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Dracula (Penguin Classics) [Paperback]

Bram Stoker
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
RRP: 5.99
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Book Description

9 Sep 2004 Penguin Classics

Bram Stoker's peerless tale of desperate battle against a powerful, ancient vampire, the Penguin Classics edition of Dracula is edited with notes and an introduction by Maurice Hindle, as well as a preface by Christopher Frayling.

When Jonathan Harker visits Transylvania to help Count Dracula purchase a London house, he makes horrifying discoveries in his client's castle. Soon afterwards, disturbing incidents unfold in England: a ship runs aground on the shores of Whitby, its crew vanished; beautiful Lucy Westenra slowly succumbs to a mysterious, wasting illness, her blood drained away; and the lunatic Renfield raves about the imminent arrival of his 'master'. In the ensuing battle of wills between the sinister Count and a determined group of adversaries - led by the intrepid vampire hunter Abraham van Helsing - Bram Stoker created a masterpiece of the horror genre, probing into questions of identity, sanity and the dark corners of Victorian sexuality and desire.

For this completely updated edition, Maurice Hindle has revised his introduction, list of further reading and notes, and added two appendices: Stoker's essay on censorship and his interview with Winston Churchill, both published in 1908. Christopher Frayling's preface discusses the significance and the influences that contributed to his creation of the Dracula myth.

Abraham 'Bram' Stoker (1847-1912) was educated at Trinity College, Dublin. Stoker joined the Irish Civil Service, before his love of theatre led him to become the unpaid drama critic for the Dublin Mail. He went on to act as manager and secretary for the actor Sir Henry Irving while writing his novels, the most famous of which is Dracula (1897).

If you enjoyed Dracula, you may like Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, also available in Penguin Classics.

'One of the most powerful horror tales ever written'

Malcolm Bradbury

'Nobody has ever filmed it like Bram Stoker wrote it'

Sir Christopher Lee

'Staggeringly lurid and perverse'

Sarah Waters, author of Fingersmith


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Product details

  • Paperback: 560 pages
  • Publisher: Longman; 1 edition (9 Sep 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 014143984X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141439846
  • Product Dimensions: 20.1 x 12.9 x 2.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,783 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"An exercise in masculine anxiety and nationalist paranoia, Stoker's novel is filled with scenes that are staggeringly lurid and perverse... The one in Highgate cemetery, where Arthur and Van Helsing drive a stake through the writhing body of the vampirised Lucy Westenra, is my favourite" (Sarah Waters)

"It is splendid. No book since Mrs. Shelley's Frankenstein or indeed any other at all has come near yours in originality, or terror" (Bram Stoker’s Mother)

"In my opinion Dracula is about how suffocating Victorian times were. The bonus is, you get vampires!" (Ryan Adams) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Book Description

'Those who cannot find their own reflection in Bram Stoker's still-living creation are surely the undead' - New York Times Review of Books --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my Favourite books ever 22 Mar 2007
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Dracula is without doubt the prime vampire novel. Bram Stoker writes with tension and passion, forfeiting overly gruesome images for restless tension. This novel is a must for lovers of 'horror', but equally can be read as a historic representation of late 19th Century culture. A literary classic.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By Rowena Hoseason HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
Because the general story of Dracula is so well known, it's easy to think that you'll know all of what's going to happen when you read the original by Bram Stoker. In fact, much of what is in the book is far more pschologically threatening than in any of the gore-fest films we've all seen. Stoker's Dracula is genuinely, breath-takingly menacing... and beyond redemption.

With Dracula you get well drawn characters relating their ghastly experiences, and you're not spoon-fed the narrative -- you have to join some of the dots yourself. There is a dark, sensual overtone to much of the novel (which puts many modern authors, who turn their books into total shag-fests, completely in the shade!), and a complete horror when Dracula is fully revealed.

But there are some downsides. The novel bogs down in the mid-section. The language is of its time -- so it takes careful reading if you're used to modern horror gallop-along novels. And much of the fear and loathing develops in the mind of the reader, not from over-wrought narrative.
So to get the most from Dracula you need to take your time reading it, and put some effort in.

If you prefer your thrills to be a little easier to access then I'd recommend Stephen King's 'Salem's Lot', or watch the film with Gary Oldman. They're not as pure as the original, but they do justice to the concept.

I first read Dracula when I was 14 or so, and it's just as scary now that I'm 40!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
With the plethora of Vampire novels flooding the market, it is vital for anyone who loves the eerie and mysterious to read this classic 19th century masterpiece which introduced the intricate story of Count Dracula to the world
Begins the journey of young English solicitor Jonathan Harker to the Carpathian mountain castle of Count Dracula, to finish a real estate deal. Beguiled at first by Dracula's engaging manner Harker soon discovers he is a prisoner in the castle.
He explores, against Dracula's orders, forbidden parts of the Castle, and is attacked by three wanton female vampires but is saved by Dracula who wants to keep him alive to learn about Harker's homeland
Harker barely escapes the castle with his life. Meanwhile Dracula makes his way to England, on a Russian boat, the Demeter , where he tracks Harker;s innocent young fiancee Wilhelmina "Mina" Murray and her best friend Lucy Westenra. He can assume a manner of shapes and sizes , and metamorphose into bats, wolves and other beings in order to get whore he wants. He can control nature and all manner of animals, such as rats, bats, wolves and dogs. Dracula infect Lucy with his vampire condition and eventually kills her and her mother, he also infects Mina but Mina is to survive. And the hunt for Dracula begins to cure Mina and prevent the demon from infecting and destroying more victims, Professor Abraham Van Helsing, Dr Seward and Jonathan Harker begin the hunt for Dracula which will take them back to the Carpathian mountains for the gripping final scene.

I'm certainly happy I read this novel-which sits on the throne besides classics as Wuthering Heights and the works of Edgar Allen Poe and Mary Shelley, as one of the greatest Gothic novels of all time.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fangs for the dark memories... 17 Nov 2010
Format:Paperback
Dracula is a superb Gothic horror by Bram Stoker and is a real pleasure to read. The book is told in diary form and different fragments by a host of different characters. Ignore the cheesy horror movies and Twilight-Dracula is the real McCoy and is a chilling supernatural horror story beautifully written by Stoker. The novel starts off in Dracula's homeland and the descriptions written about the castle and the Count's nocturnal activities are incredibly creepy and disturbing. This is a novel about good versus evil and also the supernatural versus modern Victorian technology. There is a great group of characters lead by Professor Van Helsing fighting hard to stop the Count from taking over London. The novel and the action quickly grip you and you are hooked. This is a superior tale of Gothic horror and eternal love. It is well worth reading because Stoker created a truly remarkable evil creation.
Terrific stuff
5 stars
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Transylvanian Triumph! 26 Feb 2009
Format:Paperback
It seems a bit strange reviewing a book that is such a well known, if not often read classic. I'll try my best.
Everyone knows the story of Dracula - or do they?
The Penguin Classics versions are in my opinion the best as they provide the reader with much more than the actual story. A brilliant study aid.
Stoker's writing creates a wonderfully creepy atmosphere, and paints a perfect picture of horror.
Read it if you dare!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
Dracula may be an iconic figure in film and television, but his appeal is not diminished in print. This truly is a wonderful, absorbing read; I enjoyed it far more than I expected to. Stoker's prose is pleasantly easy to read (although the footnotes do come in handy for some of the more obscure references to medieval eastern European history).
The narrative is generally well-paced, only occasionally sagging under the weight of unnecessary scene-setting and backstory. It is told from a multitude of viewpoints with an almost postmodern attention to point-of-view distortions. This device also goes a considerable way towards breathing real life into the engaging characters.
The story is a familiar one, of course, particularly to anyone who has seen the 1992 film version. With Coppola's slightly salacious additions stripped away (Lucy is a giddy charmer here rather than a perpetually-tipsy flirt, for example), this is an often stark tale, redolent with folkloric eerieness, as fin-de-siecle scientific triumphalism battles vainly against an older, altogether darker set of laws.
However many versions of the story you've seen, _Dracula_ remains a surprisingly rich and unnerving read - all the richer, indeed, for the cultural resonance it has picked up since it was first published. We have seen Jonathan Harker reach his slow realisation of the true nature of the Count countless times, yet this knowing shiver only adds to the creeping unease when Harker first enters Dracula's castle.
This a gem of a novel, waiting to be rediscovered.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars A Product of its Time, But No Less Scary
Bram Stoker's Dracula is the story that created a genre. In some way or another, we can link any vampire film or book back to the original book by Bram Stoker, but many will wonder... Read more
Published 15 hours ago by Steven Stewart
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic
This is a classic horror story that, aside from the main story, has many underlining meanings. The characters are deep and my opinion of them changed as I read it more carefully. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Robert Pask
2.0 out of 5 stars not what I expected
OK, I couldn't finish this book. I tried, holy hell did I try - but by 90% I was so annoyed I had to put it down. The writing was too sterile. The diaries were far too boring. Read more
Published 23 months ago by ovarovar
3.0 out of 5 stars Rarely wowed, occasionally disappointed.
My knowledge of the story Dracula has been put together in a piecemeal fashion by watching many parts of many film adaptations over many years. Read more
Published on 30 Jan 2012 by John M
5.0 out of 5 stars The best book I have ever read
I am going to keep this quite short. I can not tell you how much I have enjoyed this book. I have always been a horror fan but it never occurred to me to read this book - the book... Read more
Published on 11 Dec 2011 by Dr.T.Hussain
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth a read, regardless of the familiarity of the subject matter
Perhaps the pre-eminent work of classic gothic horror, and undoubtedly the work most heavily borrowed from in popular horror and fantasy, Dracula, despite the familiarity of its... Read more
Published on 13 May 2011 by A. J. Smith
4.0 out of 5 stars suprising
I found this book to be quite percular read and unexpected but in a good way mostly. The films i have seen were clearly not very faithful to the book so it has a very refreshing... Read more
Published on 3 May 2010 by Twelve
5.0 out of 5 stars Grippingly Classic Horror and Engagingly Well-Written Literature
Bram Stoker's gothic thriller, is a dark supernatural horror story that we all know and even if we didn't, draws on all the innate archetypes of fear. Read more
Published on 18 Aug 2008 by Talc Demon
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterpiece
Bram Stoker's masterpiece is a timeless classic and is still highly recommended even though it's over 100 years old. Read more
Published on 14 Jan 2008 by High Water
3.0 out of 5 stars Complete and unabridged
My expectation before starting the book was plenty of rather dull, verbose rambling, interspersed with passages which were thrilling and unsettling. Read more
Published on 25 Oct 2007 by Spidergrid
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