I first read Dracula in May of 2000 while on tour in Canada with my college's choir. I was freshly in love with the TV show Angel and its titular vampire hero, and I decided I ought to read the greatest vampire novel of all time.
Maybe this is not a good book to read while riding on a bus for hour after hour. Or while missing your first real boyfriend, whom you've been dating for like a month. Or when you're twenty. I don't know. I just remember thinking this book was boring and being mad because my favorite character died.
Reading it again at age 40, after spending half my life intrigued by vampires, but also after having read a whole lot more Victorian fiction? I reeeeeally dug it. Boring? Not at all! I found it tense and fast-paced, with a excellent suspense that mounted page after page.
And this time, my favorite character didn't die. Because this time, my favorite character was Abram Van Helsing. (Sorry, Texan.) My goodness, what a fount of courage, knowledge, and resourcefulness! I've never been prouder to be half Dutch.
I really liked the epistolary format that Stoker uses, because it made this feel like everything was happening right now. Very immediate, and great for building suspense toward the end as different characters told what they were doing, and you know what was happening to others, but they didn't.
|(My photo from my Instagram account.)|
Particularly Good Bits:
The real God taketh heed lest a sparrow fall; but the god created from human vanity sees no difference between an eagle and a sparrow (p. 142).
What a fine fellow is Quincey! I believe in my heart of hearts that he suffered as much about Lucy's death as any of us; but he bore himself through it like a moral Viking (p. 238).
We are all drifting reefwards now, and faith is our only anchor (p. 424).
How can women help loving men when they are so earnest, and so true, and so brave! (p. 486)
If This was a Movie, I Would Rate It: PG-13 for scary situations, suspense, and some icky stuff about eating bugs and spiders, plus quite a lot of blood. It's not gory or graphic like a modern horror novel or thriller, but it's intense sometimes.
This was my seventh book read and reviewed for my third Classics Club list.