Sony's Reviews > Bram Stoker's Dracula

Bram Stoker's Dracula by Fernando Fernández
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's review
Aug 30, 2012

liked it

I just had to read the source, or rather one of the main sources, that gave birth to the vampire genre. As a long time fan of the movie, I was excited about this book. Reading it, however, was less exciting. First though, I'll talk about what I liked. This novel is told from many perspectives, which I loved. Stoker uses diaries, memos, newspaper articles, and letters to piece together the narrative. It's brilliant, well, mostly. Like those shaky video cam movies where supposedly "lost footage" is found and edited together for the audience, some of the things recorded and how they are recorded are too convenient and rushed. But for the most part, it's a great way of telling this story and it also gives you an intimate glimpse into each of the major characters. You really start to understand and care for them. Unfortunately, that's also a disadvantage.

We never get to really "meet" Dracula. We see him as the other characters see him, but we don't understand him or why he is what he is, and how he feels about it. The movie is superior in that regard. Another thing that puts a barrier between the reader and the story is the language. It's written in very old English. But even Shakespeare knew how to talk *to* people and not at them. The Van Helsing character, in particular, comes across as very pretentious and unrealistic in his speech. He's a philosopher, but you have to really read his parts more than once to truly digest it, and it's difficult to believe that the people he's interacting with understand him so easily. But maybe that was just me.

Besides that, the descriptions were very good, although sometimes the language was repetitive. Some of the characters' reactions didn't ring very realistic to me. I also had an an issue with the way the author discusses masculinity and femininity, it was annoying and pronounced enough to make me roll my eyes more than once. Looking past that though, the plot was fairly engaging, there's a lot going on. The suspense about where it is all heading was gripping up until the end. Unfortunately, for me, the climax did not justify the build-up. I expected a lot more, and was disappointed about how quickly everything ended.

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Comments (showing 1-7 of 7) (7 new)

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message 1: by Willow (new)

Willow Excellent review, Sony! When I read Dracula, I adored it, but I have to admit, I was only fourteen at the time. I know I probably wouldn’t feel the same way today if I read it again.

I have read bits and pieces though again and one of the things I noticed was that Mina spends a lot of time praising the wonderful men in her life. It always makes me laugh, because it’s so obvious that Mina was Bram Stoker’s dream girl. It’s like those hokey romance books where the hero spends an inordinate amount of time thinking how wonderful the heroine is. I’m sure if Mina’s journal had reflected a true woman’s thoughts, she’d be writing how annoyed she was that no one is telling her what’s going on and leaving her out. After all, it was her best friend that Dracula killed.

It’s true that for a book to be called Dracula, he’s not in the book very much. He makes this grand appearance in the beginning and then pretty much disappears. I think the true main character of Dracula is Van Helsing. I wonder though, would Dracula have seemed creepy to Victorian audiences if he was better known?

Sony You ask a great question. Perhaps not knowing who Dracula is makes him more frightening. And lol@ Bram Stoker making Mina a Mary Sue! Totally. Her adoration for all of the men and their worship of her as the "ultimate woman" got old really quick. But I'm glad that I read it all the same, just to know where other writers are getting some of their ideas about vampire folklore from.

On another are you doing??? Are you still writing? I'm starting up again. I think I'm gonna do NaNo...will you be participating in it this year? It'd be great to have a writing partner, we always wrote really well together. I hope all is well with you and that we can catch up soon.

message 3: by Willow (last edited Sep 05, 2012 10:03PM) (new)

Willow "Yes Madame Mina, you have the heart of woman but a brain like a man."

Who says men are smarter than women? You don't know what you're talking about, Van Helsing! LOL

If you ever get a chance, you might check out my favorite Dracula book of all time, Dracula the Undead by Freda Warrington. I don't know, I just love that book.
Dracula the Undead by Freda Warrington

Gosh, writing for NaNo does sound exciting. I would love writing with you again. :)
I haven't written a damn thing. :(

Sony ooo, I think I'm gonna put that on my to-read list right now. And yes, let's do NaNo. You should be writing! You have too many great ideas to not write!

message 5: by Willow (new)

Willow I love it! You're motivating me. LOL

Sony I hope so! so I'll take that as a yes that you're in!

message 7: by Willow (last edited Sep 06, 2012 05:48PM) (new)

Willow Why not...I'll do it! :)

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