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This topic is about Dracula
Previous Quarterly Reads > Feb - Apr 15 Quarterly Read: Dracula

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Emma Flanagan (emma89) This is the discussion thread for our February - April quarterly read Dracula by Bram Stoker.

A spoiler thread will be opened in due course.

message 2: by Trelawn (new)

Trelawn This is well due a reread. I haven't read it since I did a book review on it in 5th class :-) It was also the One City, One Book Choice a few years back so it's a great Irish quarterly pick

Emma Flanagan (emma89) I last read it in college. Probably due at least a quick reread. Given it'll be a reread it'll probably be the second of the two quarterlys I read.

Serf Listened to this last year on audiobook and really enjoyed it. The pure evilness of Dracula is really well portrayed

Emma Flanagan (emma89) Who's audiobook was that Seraphina? May be worth checking out as a way of doing a reread.

Allan Emma, there's a free Librivox recording available, if you can stick some of the cheesy amateur narration. I listened to and enjoyed the book a few years ago, but am not sure if it's one that I'll reread myself.

Paul I've an annotated edition with notes by Leslie Klinger (better known as a Sherlock expert) and an essay by Neil Gaiman. So i'll probably read that one to get a bit of the background. (I've also a standard edition and a popup edition )
This is definitely one of the great Irish novels so I"m looking forward to reading the discussion on it and what people think.

message 8: by Trelawn (new)

Trelawn It was definitely innovative in both style and content, it'll be interesting to see how i respond to it as an adult :-)

Frank McAdam | 73 comments Dracula always seemed to me at least partly a psychological thriller (along with Jekyll & Hyde) in the sense that Victorians were expressing a fear of the evil that lay hidden within themselves behind their own respectable façades.

message 10: by Paul (new) - rated it 5 stars

Paul Thats definitely a part of it. It certainly reflects the dark side of all the characters , not just Dracula

Luciana Damasceno (lucydamasceno) | 11 comments One of my favorite books, I read it long time ago, but it was in Portuguese. So, it will be really exciting to read it again, now on Stoker's real words. My copy is already waiting for me!

message 12: by Paul (new) - rated it 5 stars

Paul Excellent. Glad to see your enthusiastic. For me I think its one of the best Irish novels ever and will be interested to see how others enjoy it.
It will be interesting to see if you find it much different in English ☺

message 13: by Paul (new) - rated it 5 stars

Paul I'll be starting my read later on today. I'm going to read the Leslie Klinger annotated edition to see what additional things I learn . It has lovely pictures from the era of the various settings of the book as well as a lot of background . Should make the reread quite interesting

Kevin I picked up a new leatherbound edition myself from Barnes and Noble recently. The last time I read Dracula it was a library copy plus this is the sort of book I want to last and look pretty :)

message 15: by Paul (new) - rated it 5 stars

Paul I saw the Barnes and Noble leather edition, great black cover and very reasonable price.

Started in but mainly just read the intro. A reasonable background to Stokers life plus lots of interesting photos of people who have played the characters on stage and screen.

Kevin Paul, have you ever read the sequel by his great grand nephew Dacre Stoker? I really truly absolutely and definitely recommend you not reading it :)

message 17: by Paul (new) - rated it 5 stars

Paul I read the first few chapters and decided to leave it as I love the book too much to sully it with such bad writing. Dacre Stoker did not inherit writing talent.
When I finish this I'm going to try Stokers collection of short stories that Trelawn bought me for Christmas. I've read Draculas Guest but the rest will be new to me.

message 18: by Paul (new) - rated it 5 stars

Paul Based on the notes so far in my book -
Vendors in London used to sell meat for cats back in the day. Now thats the information you get an annotated copy for ☺ Also interesting to know there was a previous chapter removed so the book starts with chapter 2 and some of the locations were changed late on

Kevin It is more or less erased from my mind at this stage. It just weakly played on the erotic elements of Dracula and vampires and lacked originality. Bram Stoker probably haunts him now though so its all good

message 20: by Paul (new) - rated it 5 stars

Paul Best update on it all I've read was The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova.

Kevin I have that on my shelf by your recommendation and I'm hoping to read it soon. I've a long list of books to get through :)

message 22: by Paul (new) - rated it 5 stars

Paul I've quite the list as well. I always feel guilty picking my next book to read as there are so many waiting.

Frank McAdam | 73 comments One book I recently read was Weird Vampire Tales: 30 Blood-Chilling Stories from the Weird Fiction Pulps. I thought it was interesting to see how the pulps adapted the Dracula story over the years. Usually, these stories were much more lurid than the original.

message 24: by Paul (new) - rated it 5 stars

Paul I suppose that era was all about the shock factor

message 25: by Paul (new) - rated it 5 stars

Paul Description of Dracula is quite interesting . The annotated edition points out how it differs so much from most portrayals of the character. He is described as an old man with a thick moustache and bushy eyebrows. So different from the iconic screen inages.

message 26: by Emma (new) - rated it 4 stars

Emma Flanagan (emma89) I'm doing this as an audiobook as I had to an in depth reading of it within the last 5 yrs for college. I downloaded it from Livbrivox. I've listened to the first chapter so far. The guy doing Jonathan I suspect isn't English. He is trying to sound English and pompous. It's quite funny at first. By the end I was use to it and it didn't detract from the text.

Luciana Damasceno (lucydamasceno) | 11 comments I have started reading it, I am on Chapter 3. It has been really interesting reading it on its original language. I am more more touched by the story as it sounds much darker and scary through Stoker's own words. I guess any translation makes you lose something inspirational, doesn't matter how good the translator is.

Also, one of my friends said that, because now I live in Ireland, I can experience the real feeling that comes with this book - actually, I was told that "I could never be really scared of a vampire while living in a such sunny place as Brazil" LOL

Anyway, I am really enjoying it, and I want to go through its pages slowly. I am reading one chapter per time and then re-reading it through an audiobook I found on YouTube (narrated by Rob Goll).

message 28: by Paul (new) - rated it 5 stars

Paul Good approach to reading it. I'm reading it quite slowly this time as well, Savouring the words.
Its quite interesting the additional detail I'm picking up on

message 29: by Paul (new) - rated it 5 stars

Paul Very interesting to read that Lucy was dumbed down from the first draft.

message 30: by Serf (new) - rated it 4 stars

Serf Really? I felt she was one of the weaker characters and it was a very "close" relationship between the two women. Almost bordering on the scandalous

Kevin She was probably dumbed down to make her appear more innocent whilst also allowing Mina's intelligence to shine more.

message 32: by Emma (last edited Feb 14, 2015 02:58AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Emma Flanagan (emma89) So she wasn't meant to be quite such a bimbo. I wonder how much she was dumbed down.

I know what you mean Seraphina. Though it is a book full of "close" relationships.

message 33: by Emma (new) - rated it 4 stars

Emma Flanagan (emma89) Innocence is never a word I've associated with Lucy.

message 34: by Paul (new) - rated it 5 stars

Paul Stoker seems to have removed quite a few lines by her which would have made her a bit more of a personality than she is. I always found it odd that three men were fauning over what cane across as a cardboard cutout and Mina refers to her way with words a few times which contradicted the substance we are presented with.
The editing explains that then .

message 35: by Paul (new) - rated it 5 stars

Paul And I agree Emma , she certainly wasnt innocent. I always assumed she played the men off each other and knew how to get her way.

message 36: by Emma (new) - rated it 4 stars

Emma Flanagan (emma89) They are fawning over her because she is pretty, and meant to radiate sexuality but knows how to hide it behind this damsel in distress, innocent little girl act. She doesn't require depth to fulfil that role.

message 37: by Paul (new) - rated it 5 stars

Paul True i suppose. I like to think better of the would be heros but obviously its not the case

message 38: by Emma (new) - rated it 4 stars

Emma Flanagan (emma89) I'm not convinced there are any heros in this book. I'll have to open the spoiler thread though to explain as I can't do it without potential spoilers.

message 39: by Paul (new) - rated it 5 stars

Paul I know what you mean though. When the spoiler thread is open and I'm further in my reread we can discuss. I do quite like Van Helsing as a character but he is no hero.

message 40: by Paul (new) - rated it 5 stars

Paul The little old lady who puts the rosary on Harker is the standout hero of the book ☺

message 41: by Serf (new) - rated it 4 stars

Serf All the characters have flaws, have you read other works by him Paul. Do you think he designed those characters deliberately or are all his characters flawed?

message 42: by Paul (new) - rated it 5 stars

Paul I'd like to think its deliberate but he has flaws as a writer and misses some obvious mistakes .

Neil  | 22 comments Enjoying it so far, I had prejudged it as boring but I was surprised at how good the first four chapter were, thumbs up

message 44: by Marylee (new) - added it

Marylee MacDonald (marylee_macdonald) | 7 comments I had never read Dracula, but was surprised to find it written in epistolary style. The opening reminded me of Travels Through France and Italy. Stoker took pains to balance the beauty of the countryside with just enough menace that the reader anticipates a dark destination.

message 45: by Emma (new) - rated it 4 stars

Emma Flanagan (emma89) I was listening to the description of Dracula earlier and I agree with Paul, he is nothing like how we now imagine vampires. The dark handsome brooding, Byronic, lead he is not. I wonder when that change happened. In the original films he is far closer to the description in the books.

message 46: by Paul (new) - rated it 5 stars

Paul Hes certainly less polished up in the early films. Nosferatu is much more monstrous looking than the image vampires took from around the 50s on.

message 47: by Emma (new) - rated it 4 stars

Emma Flanagan (emma89) Nosferatu is what sprung to mind listening to the description.

message 48: by Paul (new) - rated it 5 stars

Paul Considering its a rip off rather than an official adaption its quite interesting its more loyal.

Frank McAdam | 73 comments I think the change in Dracula's image can be attributed to Lugosi's portrayal. He had already starred in the Broadway stage version before traveling to Hollywood. Lugosi's Wikipedia bio states: "Lugosi's Dracula was unlike any previous portrayals of the role. Handsome and mysterious, Lugosi's Dracula was at once so alluring and so dreadful that audiences gasped when he first opened his mouth to speak." It's interesting in that Lugosi was himself a native of Transylvania and so could honestly claim to be something of an expert on the subject, even more so than Stoker.

message 50: by Paul (new) - rated it 5 stars

Paul I've been looking at the images of actors portraying him in my edition and I'd say you're right Bela Lugosi seems to have set the trend.

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