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The original story featuring all the vampire cliches we know and love
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.