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on 7 February 2017
I remember my mum reading this to me as a kid (no joke, I've had a huge thing for vampires since I was a young girl haha!) and I just had to get this book because I was desperate to read it for myself. I am already on Chapter 11 and I only started reading it last night. In my true, honest opinion, this is truly one of, if not the most amazing gothic novel of all time. The literature is exquisite; with very beautiful and meticulous descriptions of all things, everything written in that rich old-fashioned English and oh-so-poetic.

I know it's not everyone's cup of tea, but I find it brilliant how Stoker has written the book from the persepctives of the characters, and not from himself. Everything is laid out in diary form and I really like that. If you want to buy this book, you absolutely must if you are a dark soul like myself and are a fan of this genre! It will blow you away and give you the chills. The vampires in this story are my, and I think a lot of people's perception of what vampires are supposed to be.... Blood-sucking, red-eyed, fanged, nocturnal fiends who rise to drink the blood of humans.

What can I say? A true, original, folkloric tale of vampirism. This my friends, is a book you want. Forget sparkly twilight vamps - Dracula is the real deal!! ❤
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HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 25 March 2016
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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HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 29 July 2017
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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on 31 October 2016
Everyone knows Dracula and the vampire phenomenon in popular culture. Loving a lot of 19th century literature I decided to read Bram Stoker's original gothic horror story. This is written via diary entries, telegrams, newspaper cut-outs therefore; gives a great perspective of all that is going on in this spooky, mysterious and macabre environment.

We start in Transylvania with Johnathan Harker as Count Dracula's guest in his castle. This part is dark and Dracula actually seems quite charming. Very human and almost quite fond of his guest. He is using Johnathan in aid to prepare for purchasing a property in England. This was my favourite section of the book.

Dracula crawls down the castle walls, has no reflection, has to be invited in to a room before he can enter, turns into a bat, can only prowl at night, has 'vampire bride' accomplishes, can only be killed with a stake and hates garlic. Pretty much everything we know about the vampire genre is prevalent here.

When Dracula arrives in England via a shadowy vessel - our friend and diary writer Dr Seward messages his former teacher Van Helsing and they form a union of individuals, including Johnathan, his wife Mina et al to deal with the terror of the vampire unleashed, now polluting Whitby in England. This cues a lot of comradarie, God-loving statements and bizarre plots to capture and kill the evil UnDead. Especially when he sucks the blood of one of our team and she needs the big Vampire to be killed or to remain as an UnDead also, never knowing the blessedness of Heaven etc...

I enjoyed this book a lot. I think the fact that the vampire genre has become watered down with so many clones may have hindered my final opinion of this book. I expected Van Helsing to be like Hugh Jackman from the Holywood adaption film sharing the name. Van Helsing was a cool intelligent Dutch professor, who was God-fearing and loved everyone in the crew.

Renfield - an inmate at Dr Seward's insanity hospital was a cool character. I think that in the last 3/4 of the book, Dracula is barely seen and is just spoken about so it loses a bit of its power in the description of the evil being. I also believe the ending came on very fast and then was done. This is probably no fault of the writer or the book. My preconceptions because of the Holy Wood era expected a huge Lord of the Ring's-esque showdown which didn't transpire. I enjoyed a lot and this is a very important book in fiction. I do recommend it. Peace.

James x
[...]
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 1 July 2016
This is the Ladybird re-telling of Bram Stoker's classic novel "Dracula". This version of the book is intended for older children (age 9+).

The storyline remains the same, but here the tale is simplified and shortened. The book presents several colour illustrations, and these certainly does add to the narrative, as the art usefully depicts the most important aspects of the story.

For anyone interested in taking a first, tentative step towards understanding the plot of 'Dracula' then this is a useful book. It was originally published in the mid-1980's. At the time, I purchased the companion Ladybird book Frankenstein (Ladybird horror classics). It's only more recently that I acquired a copy of 'Dracula'. I recommend both.

This is a wonderful horror classic!
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on 25 January 2017
Downloaded this book with the audio as well, one of amazon's monthly free book & audio trial. Was very surprised how good it was, lots of it was up to your imagination and it did read most of the time as a diary/journal, which for me was ok, got used to it in the end. Must confess I only got this so I could listen to a couple of chapters every night before I drop off, but found I was listening for longer than I should. We all know the story or film version 1st time I have read the actual book, it's definitely worth a go.
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on 3 March 2015
I first read this book back in college as part of my English Literature course, and in particular as part of an exploration of how the vampire was represented in literature. Of the half-dozen or so early examples of the genre (vampire lit) this and Sheridan le Fanu's Carmilla were the two that stuck in my mind the most. I've since read both a number of times, and probably will again going forward.

There's been a lot written about the novel Dracula and its titular character, so I won't even try and add anything resembling a critical analysis. What I will say is that this is one of the most influential works ever written in the field of vampire lit. While it's fair to say that Stoker draws quite extensively on the groundwork laidout by Sheridan le Fanu (Carmilla, 1871), James Rymer (Varney the Vampire, 1845-1847) and John Polidori (The Vampyre, 1819), Dracula went on to become one of the most well-known vampires in literary history. It's also fair to say that most modern vampire tales owe a lot to this and the other tales mentioned.

I'll never stop loving this book, no matter how many times I read it. The epistolary nature of the narrative makes it an intensely intimate read, and I think that's one of the main reasons it's held on to its status as a classic of English Literature over the years.

If you're a fan of vampires and you've never read this book, read it now.
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on 29 December 2014
This is a nice edition of Stoker's classic Dracula. If you haven't read the book before, then do immediately! Unlike the hoary old films, this is genuinely creepy, dark and gripping, and we can still easily imagine the shock it must have given its original Victorian audience.

Stoker takes the time to let his story breathe, and rather than telling it via an omniscient narrator, lets it unravel itself via the journals, letters and notebooks of an array of characters whose relationships change through the book.

This isn't an academic edition but does have some brief end-notes drawing attention to the Irish and sexual subtexts to the narrative. All the same, it's easy to forget the more literary intentions of the book and to read it as a brilliantly gripping horror story.
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on 15 November 2016
Having read an "Anglicised" version in my youth, this comes across as a very different read. Still a good story, but some of Van Helsing's passages are a bit difficult to understand properly, as they are written, correctly I suppose, as a man whose first language is not English. If you've only ever seen the old film versions, you're in for a bit of a shock, but in a good way. If, however, you've seen the newer Coppola version, remove the Dracula/Mina romance aspect, and pretty much what you're left with is this book. Well worth a look.
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on 7 June 2014
Dracula, one of the best and most influential books I have ever read!
Quite a statement that, so let’s look at it in a little more detail.
The book is written as a series of diary and journal entries in the first person, and from several different perspectives. The characters are both male and female, one being a solicitor, one, a Doctor who runs a lunatic Asylum, and then there's Dr Val Helsing from Amsterdam.
Mina Murray and Lucy Westenra's diary entries, add both intrigue and passion, we have the somewhat delicious English language, (as it was in late Victorian England), a love quadrangle, rather than a love triangle, desperation, sadness and remorse, but above all, we have Count Dracula.
We all know the story of course, or do we?
I first read this book over twenty years ago and in that time I'd forgotten most it, remembering just the bare bones.
I had a vague recollection of Renfield and the asylum, the predicament in which Johnathan Harker found himself in, in the depth of the unforgiving Carpathian mountains, but I'd forgotten the pace of the book, the shear depth of fear the poor souls experienced, as they battled their way to Carfax Abbey, and then across Europe, to confront what must be, one of literature's most revered villains.
And let us not forget one of the all-time best chapters in literary history, chapter 7, where the description of the storm and the landing of the Demeter, (Dracula's ship), at Whitby Harbour, is told as a news article in a local newspaper.
Reading this book again, got me thinking about how many stories, films, television programs, cartoons, and comics there must be out there, that have been influenced by this book? Hundred, thousands maybe, who knows! From the obvious like, Salam's Lot and the Twilight saga, through Richard Matheson's sublime, I am Legend, to Justin Cronin's less obvious but equally exquisite, The Passage, to count (pun intended) but a few. (My own short story, Lycanthrope, would never have materialised without this book).
So, a solid five stars for Bram Stoker's Dracula then, and what a better time to start reading it, than on All Hallows’ Eve.
Enjoy my fiendish friend, read deep.
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