In the week leading up to Halloween, I decided to tackle Bram Stoker's Dracula. I've been wanting to start reading the classics for some time now and...moreIn the week leading up to Halloween, I decided to tackle Bram Stoker's Dracula. I've been wanting to start reading the classics for some time now and I figured it was the perfect time of year to read the original vampire story. I'm a great lover of The Twilight Saga and a big fan of the newer Infinite Days, by Rebecca Maizel. That being said, I never knew much about the original vampire other than the fact that he scared the living daylights out of everyone. I heard all the criticisms of the modern vampire stories saying they were not scary enough, not evil enough, and just not true to the original. So, to tell you the truth, I expected Dracula to be scary, or at least creepy, eerie, or spooky and honestly, it was none of those. I'm glad I read it because I now have a bit more knowledge of where the whole vampire genre began, but I was sorely disappointed in the book overall. It was not difficult to read or understand, but it took me a solid two weeks to finish because at times I found it quite dull. I have two boxes of classics in the basement that I hope to read someday and I fervently hope they are better this first attempt. For the time being, I'm going to stick with my non-traditional, but oh-so-much-more-interesting vampires.
Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book via a FirstReads giveaway on Goodreads in exchange for an honest review.
It pains me to give this book...moreDisclosure: I received a free copy of this book via a FirstReads giveaway on Goodreads in exchange for an honest review.
It pains me to give this book such a low rating, especially since I was so looking forward to reading it and most grateful for having won a free copy from GoodReads’s First Reads program.
I must say that I simply did not care for this book. I felt compelled to finish it and wanted to see how it ended, but I found myself really not caring about the story and certainly without any affection for the main character, Harriet Baxter. She seems nice enough, but is written as so “proper” that I felt very distant from her as a reader, even though the book is written from her point of view.
To summarize without giving too much away, Harriet befriends the Gillespie family while visiting Glasgow in the late 1800’s. She decides to stay in the city longer and a great tragedy occurs that ends with Harriet on trial -- a trial that seems to go on for ages with one outlandish accusation after another.
Before the trial, we get to know a bit about Harriet. She is English, unmarried and of independent financial means. She appears to be the type of person who “kills with kindness.” She is just overbearingly helpful and oblivious to the fact that her actions make others uncomfortable at times. She comes across as desperate for friendship and approval. In the chapters where she is an older woman, I found her character to be obsessive, strange and quite honestly, distasteful.
The writing was too descriptive at times and I found the book in general to be very tedious. It took me 20 days to finish it and that is extremely unusual for me. I felt the same issues and situations were revisited over and over again and not much interesting happened (and certainly nothing unexpected).
Perhaps I missed it, but the overwhelming thought in my mind when I finished this book was, “what was the point of that?” I have yet to come up with a decent answer to that question.
I have heard nothing but wonderful reviews of Ms. Harris’ first book, The Observations and I will certainly give that title a chance, but I sincerely hope it is better than this one.