair, polite conversation and if he is a little pale and his teeth just the slightly bit pointed, what of it? His good manners extend even to the point of entertaining his guests with jokes and stories that keep them laughing and listening well into the small hours of the morning. To his advantage.

If you take everything you ever heard or have seen about Dracula from modern media and toss it aside, the book Dracula is actually a fairly creepy tome in it’s own right, and with it’s own unique nature actually can be construed as even scarier. The best of the technology they had on hand seemed to do nothing to stop him and old wives tales and primitive treatments were their only protection in a war that no respectable person would have believed they were fighting. The insane that did believe them had their own ends for their belief, and I believe the lunatic in the novel was one of the freakiest literary characters I’ve ever come across, Dracula and his brides not withstanding. This was one of the original horror novels, upon which all others are today based.


He bowed in a courtly way as he replied: “I am Dracula. and I bid you welcome, Mr Harker, to my house. Come in; the night air is chill, and you must need to eat and rest.”

One of the things I found frustrating about the novel was the amount of sexism in it. It was accurate and fully expected of the times, but the number of times they discounted or tried to protect women (and only managed to succeed in getting them killed or worse) drove me up a wall. The women were not helpless by any stretch of the imagination and, in their enforced cluelessness, managed to prove that by causing a whole lot of trouble that could have easily been prevented had they known what was going on. When they were clued in they proved invaluable assets in the ongoing struggle, but only at the end of all things, and only as an extreme last resort were they permitted to do so.

If you enjoy some well written classic horror, then I recommend reading Dracula, with the caveat that you should keep in mind the era it was written in and be prepared to deal with the strictures placed on society back then, and the influence that will have on the story.

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