Play Book Tag discussion

20 views
Archive: Other Books > Dracula / Bram Stoker - 5*****

Comments Showing 1-7 of 7 (7 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Book Concierge (new)

Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 6018 comments Dracula by Bram Stoker
Dracula - Bram Stoker
Digital Audiobook performed by Simon Vance
5*****

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. For my second listen I managed to get the Blackstone Audio version narrated by Simon Vance. I liked this audio even better than the first one I listened to. But then, I would probably listen to Simon Vance read his grocery list.


LINK to my review


message 2: by Tracy (new)

Tracy (tstan) | 1208 comments I loved this book! I can’t believe that it took me so long to read it- I read it just a few years ago. I have an audible copy with a cast that includes Tim Curry and Alan Cumming, that I plan to listen to someday soon.


message 3: by Book Concierge (new)

Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 6018 comments Well, my F2F book club meeting was a small one (only 7 people out of 18 members). But everyone loved it. Two had never even seen any of the Dracula movies so it was all new to them. Great discussion!


message 4: by LibraryCin (new)

LibraryCin | 8639 comments Tracy wrote: "I loved this book! I can’t believe that it took me so long to read it- I read it just a few years ago. I have an audible copy with a cast that includes Tim Curry and Alan Cumming, that I plan to li..."

Oooh, I bet the audio would be good. I liked the book (read for the first time only a few years ago, as well), but didn't love it. But, I bet an audio would be fun!


message 5: by Charlie (new)

Charlie  Ravioli (charlie_ravioli) | 493 comments Great review! I've read lots of Stephen King (including Salem's Lot, which is also about vampires) but I've never read Dracula. I'm going to move it up on my TBR list based on your review. Have you read any other vampire books such as The Historian, The Strain Trilogy, or Carrion Comfort? If so, I wonder how Dracula compares (better, the same or worse)?


message 6: by Susie (new)

Susie | 4488 comments I read this when I was studying literature at uni and loved it. I might see if I can squeeze it in again for Fall Flurry. Thanks for your review.


message 7: by Book Concierge (last edited Oct 17, 2017 07:20AM) (new)

Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 6018 comments Charlie wrote: "Great review! I've read lots of Stephen King (including Salem's Lot, which is also about vampires) but I've never read Dracula. I'm going to move it up on my TBR list based on your review. Have you..."

I don't generally read "vampire" stories ... so have little with which to compare it. This is definitely literature!

I did read King's 'Salem's Lot back when it was a new book and I remember being scared half out of my wits. But as great a writer as King is, and as much of a fan of his as I am ... his book is not nearly so complex as Stoker's original.


back to top