I hope you’re all hearing Verdi’s ‘Grand March’ from “Aida” in your head right now, because I HAVE FINISHED DRACULA! I really should have picked a different stage of life to read it in, of course, but oh, well–let’s just all acknowledge that any book suffers from being read in 20 page increments and move on to the next portion of my review, shall we?
Here’s the thing. I’m not into horror. Even classic horror. So I can’t wholeheartedly recommend Dracula to all and sundry, because it’s not a book I would have picked up on my own. On the other hand, if you’re the sort of person who is interested in reading Bram Stoker’s Dracula, I would probably tell you to go on ahead–I think you’ll find it worth your time. The sexism of the time did irritate me occasionally, but you take what you get with a novel written in 1884; it did rely on the occasional colossally stupid decision, but that’s horror for you. (It did not draw out those decisions until you wanted to hit something, which I appreciated.) The beginning was creepier than I expected, but the level of creepiness shifted with the story. It was more gruesome than I expected, actually. We live in a society where vampires are romanticized, so it was a surprise to me to find that Bram Stoker’s novel doesn’t romanticize Count Dracula at all. He’s not appealing, folks. This surprised me.
I was rather annoyed at Lucy’s character, I confess–the saintly girl who is universally and ridiculously adored by EVERYONE–but there is a more accessible female character, at least. (Only a man could have written Lucy. Call me sexist if you will.) Van Helsing’s odd English was sort of entertaining, while the American character was obviously written by a Briton (slang and stereotypes). And Renfield was a bit mystifying; one wonders if he only really existed to serve the one purpose, and then Stoker tried to flesh him out so he wouldn’t be so obviously a plot tool?
Anyway. It read quickly, even when it didn’t actually move quickly. Once again, this sort of book is not my cup of tea, but if you are interested, I’d say–go for it.
(And I’m sorry for the disjointed review, friends. Again with the month-long reading process, and the tired from the 2-month-old. It is what it is.)