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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
A mate of mine always relates a story pertaining to our childhood where when he was off playing army or cowboys and Indians , I and whoever I could persuade at the time, were off playing vampires -hiding in tree's though what that has to do with vampires is anybody's guess. Vampires have fascinated me since I first came to these shores in only kidding , since I was very small. The Hammer Dracula films left an indelible imprint on my fermenting but feverish imagination and as soon as I was able to afford it(paper-round money ) I bought Bram Stokers 1897 novel .Even my unsophisticated teenage mind knew it was dealing with a literary classic and having re-read again it recently for the first time in a long time my unsophisticated adult mind has come to the same conclusion .It a gothic masterpiece, it's a horror masterpiece fact lets just say it's a masterpiece.
The novel is told in an epistolary style , that is the novel is mainly composed of journal entries and letters written by several narrators who also serve as the novel's main characters . It seems unnecessary to go over any of the plot only to say that as well as mining European folklore and stories of vampires, Stokers novel also explores the role of women in Victorian culture, conventional and conservative sexuality, immigration, colonialism, superstition and the cutting edge (then ) of medical science and theory's .
The Victorians viewed it ostensibly as a rollicking adventure novel but it only received the attention and notoriety we take for granted nowadays when the film industry picked up on the appeal of vampires lore. And talking of lore it is oft mentioned that Stoker used Vlad III Dracula (or Vlad the Impaler ) and Countess Bathory as inspirations for the novel .
Whatever his inspiration Stoker created a distinctly memorable character in the rapacious Count but rather like Thomas Harris did with Red Dragon and The Silence of the Lambs made the character hunting the villain just as memorable. Van Helsing is at one and the same time a man of science familiar with the latest trends and technologies yet is also open to the existence of a supernatural being , which of course hard men of science would mock and eschew.
Even though the main character is not in the narrative as much as we would like the book has a beautifully and expertly realised air of creepy tension and is thick with atmosphere. I sat at my computer desk for a good fifteen minutes struggling to think of another novel that so adroitly conveys feelings and situations as palpable as Dracula and eventually came up with Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (Wordsworth Classics): Or, the Modern Prometheus ( bit lame that I know ) and another vampire novel ,and a sadly overlooked at that Skipp And Spectors wonderful The Light at the End. I'm not a big fan but Stephen Kings Salem's Lot is pretty replete with dread heavy ambience too.
Vampire fiction has been badly served of late with lightweight vampire as bleached hotty fare like Twilight (Twilight Saga) .Yet for every work of lightweight fluff like that here is something wonderful like Let the Right One in that comes at the genre from a withering new angle.
Fair to say though that Dracula is the king of the vampire and that Bram Stokers book is still , 112 years on ,still the king of vampire novels.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 24 August 2009
Surprisingly "Denn die Toten reiten schnell" or "For the dead travel fast" is more than an opening line to this tale of love in the dangerous moon light. After watching several Drac movies and a few Nosferatu's, I pretty much though I had a handle on the genera. Little did I know what a wonderful world of mystery and suspense that Bram Stoker opened up for me.

The story is told mostly third party though the papers, diaries, and phonograph recordings (on wax calendars) of those people involve in a tale so bizarre that it almost defies belief. The general story line is that of a Count that plans to move to a more urban setting (from Borgo Pass to London) where there is a richer diet. There he finds succulent women; something he can sing his teeth in. Unfortunately for him a gang of ruffians (including a real-estate agent, asylum director, Texas cowboy and an Old Dutch abnormal psychologist) is out to detour his nocturnal munching. They think they have Drac on the run but with a wing and a prayer he is always one step ahead.

Of more value to the reader is the rich prose chosen by Stoker as he describes the morals and technology of the time. We have to come to grips with or decide if we can perform the rituals that are required to eliminate vampires verses the impropriety of opening graves and staking loved ones. The powers in the book differ from the movie versions in that they are more of persuasion and capabilities to manipulate the local weather. At one point the Dutch Dr. Van Helsing, is so overwhelmed by a beautiful vampire laying in the grave that he almost for gets why he is there and may become vamp chow.

All in all the story is more in the cunning chase. And the question as to will they succeed or will Dracula triumph. Remember "For the dead travel fast."
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on 13 May 2012
i was very surprised by this book, held in great suspense all through the book i could hardly out it down at times. Dracula is a name everyone is familiar with and all the vampire lore we see today all stems from this book in which the Count as captivated readers imaginations ever since and continues to. from the start the reader will notice a very different writing style to any other, the whole book is all written as a series of journal entries, letters and newspaper clippings from its principle characters and this gives it an incredible feeling like as if you are actually reading their very journals as you get lost in the story. the story builds over time, along with the suspense, at times it can feel like its dragging on but your are kept in mystery much of the time and that is what pushes you to keep reading as you never know how its going to turn out. this version has a great introduction (don't read it before the book) which explains the themes of the book and how the idea for it came to the author. while the characters do lack dept that though prevents from getting drowns in minor details and allows you to concentrate on the story itself which in parts will have you totally engrossed in it. a fantastic book that should be read by all just merely for the sake of reading a book that all have heard of but few have actually read.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 5 February 2011
The font does not appear to be larger than usual in this book but it is printed on smooth white pages which helps it to stand out and there is a space between each paragraph. It is better than peering at minute text on the yellowish rough pages that cheaper books seem to come with so it was definitely worth paying a little more for this edition, plus the cover appealed to me more than a ghoulish alternative. It is slightly larger than an average paperback. There are so many vampire themed books about now that it is time that we read the original one! One of an interesting selection of esoteric books in the Forgotten Books collection.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 1 December 2014
I first read 'Dracula' when I was 17 or 18 and I remember really enjoying it. Twenty years' later I thought I'd reread it. Big mistake. Stoker conjures up some terrific individual scenes and the opening few chapters documenting Harker's time at Castle Dracula are superb. For me it starts to fall apart about halfway through when the plot begins to run out of steam. Some of the subsequent events feel like word-spinning but the biggest criticism I would make now is the two-dimensional characterisation. The men are mostly insufferable, stiff-upper-lipped Victorians, trembling with suppressed emotion or weeping with wonderment at the plucky bravery of Mina Harker. Mina herself is almost angelic in her sweet virtue and holy nature. Everyone is utterly wonderful to everyone else, and it sort of starts to grate. I also found the attempt to mimic Van Helsing's Dutch accent really very trying towards the end.

'Dracula', as an idea, is superb and, as I said, some of the scenes are iconic but rereading it with older eyes I can't but realise that the book isn't actually that well written or that well plotted. It's undeniably a cultural classic but more, perhaps, for what it started than as a work of literature in its own right. As a piece of writing, 'Frankenstein' is far superior.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 16 October 2009
This is a faithful retelling of the original. The illustrations are stunning and sympathetic to the text.
Beautifully written and an excellent, gripping adventure for 9+ - A good way to introduce them to this classic story.

The slip case version makes a fabulous present - very stylish.

I would highly recommend - this is one of the best versions of Dracula around for kids at the moment.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 24 November 2012
This is a wonderful edition of a classic novel, beautifully produced and presented. I was pleasantly surprised at how well this hardback book was packaged; it comes in a sturdy, red slipcase which is in turn housed in a nice, protective box. You would have to be extremely unlucky for this to be damaged in transit.

I don't really have much more to add to existing reviews, except to say that this really is a must-have edition if you are a collector or even if you just like the novel. I already have two other copies of Dracula and purchased this as an investment as it is sure to become a sought after item in years to come. I think this quality product is well worth the asking price.

Please take a look at the photos I submitted to get a better idea of what is included in this beautiful package.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on 18 September 2006
I started reading this unsure of what to expect...and had finished it within 3 days, as I was unable to put it down! It goes almost straight into the story and the action starts immediately. It is also interesting that the book is written completely in letters, journal entries and so forth. The characters are interesting, especially the count himself, and it seems quite real at times (I found myself closing all my windows and checking my room for vampires).

My only complaint was that I found that the book ended quite abruptly...the story was excellent and it prepared me for a huge, wonderful ending...and then never presented it. The book ended awfully suddenly in comparison to the rest of the book which was excellent.

HOWEVER despite this, I still recommend this as its a great read and the book looks great with the red cover. Recommended :)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 9 January 2001
The legend of dracula has intrigued people for hundreds of years and Transylvania is still a mythical place, fearde by many. especially at night... Bram Stoker would have abhorred the sickeningly bad attempts at retelling the story on the white screen, even if every director boasts "back to the original" intentions. The only effect the films have had -strangely enough- have been to make the original story so much better!! We know more about the undead, stakes, garlic than did Stoker's first readers and this only makes the plot more intriguing. The book is partly composed of letters from different characters to other, which is a clever way of increasing the suspense, as the reader is the only person with all the answers...
It's an absolute must!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Ever since its publication Bram Stoker's Dracula has always stayed in the public imagination. Although The Beetle initially sold more copies than this book, Marsh's novel eventually fell into the black hole of forgotten books, whereas Dracula still reigned. Like the sightings of aliens that followed such B movies as The Day The Earth Stood Still and others, Dracula caused vampire scares throughout Europe into the early 20th Century. With it being filmed so many times, both for the cinema as well as the TV, and stage adaptations that are still being made this century, as well as a plethora of publishers having it in their catalogues this story is set to remain with us well into the foreseeable future, indeed until the end of time.

Ever since John Polidari expanded on the piece by Lord Byron and gave us 'The Vampyre' the reading public has been fascinated by the whole vampire idea. Bram Stoker's novel isn't the most literary tale ever written, but who really cares, as it is still great. Written as letters, journal and diary entries we are slowly allowed to see the whole story. Dracula himself we never hear from. We don't know what his ultimate plans and lusts are, which gives it a much more frightening aspect than if we did. Of course the underlying tale has more than a whiff of erotica. Dracula goes for young virginal women on the whole unless he needs a quick drink or needs to convert someone for his uses. The blood taken from the throat is obviously symbolic of a woman's hymen being broken, and Stoker was probably influenced by Sheridan le Fanu's classic short tale, Carmilla for this hint of eroticism.

Arguably Dracula is the most famous vampire tale as well as one of the best and until 'Interview With A Vampire' came along there weren't really that many vampire tales around, whereas today everyone seems to be writing one. Included in this novel are scenes of blood transfusion, which at the time was a novelty, but of course don't try this at home. There is no account taken for blood groups here, and so it is lucky that no one dies from them. If you only read one vampire tale in your life, then this has to be it.
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