Never too Late to Read Classics discussion

Dracula
This topic is about Dracula
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Archive Sci-fi/Fantasy Reads > October 2016 → November 2016 - Dracula by Bram Stoker

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message 1: by Lesle, Appalachain Bibliophile (new)

Lesle | 5584 comments Mod
The story is told in epistolary format and tells the story of Dracula's attempt to move from Transylvania to England so that he may find new blood and spread the undead curse, and of the battle between Dracula and a small group of men and women led by Professor Abraham Van Helsing.

Bram Stoker visited the English town of Whitby in 1890, and that visit is said to be part of the inspiration of his great novel Dracula.


Latoya  | 55 comments I listened to the audiobook which was performed by multiple actors. I would go that route.


Kathy | 1177 comments I started Dracula on my Kindle app a couple days ago. I like the parallel narratives of Jonathan Harker's Journal, Dr. Seward's diary and Mina Murray's Journal. I'm wondering about the patient of Dr. Seward!

I had preconceptions about this book from all the vampire stories and movies. This story is not like I thought it would be. Very engaging.


LiLi | 14 comments It is, indeed, a very well- and thoughtfully-written book. It's quite different from modern vampire stories.


Brian Reynolds | 3765 comments There are many Kindle editions of Dracula on Amazon, from free, $.99, to $6.49. Naturally, cheapest seems best, but does anyone with any experience have any advice on any to avoid?


Jackie | 97 comments it's interesting to read the original novel and the source for all those familiar characters, such as Renfield. I'm in the early stages of the book - Mina is in Whitby with Lucy - and the sense of impending doom is growing. Bram Stoker is skilled at creating an atmosphere.


LiLi | 14 comments Brian wrote: "There are many Kindle editions of Dracula on Amazon, from free, $.99, to $6.49. Naturally, cheapest seems best, but does anyone with any experience have any advice on any to avoid?"

My experience with most classic novels is that what you are paying for is good explanatory notes.


message 8: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rosemarie | 8244 comments Mod
It is also important to get the complete unabridged version. Earlier in the year one of our group members was reading A Room with a View, and the ending had been edited for length and was missing part of the plot resolution.


Jackie | 97 comments such a clever book, considering how long ago it was written. It really set the scene for all the vampire books and films to follow - the main vampire is a truly horrible creature. The plot is a bit dragged out in places - a modern take on it would speed up certain sections, but a great sense of atmosphere created.


She who must not be named (she_who_must_not_be_named) | 11 comments The author is definitely skilled. He did a brilliant job of creating an eerie atmosphere. He bought out the emotions of the characters very well too, for example, the desperation and pure terror felt by Jonathan Harker. The character of Dracula is truly terrifying, nothing like the sparkly, good looking ones we have these days. I feel like this book marks the beginning of vampires starring in popular fiction.
The only major downside of the book was how draggy it gets in many parts. I quit at least 3 times before reaching the last 50 or so pages of the book, where I once again stopped reading. It just seems bothers me when the story could be finished in 10 pages or so but has been dragged out into 50 pages with a lot of details irrelevant to the story. Throughout the book as well, there are several instances of, in my opinion, unnecessary detailing and description which in no way adds to the characters or improves the story.
Apart from that, the book was quite good.
I have a question. I haven't been keeping up to date with the going ons of the group, so is it a coincidence that a book with a slightly darker theme was selected for the month of October on account of Halloween or is that just a coincidence? :P


message 11: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rosemarie | 8244 comments Mod
You are correct. The two monthly books for October were chosen from a list with options suitable for Halloween.
Our YA group is reading a book of general interest-The Diary of Anne Frank. Since the read carries over into November, its topic is suitable, at least in Canada, for the type of books that are read for Remembrace Day(November 11).


Kathy | 1177 comments I really love this book. I'm over 80% finished and it is getting a bit long, but I appreciate the detail Stoker gives the reader. I feel that reading Dracula has provided a background for many elements that I haven't understood in reading. An example, Van Helsing. This character has been referred to in many books I've read but I honestly didn't know the origin until now.


Jackie | 97 comments I also noticed that the author gave the Van Helsing character the first name of 'Abraham' - the same as himself (Bram being short for Abraham) - I wondered if he affiliated with that character?


Latoya  | 55 comments Rosemarie wrote: "It is also important to get the complete unabridged version. Earlier in the year one of our group members was reading A Room with a View, and the ending had been edited for length and was missing p..."

Yes that was me :( I had to reread the story! But I loved Room with a view so I didn't mind. :)

Hi Rosemarie!


message 15: by Latoya (last edited Oct 30, 2016 07:52PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Latoya  | 55 comments Did anyone see Jonathan Rys Meyers Dracula! Loved it

I think it was considered SteamPunk and many viewers complained it was nothing like the book. Well no it wasn't. It was very well done. I wished it would be picked up on another network.

http://m.imdb.com/title/tt2296682/


message 16: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rosemarie | 8244 comments Mod
Hi, V. I am glad you enjoyed Room with a view, so did I.
Happy Halloween!


Dinou R | 24 comments I'm glad I had the opportunity to read this book thanks to this group. It was a good surprise to see that it wasn't as "gory" as most modern vampire novels / movies. I liked the writing (very easy to follow) although I too found it a bit too lenghty at the end. A book I'll surely revisit in a couple of years.


message 18: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rosemarie | 8244 comments Mod
This is now definitely on my to- read list after seeing all these positive comments.


Brian Reynolds | 3765 comments I'm 3/4 finished and find it a fairly smooth read. Like Kathy and Dinou, I find the style to be simple, the format of journal entries with ever-changing narrators to be effective, and think it often goes on too long. I do prefer it to Shelley's Frankenstein.
In the movies, I thought many of the story lines and characters to be boring fluff until the Count showed up, but like Kathy, I am appreciating the books' details and stories of the non-Dracula characters. I want to rewatch some of the earlier film versions, and also see the 1977 BBC miniseries that has Louis Jourdan as Dracula crawling head first down the castle wall and his 'brides' feeding on babies like in the book.


message 20: by Brian (last edited Nov 10, 2016 08:00AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Brian Reynolds | 3765 comments SPOILER

Finished it. Can someone explain why they can kill Dracula with 2 knives instead of the stake to the heart and head-cutting used on others? I would think knives wouldn't do the trick.
Otherwise I enjoyed it very much despite it being overly long and overly adoring of the virtuous female characters. Also, you don't see Dracula that much compared to the movies. There are much fewer depictions of actual 'vampire' events. Its definitely more of an adventure tale of the un-undead characters (& Lucy) than a tale of Dracula. I thought that actually helped the book's story.


message 21: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rosemarie | 8244 comments Mod
This book is still on my to-read list, but other books keep getting in the way.


message 22: by Amy (new) - added it

Amy I will suggest not listening to this as an audiobook. I tried last year, and it moved far too slowly being read aloud for me to continue it. Maybe I'll try it again next October read quickly and quietly to myself.


message 23: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rosemarie | 8244 comments Mod
That is good to know. Reading does go faster than speaking.


message 24: by Latoya (last edited Dec 10, 2016 08:37AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Latoya  | 55 comments Brian wrote: "SPOILER

Finished it. Can someone explain why they can kill Dracula with 2 knives instead of the stake to the heart and head-cutting used on others? I would think knives wouldn't do the trick.
Oth..."


Good points Brian. I listened to the audiobook dramatization and the attention Dr. Helsing gives to Mrs Harkner was nauseating LOL. I was more creeped out by Van Helsing than Dracula!

And the men, felt faint or cried more than the women. I lost it everytime I read Harkner was emotionally distraught from bad news. :)


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