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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An old favourite; classy, compelling but with old-fashioned pacing
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...
Published on 21 Aug 2007 by Rowena Hoseason

versus
25 of 29 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The grandaddy of an entire genre
Bram Stoker's 'Dracula' is probably one of the most influential (and therefore possibly one of the most important) books ever. Apart from the numerous direct imitators (from Anne Rice to 'Count Duckula') the seeds of 100 years of the horror genre are sown in this book.
The story is familiar to everyone, although perhaps not in all its details, but this doesn't in any...
Published on 3 July 2003 by Depressaholic


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An old favourite; classy, compelling but with old-fashioned pacing, 21 Aug 2007
By 
Rowena Hoseason "Hooligween" (Kernow, Great Britain) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Where the devil and his children still walk with earthly feet "., 11 July 2009
By 
russell clarke "stipesdoppleganger" (halifax, west yorks) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
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 1736...no 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 ...in 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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "For the dead travel fast", 24 Aug 2009
By 
bernie "xyzzy" (Arlington, Texas) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
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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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Attractive quality paperback edition, 5 Feb 2011
By 
Discerning - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
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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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Scarily good!, 18 Sep 2006
This review is from: Dracula (Hardcover)
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
5.0 out of 5 stars The origin of undead-stories!, 9 Jan 2001
By A Customer
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
5.0 out of 5 stars For the dead travel fast, 6 July 2009
By 
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
"Dracula" was not the first vampire novel, nor was it Bram Stoker's first book.

But after years of research, Stoker managed to craft the ultimate vampire novel, which has spawned countless movies, spinoffs, and books that follow the blueprint of the Transylvanian count. Eerie, horrifying and genuinely mysterious, "Dracula" is undoubtedly the most striking and unique vampire novel yet penned.

Real estate agent Jonathan Harker arrives in Transylvania, to arrange a London house sale to Count Dracula. But as the days go by, Harker witnesses increasingly horrific events, leading him to believe that Dracula is not actually human. His fiancee Mina arrives in Transylvania, and finds that he has been feverish. Meanwhile the count has vanished -- along with countless boxes filled with dirt.

And soon afterwards, strange things happen: a ship piloted by a dead man crashes on the shore, after a mysterious thing killed the crew. A lunatic talks about "Him" coming. And Mina's pal Lucy dies of mysterious blood loss, only to come back as an undead seductress. Dracula has arrived in England -- then the center of the Western world -- and intends to make it his own...

"Dracula" is the grandaddy of Lestat and other elegantly alluring bloodsuckers, but that isn't the sole reason why this novel is a classic. It's also incredibly atmospheric, and very well-written. Not only is it very freaky, in an ornate Victorian style, but it is also full of restrained, quiet horror and creepy eroticism. What's more, it's shaped the portrayal of vampires in movies and books, even to this day.

Despite already knowing what's going on for the first half of the book, it's actually kind of creepy to see these people whose lives are being disrupted by Dracula, but don't know about vampires. It's a bit tempting to yell "It's a vampire, you idiots!" every now and then, but you can't really blame them. Then the second half kicks in, with accented professor Van Helsing taking our heroes on a quest to save Mina from Dracula.

And along the way, while our heroes try to figure stuff out, Stoker spins up all these creepy hints of Dracula's arrival. Though he wrote in the late 19th-century manner, very verbose and a bit stuffy, his skill shines through. The book is crammed with intense, evocative language, with moments like Dracula creeping down a wall, or the dead captain found tied to the wheel. Once read, they stick in your mind throughout the book.

It's also a credit to Stoker that he keeps his characters from seeming like idiots or freaks, which they could have easily seemed like. Instead, he puts little moments of humanity in them, like Van Helsing admitting that his wife is in an asylum. Even the letters and diaries are written in different styles; for example, Seward's is restrained and analytical, while Mina's is exuberant and bright.

Even Dracula himself is an overpowering presence despite his small amount of actual screen time, and not just as a vampire -- Stoker presents him as passionate, intense, malignant, and probably the smartest person in the entire book. If Van Helsing hadn't thwarted him, he probably would have taken over the world -- not the Victorian audience's ideal ending.

And brilliant dark fantasy author Holly Black adds a fun little prologue for this edition, in which she talks about her childhood fear of "that book" and of Dracula crawling down the side of her house, as well as the staggering impact the book has had on the image of vampires. And how there's "nothing out there in the dark. Of course."

Intelligent, frightening and very well-written, "Dracula" is the well-deserved godfather of all modern vampire books and movies -- and its unique villain still dwarfs the more recent undead.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "For the dead travel fast", 16 Sep 2007
By 
bernie "xyzzy" (Arlington, Texas) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thrilling and chilling, 13 Sep 2007
The famous tale of Dracula, the vampire who resides amid the Carpathian mountains, is told throughout journal atricles. They are mostly written by Jonathan Harker, Mina Murray (later Harker), Lucy Westenra, Dr John Stewart and occassionaly Dr Van Helsing. Other main characters are Dr Stewarts patient Renfield, Quincy Morris from Texas and Arthur Holmwood (Lucy's fiance).

Jonathan Harker is the first one to meet the Count when he travels to visit him to attend to some legal matters (he is buying some land in London, Carfax Abbey). Things turn dark when he realises he is being held prisoner by the Count who has inhuman powers and no reflection. Whilst he is recovering in church after finally escaping from the castle, Lucy Westenra friend of his fiance Mina Murray, begins to ail. Two strange marks appear on her throat and she seems to be suffering from ameamia (a loss of blood). Are the two connected and if so, how?

The book is very quick to sweep you up in its narrative. The ending is very intense as the friends battle to defeat Dracula before the sun goes down. I have seen the Francis Ford Coppola film version which brought it to life very well. It stays very close to the book, apart from introducing a romantic element which shifts your perspective to pity the Count. The book has none of this which makes it easier in some way to focus on the main plot. The only thing missing really was how Dracula became a vampire in the first place and his real reasons for wanting to purchase land in England. I am curious and want to know more of the back story.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It sucks, 8 Jan 2006
By 
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
It sucks, January 4, 2006

"Dracula" was not the first vampire novel, nor was it Bram Stoker's first book. But after years of research, Stoker managed to craft the ultimate vampire novel, which has spawned countless movies, spinoffs, and books that follow the blueprint of the Transylvanian count.
Real estate agent Jonathan Harker arrives in Transylvania, to arrange a London house sale to Count Dracula. But as the days go by, Harker witnesses increasingly horrific events, leading him to believe that Dracula is not actually human. His fiancee Mina arrives in Transylvania, and finds that he has been feverish. Meanwhile the count has vanished.
And soon afterwards, strange things happen: a ship piloted by a dead man crashes on the shore, after a mysterious thing killed the crew. A lunatic talks about "Him" coming. And Mina's pal Lucy dies of mysterious blood loss, only to come back as an undead seductress. Dracula has arrived in England -- and he's not going to be stopped easily.
"Dracula" is the grandaddy is Lestat and Jean-Claude, but that isn't the sole reason why it is a classic. It's also incredibly atmospheric, and very well-written. Not only is it very freaky, in an ornate Victorian style, but it is also full of restrained, quiet horror and creepy eroticism. What's more, it's shaped the portrayal of vampires in movies and books, even to this day.
Despite already knowing what's going on for the first half of the book, it's actually kind of creepy to see these people whose lives are being disrupted by Dracula, but don't know about vampires. It's a bit tempting to yell "It's a vampire, you idiots!" every now and then, but you can't really blame them. Then the second half kicks in, with accented professor Van Helsing taking our heroes on a quest to save Mina from Dracula.
And along the way, while our heroes try to figure stuff out, Stoker spins up all these creepy hints of Dracula's arrival. Though he wrote in the late 19th-century manner, very verbose and a bit stuffy, his skill shines through. The book is crammed with intense, evocative language, with moments like Dracula creeping down a wall, or the dead captain found tied to the wheel. Once read, they stick in your mind throughout the book.
It's also a credit to Stoker that he keeps his characters from seeming like idiots or freaks, which they could have easily seemed like. Instead, he puts little moments of humanity in them, like Van Helsing admitting that his wife is in an asylum. Even the letters and diaries are written in different styles; for example, Seward's is restrained and analytical, while Mina's is exuberant and bright.
Intelligent, frightening and very well-written, "Dracula" is the well-deserved godfather of all modern vampire books and movies -- and arguably among the best.
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