Dracula, originally titled The Un-Dead by Bram Stoker is a classic Horror Gothic novel about Count Dracula.This is a macabre tale of vampires, demons, death, friendship, love, loyalty, and courage. The story begins with Jonathan Harker traveling to Castle Dracula in Transylvania, after being summoned by Count Dracula to help him complete a property deal. Harker doesn’t realize that by doing so he will unleash a horrifying, yet charismatic, vampire stronger than twenty men, who can control the weather, and assume the form of any animal.
Professor Abraham Van Helsing (coincidentally same first name as the author), informed about vampire folklore, comes to Harker’s aid, putting together a monster-fighting team including Harker’s intelligent wife Mina, Dr John Seward, American Quincey Morris, and Arthur Holmwood. Over the next six months the squad face many challenges, and their first task is to save Arthur’s betrothed, Mina’s best friend, Lucy Westenra. Dr John Seward, the administrator of an insane asylum located near Dracula’s new home, has an intriguing patient named Renfield.
Dracula was first published in 1897 – I wonder how shocked Stoker would be to find out his novel is still incredibly popular, and argued one of the best horror novels of all time?The first movie adaptation was called Nosferatu released in 1922.
Scene from Nosferatu
Dracula is an epistolary novel, in which Abraham “Bram” Stoker employed letters and diary entries written by multiple narrators to tell the same tale from their perspective. This technique sways the reader to believe the story – because we know that if many people tell the same story from their perspective then it must be true.The Collector’s Library edition that I read also includes an attached red ribbon bookmark, which produced the feeling that I was truly reading a diary.
Count Orlok, from movie adaptation, Nosferatu
The scientific method versus superstition is a common theme throughout Dracula. You may start the story as a non-believer of the un-dead, myths, vampire folklore, but I’m willing to bet you’ll end it wanting to purchase more garlic to keep around the house. 😉
It may seem like a long novel at 526 pages, and even though the font is small, the pages are half the size of a regular hard-cover novel. Definitely a suspenseful page-turner, with a great pace that keeps you reading. There isn’t a lot of gore, but it is scary, so I would recommend this for ages 16+, and I think even a non-horror fan would still enjoy the way Stoker has told this story.