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Dracula (Penguin Classics) Paperback – 9 Sep 2004
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"Those who cannot find their own reflection in Bram Stoker's still-living creation are surely the undead."
When Jonathan Harker visits Transylvania to help Count Dracula with the purchase of a London house, he makes a series of horrific discoveries about his client. Soon after wards, various bizarre incidents unfold in England: an apparently unmanned ship is wrecked off the coast of Whitby; a young woman discovers strange puncture marks on her neck; and the inmate of a lunatic asylum raves about the 'Master' and his imminent arrival. In "Dracula", Bram Stoker created one of the great masterpieces of the horror genre, brilliantly evoking a nightmare world of vampires and vampire hunters and also illuminating the dark corners of Victorian sexuality and desire.See all Product description
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Bought as a gift and this edition is beautiful. I love the vibrant colour and the flexible cover.
My only gripe was a few fine scuffs here and there due to Amazons poor packaging/postal handing. Not much to say...let my photos do the talking!
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.
I found the book to be enthralling. Bram stoker put seven years of research into the book, drawing ideas from diverse areas to flesh out his characters and locations, for example his knowledge of Transylvanian customs was gleaned from a book in Whitby library, written by a civil servant posted in the embassy!
Stoker narrates the book by use of the diaries and journals of the main characters in a wonderfully learned manner which allows him to leap all over the show, taking the reader on a rollercoaster ride.
No Dracula movie has ever done justice to Stokers gothic masterpiece. Go on, be a devil, read the book.
Dracula as a character is not actually in the book a great deal, the same as any other version I have read. However, the difference with this version is that the group of characters whose diaries and journals make up the the text discover their task at hand from a starting point of blissful ignorance, making their gradual realisation even more horrific. The later edited versions don't seem to cover the same spectrum, and lose some of the impact.
Although this was a free book I paid the extra to have the audio attached to it - highly recommended!
Whether you're a fan of Dracula or have never read, or thought about reading, the book before, then I recommend this version for your kindle library. As the book is free, I also encourage you to pay the £2.39 for the audio; you won't regret it.