Chelsey's Reviews > Dracula

Dracula by Bram Stoker
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's review
Feb 20, 2010

it was ok
bookshelves: disappointing, re, read-sections-or-did-not-finish, horror, vampires, victorian, 2010

I guess I should confess I read this because whenever I heard people talk about it they'd mention how scandalized they were by the homoeroticism, and because I've always been intrigued by vampires and sexuality. (Yes-- I read a "Classic" because I was beguiled by the man-on-man action-- I'm not ashamed!)
Anyway, I'm no English major or anything, but I don't think Braham is all that great of a writer, his female characters are a bit annoying, and whatever homoeroticism is present is too few and far between to keep someone who reads this book specifically for this hooked, and is stylized more like assault than eros-- which is decidedly *unsexy* and problematic given the fact that homosexual men are still seen as hyper-sexualized and incapable of controlling that sexuality in our society.
Anyway-- thankfully I've gotten suggestions on what to read when I'm in the mood for Victotian depictions of same-sex eroticism, and I'll be reading the Picture of Dorian Grey. I guess this is whole debacle. what I get for gleaning information about books from people who probably don't read a lot.

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message 1: by Madeline (new) - added it

Madeline Dracula is featured in both the senior seminar and the literary research classes at CND (themes for them are "women as monsters" and New Woman literature, respectively) for precisely the reasons you mention - the gross portrayal of women, the homoeroticism.

It's been a while since I read The Picture of Dorian Gray but I remember finding it disappointing and kind of smug. I like Maurice much more (although that is Edwardian, not Victorian, and probably lacks the literary value of Picture - but it has a happy ending!). I like Forster much more generally so obviously I am biased there. But regardless, I don't think Picture is even as interesting as, like, Fingersmith except as a book-of-its-time-period.

Ummm, this may give the impression that I'm not an Oscar Wilde fan. Which isn't true! I just think his plays are infinitely better.

message 2: by Chelsey (last edited Feb 21, 2010 11:11PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Chelsey Thank you for the recommendations! I've actually seen Fingersmith (thank you, Logo) but of course I haven't read it. I'm really excited about a book featuring same-sex love with a happy ending! I'll have to put Maurice at the top of my list.
Have you ever read Passing by Nella Larsen? It features (a) black lesbian(s) (one woman's sexuality is never really confirmed, if I remember correctly) in the early 20th century which of course does not end well at all, but the whole double-passing theme is very intriguing. And it is short!

message 3: by Madeline (new) - added it

Madeline I've heard of Passing but never read it. I'll add it to my to-read shelf, though.

Short books are good. :)

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