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CLASSICS Reviews 2016 > Dracula / Bram Stoker - 5*****

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message 1: by Book Concierge (last edited Oct 24, 2016 01:42PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 214 comments Mod
Dracula – Bram Stoker
Audiobook narrated by Alexander Spender and Susan Adams

Does anyone really need a synopsis? If you’ve seen any of the movies, you know the basic plot, but the original novel is so much more!

Stoker wrote the work as a series of journal or diary entries, letters and newspaper clippings. This could easily become disjointed, but in this case, it serves to give a certain immediacy to the writing. It also builds suspense, as we leave one character to jump to another’s perspective, frequently with a disconnect in terms of what each of the characters knows about the full situation. The danger they are in is frequently a result of not having the full picture, of not truly understanding the force against which they are pitted.

But the novel is more than just a horror story. There are several themes which would be great for book group discussion.

To begin there is the typical Victorian theme of strong men coming to the rescue of pure damsel in distress. However, Stoker turns the tables a bit when he gives Mina the intelligence, foresight and courage to fight the evil forces in her own way. Yes, the men do the actual fighting, but it is Mina who first puts together all the individual notes into a coherent chronological story, and ultimately gives the men what they need to go up against Dracula. The woman has steel!

Stoker also includes a fair amount of sexual – or at least sensual – tension. Bosoms heave, blood quickens, breathing is rapid, and people are completely overcome and overwhelmed by desire. They are simply helpless in the face of their base instincts … or are they?

The novel is wonderfully atmospheric; from the delights of a new culture as Harker first experiences the loveliness of Eastern Europe, to the growing sense of doom when surrounded by howling wolves, to the creepy, skin-crawling scene with the hordes of rats (I feel squeamish as I type this), and finally to the “pure-white” snow of the mountain blizzard, time and again Stoker puts the reader smack dab in the middle of the scenes.

There are several different audio versions. The one I had from my library was masterfully performed by Alexander Spander and Susan Adams. Each voiced the journals / diaries based on the gender of the character writing that segment.

My Review HERE

Tracy (tstan) | 25 comments One of my favorites- I can't believe it took me until a few years ago to read it. I also have an audio that I hope to listen to soon with a large cast, including Tim Curry and Alan Cumming.

Lara (llevinson) | 115 comments Mod
One of my favorites as well. And I, too, didn't read it until recently!

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