Scott's Reviews > Dracula

Dracula by Bram Stoker
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's review
Oct 22, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: 1890s, horror, victorian
Read in November, 2009

This is it ... the Necronomicon of vampyrology, a vademecum of quasi-clinical observations concerning what a vampire is, the extent of its powers, and most importantly, how it can be destroyed. And Dracula (1897) is also a wonderfully suspenseful, creepy, and gruesomely good read. Yes, the vampire hunters' expression of devotion to one another can be more sickening than the baptism of blood. Yes, some of the dialect will make you gag. And yes, there's something here to offend just about any modern reader who's touchy about race, religion, class, sexuality, gender, or gore. But Dracula's campiness is a great part of its charm, and it's not surprising to see the monster's myth reincarnate in such over-the-top productions as Blackula or The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

The first section, Jonathan Harker's stopping at Castle Dracula, is a perfect set piece of gothic fiction, but with the curious twist that the victim is a strong and sensitive young man of the world, not the frail and innocent young lady of most gothic tales. The middle sections, devoted to solving the mystery of Lucy's "illness," read like one of the great sensation novels of the 1860s ( The Woman in White or Lady Audley's Secret ). And the final section, a romping chase across Europe, rivals for excitement any of the thrilling tales of adventure penned during the first thirty years of the the 20th century.

Dracula isn't for everyone. But if you've got a bit of a ghoul in you, along with the patience to wade through some slow, very Victorian parts in the middle, you'll probably find the book wonderfully creepy and entertaining for the rest of your life.
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10/14/2008 page 16
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Wendy Scott, I was hoping you'd like Dracula. It's one of my favorites (top 10, I'm not ashamed to admit). I just finished Picture of Dorian Gray.....same kind of fun, creepy Victorian vibe. VADEMECUM - cryptacular addition to my lexicon, thank you!!

message 2: by Scott (last edited Nov 15, 2009 10:36PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Scott Hey, Wendy! Just got back from the library with a spanking new copy of Dorian Gray. Thanks for the recommendation. After finishing Dracula, I was getting the shakes ... I needed a creep fix, and it looks like Oscar is coming to the rescue!

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