Dracula is a must-read if the genre is of any interest. The basic premise of the book follows Jonathan, a lawyer, that gets caught up in the conniving plans of Count Dracula, a vampire, who is trying to spread his evil in England. Barnes and Noble has these hardcover, special binding classics. I’ve wanted to start collecting them for a long while, and I finally started with Bram Stoker’s Dracula. I had watched the film adaptation with Keanu Reeves, Winona Ryder, and Gary Oldman. The film is good if it’s not compared to the book. The movie is not a faithful adaptation of the characters or plot. And, overall, I’d give the movie an 8 out of 10 rating.
There are mysteries which men can only guess at, which age by age they may solve only in part.
Two characters stood out to me, Mina and the famous Van Helsing. Dr. Van Helsing has his own movies which were made sometime in the early 2000s with Hugh Jackman. He tends to praise Mina in the book and hold her in very high regard. I could not help take that as an attempt at giving his character a feminist vein. I was not sure how to take that. It came across as a little forced, likely by Bram Stoker, to make the character seem more open-minded and progressive than others of his time. Or, worst-case-scenario, it was a subtle introduction of Stoker’s political views regarding working and educated women.
Van Helsing is the first to suspect that Mina’s friends were being hunted by a vampire. And, whipped out the garlic by the pound to ward against Dracula’s blood sucking. He’s the story’s credible source of the vampire mythology in the novel. In retrospect, it’s funny how he kind of stole the story away from the original main characters Jonathan and Mina. Nonetheless, he made the story better. He has a very “take charge” personality when it comes to the trouble that Count Dracula presents.
The vampire mythology was developed well by Bram Stoker. There was so much space to expand the mythology in different ways, and it explains the development of the genre since Stoker first published the novel in 1897. His use of the often-invisible and shadowy European gypsies was ingenious. It gives the vampire mythology an extra layer of plausibility because their use was a great way to blur the facts artistically. Readers can believe in the fiction of it all, as if it had really happened in the past. If you have read any vampire books, I’d recommend reading this one too. It’s a classic for a reason.
Bram, Stoker. Dracula and Other Horror Classics. Barnes & Noble Classics, 1 January 2013.
Get new content delivered directly to your inbox.