Dracula by Bram Stoker – Review

August 8, 2013 11:44 pm

I’ve never been a fan of vampires. TV dramas and films are so saturated with them that the thought of reading a novel centred on the most famous vampire of all made me groan. Yet, with the possibility that I may be studying this novel at university in the near future, I sat down to read it. Bram Stoker’s Dracula, a dark tale of intrigue and blood-sucking, came as something of a pleasant surprise.

Careful, this evil bloodsucker can bite!

Careful, this evil bloodsucker can bite!

When Jonathan Harker, a solicitor, is sent to Transylvania to do business with Count Dracula, he expects to back home with his beloved Mina within a few days. The local people, however, give him reason to be suspicious, and following his stay at Castle Dracula and a close encounter with the Count’s vampire servants, he realises that something dark is going on – something that is set to reach London. Harker teams up with Dr Seward, Van Helsing, Lord Godalming and Quincey Morris in an attempt to not only rid the world of this terrible evil but to also save his beloved wife.

It’s safe to say that I expected very little from Dracula, but Stoker’s classic novel shows how vampires should be done. Though the Count actually appears very little within the novel, his presence pervades the atmosphere of the book and as such chills the reader. The story is told as a chronological sequence via the main characters’ diaries beginning with Harker’s stay at Castle Dracula, and the varying viewpoints are distinct and add to the weaving plot.

There’s none of this sexing vampires up that fills our screens nowadays. What we get is cold, hard, gothic descriptions of the most famous vampire, Count Dracula. Bram Stoker’s work is a landmark in popularising the traditional vampire myth and it does so with startling effect. Maybe I’m a bit of scaredy cat, but his tall, thin figure with blazing red eyes has certainly figured in my nightmares recently (or maybe it’s just because I had the brilliant idea of deciding to read it at four o’clock in the morning).

Dracula is definitely a top read and I would recommend it to all, even if you’re not a fan of the gothic. Its chilling tale is entertaining from start to finish, and Stoker’s work deserves the name of classic.

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