Book Review: Dracula by Bram Stoker

Author: Bram Stoker
Title: Dracula
Publication Info: Archibald Constable and Company (UK), 1897

Reading Dracula for the first time makes me realize that I didn’t know Dracula at all!  The film adaptations have never quite captured the book.  I read this as part of Dracula Daily which sends out each diary entry, letter, and news article on the date that each entry is given in the novel.  For about seven months, along with thousands of other readers on Tumblr, it’s been like a giant book club as we slowly read this book a bit each day.  It’s a fun way to read a book since I gained a lot of insights from other readers’ observations and memes.  Oh the memes!

The novel’s format is very interesting, allowing perspectives from several characters (and some we don’t get to hear from at all). And the characters are really great too, especially the two women.  Lucy Westenra is Dracula’s first victim upon arriving in England, and Mina Harker around whom a team of vampire hunters coalesce.  In fact, Mina is given credit for assembling and transcribing all the diaries and letters, so Stoker essentially gives her authorship.  All the men are interesting too, from Mina’s gentle but determined husband Jonathan to the Dutch polymath Abraham Van Helsing to the American cowboy Quincey Morris.

It’s a really interesting narrative with a lot of twists and turns and quite different than Nosferatu and Dracula, and other adaptations.  There’s a basic wholesomeness to love and friendship among the Harkers and their friends that I just didn’t expect from a 19th century novel or a vampire story.  Anyhow, now that I’ve read it once, I’ll definitely want to read it again.

Recommended books:

Rating: ****