Book Review: Dracula by Bram Stoker

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I realized recently I had never read this classic, which is very surprising due to the fact I love Gothic horror stories. So, there was nothing to do but sit down and read it and I’m glad I did. It really is a great classic. I don’t need to go into details about the story, although I’m sure you don’t know details of the actual plot (I’m not aware of any movie that has been faithful to the book), but you know the premise. Count Dracula is a vampire and makes his way from Transylvania to London where he intends to start a legion of vampires to rule the world, only to be foiled by an intrepid team of mortals. There is a lot of suspense and the storyline is excellent. It was written in 1897, so the language is a little strange, but not too much. What is more strange is the mannerisms of Victorian England as compared to what we experience today (Were they really that sexists? No need to answer, I already know.). I love the irony that Dracula (the book, not the Count) actually did spawn a legion of vampires. This is the one that started it all. From Nosferatu, to Bela Lugosi, Interview with the Vampire, Underworld, Blade, the Twilight saga, the campy Count Blacula, or the hilarious Love at First Bite, and many more movies and books – they all started here. Count Dracula only wished he could be this successful.

A little know fact about the book is Bram Stoker changed the ending. Originally, he had the castle collapse at the end, but he deleted that in the final version. The speculation is he either didn’t want to be compared to Poe’s Fall of the House of Usher or possibly, he was planning a sequel. We’ll probably never know the answer. There was also a first chapter that dealt with a vampire queen which the publisher deleted. He felt it was superfluous to the story and the book was too long. Stoker’s widow published a number of his stories after his death and one of them was ‘Dracula’s Guest,’ supposedly the removed chapter.

So, if you are looking for a good story to read in the dead of night, you found one. Still good (or evil) after all these years.

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