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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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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 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 8 September 2013
I attempted to read this book when I was about twelve, as I was just becoming interested in ghosts and vampires but, I found it a bit hard going and gave up pretty quickly.
I have returned to it, some thirty years later, having seen and read many vampire films and books over the years. There have been many versions of the Dracula story but, of course, This is the Original.
At first it takes a little while to get used to the use of language but, we must remember that this was written over a hundred years ago in a time when people, in polite society, probably spoke this way. Once I got my head around the style, I was able to read it easy and enjoy the suspense.
By today's standards, in a world where we are desensitised to horror stories, this book will probably be tame. However, I found it still full of suspense and can imagine that back when it was something new, it would have been an even more tense read indeed.
I enjoyed the way we get to read the story through the diaries and letters of the characters. We get to know how they all think individually and how they all are perceived by each other.
After the first half of the book, or so, the story does slow a little but, I persevered and it picked up again in the final quarter.
This is not the best book I have ever read but, I am glad I did, because this is where it all started. You can see what ideas of a Vampire have been carried on into books and films that other people have developed and make the connections. Also, considering how long ago it was written and the language used, I think, it still stand it's ground against the great horror writings of modern day.
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on 28 March 2014
It is a shame what modern movies and parodies have done to the image of Dracula and the legacy of this book. If you were to go off the stereotypical view of Dracula portrayed by the media and film industry alike, then you imagine him to be some corny, over elaborate clown who talks with a stupid accent. It is not the case.

The novel is well written and built on an unbelievably good foundation of suspense and intrigue. The fact that it is written in the form of diary entries and letters creates a fantastic pace and it is at times heart in the mouth stuff!

A little note about the format of the kindle edition. I found that the chapter headings were a little clumsily placed and I am not too convinced that the "time left in book" tool was accurate as seemed to go from 7 hours remaining to 2 hours remaining in a matter of pages. Still, it was free so can't complain!
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on 8 May 2017
I'm undertaking a project of reading all the classics that I've missed along the years. We all know the story, but the original is well written with wonderful description and paints a real horror story in the mind. Well worth the read, thoroughly enjoyable and gripping.
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on 16 May 2015
A true classic, (but I must admit the ending seemed rushed to me and a little disappointing).

Parts of this book are really chilling, especially the vampiresses closing in on the small child - it sent shivers down my spine. And where Jonathan Harker is trapped in Dracula's castle is at times suffocating and depressing, you can really empathise with Harker. I love the different character perspectives telling the story from their perspectives. And Dracula himself is such a sinister, utterly cruel character, very well written. Well worth a read.
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on 28 July 2017
As is typical of classic books this is long winded and very descriptive but I think this goes down as my favorite classic so far. I got really drawn into it and the length didn't bother me. I'm glad Ive finally read this one as I can see why in its time, it was considered excellent.
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on 14 June 2017
It was one of the most absorbing books I've read for years. So well written. It really draws you into the story and the characters. Not a scary vampire story that you can see on film or television, this book is more sophisticated than that. It's a " ripping yarn". Brilliant.
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on 18 September 2014
picked this u as a freebie on amazon and for the second time in 20 years read this book. The books and films it has spawned has been incredible. at the time it was published it caused a sensation and it really is a thrilling story and a page turner as I read it in 2 readings. A tale of the innocent being corrupted by an alternative life style and living outside the circle in a non religious sub culture. Although their is protection by the cross good defeats bad . Must have been a thought provoker at the time. A real good read .
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