I reserved the book prior to publication and waited for over a year to get it. When I ordered it, I knew it was going to be a facsimile of the original 1897 publication. I did not realize, until I held it my hands, that it is an extraordinary, sumptuous, limited edition stored in a red box. I am surprised that the edition has not already sold out.
Dracula, is and will remain the eeriest book of terror ever. I use the word terror advisedly: for horror is what the world has turned it into: with images of splashing, dripping blood. The original is simply mind bending terror. A piece of moonlight turning into a beautiful woman seeking blood, a woman losing her child and Count Dracula later feeding the wolves are scenes of such mind boggling tension that I cannot describe them adequately. Read the book, in the quiet of midnight, preferably with no one else in the house or in deep sleep. The start of the book is almost like a travel guide to Eastern Europe. That part of the world has gone through the heaving ravages of war, genocide and political catastrophies over the past hundred years. Mr. Stoker (Abraham Stoker-from which only Bram was used in as the author's name)wrote seductively, each word is to savored.
Unfortunately, for those who never read the book and their impression of Dracula is from the myriads of bloody, senseless, mindless movies (not counting Nosferatu and Bela Lugosi classics) including clones like Interview with the Vampire, would never know what a literary masterpiece they have missed.
When the story moves to London, the ultimate tragedy of Jonathan, Lucy and Mina are heartrending. Matching the terrifying Count is the towering figure of Dr Van Helsing. Such well known names, but the original book that described them are now only available in uninteresting paperbacks, Signet, Wordworth etc. Folio's edition suffers from illustrations that don't do justice to the book.
So back to holding this book in my hands, it is a sensation of returning 50 years back, when I read the Pocket Book edition, now a collector's item because of the beautiful cover, I can just thank the publishers. A word of note: Colin Toibin's introduction is really superfluous. It does nothing to enhance the understanding of the book, it does not even mention the very important fact that no one knows how many copies (it was a bestseller)of Dracula were sold in the first few months because a fire at the publisher's house destroyed all records.
Perhaps a the spirit of Dracula came back to haunt the Constable house. With this book, the curse will surely be lifted. Magnificent.