I was in the hospital recently for 3 days and had decided to take a good book along as reading is a really great way to pass time - and I chose Dracula. I hadn't actually read the book even though I had to read literature journals about the role of woman in the victorian society, the function of the monster, sexuality and eroticism in gothic novels, and about vampires as a gothic creation that stood for the monster that was allowed to do everythings that wasn't in the prude victorian society.
I knew the story before I read it of course - most people do. There was an amazing film based on the novel made in 1992, and Roman Polanski had made a fabulous parody of the theme with his "Dance of the Vampires".
The book is made up of jounral and diary entries, letters, log books and news paper clips, always told from the different perspectives of the main characters, Jonathan Harker, Mina Harker, Lucy Westenra and Dr. Seward. Famou Dr. van Helsing is quoted and mentioned, as are several others. The different characters do not know each other in the beginning but as the plot thickens it all comes together. The way the story does that is really well done. And it is full of suspense - it isn't really a horror story for most of the time, more like a mystery novel about an unlikely group of people that meet under unusual circumstances and then decide to fight monsters. The language is cool - at least I think so - victorian english simply has style. The only thing that was a bit annoying was the way the men treat Mina after they all first met. Hunting monsters would be too much for her and so they decide that she can't join in on the fun. Woman as fragile beeings that a prone to hysteria - that is so old fashioned. The erotic undertones that can be found in the book if one looks for it are very very subtly - but as my english prof put it: subtle means sex in 19th century literature (he said that in regards to Kate Chopin's novel "The Awakening").
It was especially fun to read the book to cleanse myself from anything Twilight related. That series is the most dumb drivel I have come across recently. I do not know why it is so popular. Vampires that glitter in the sun, are chaste (duh) and shallow teenagers.. bleh. First person narration just makes the whole thing more irritating. I admit that I have only read about the half of the first book, then I couldn't stand it any more. *shudder*
Vampires are not chaste boring beings that are not evil on top of everything. They are monsters, and even though there are ambivalent figures in vampire literature (eg Anne Rice's novels) that try to retain their humanity and morality, they ultimately all fail. "Interview with a Vampire" is a good story example for that. Brad Pitt looked hot in the movie as well lol
I recommend this book to anyone who wants to read a good book with alot of suspense, great language and a thrilling plot. The book starts off with the story of Jonathan Harker in Transylvania where he meets Count Dracula .. it is a literature classic. The 1992 film is very good as well.