Monday, April 19, 2010

Dracula by Bram Stoker

I had no idea that this was such a cool, fast paced creepy book. Well okay, the creepiness . . . But that it would be so readable was just something that never occurred to me. It is part Indiana Jones, part Sherlock Holmes and part Steven King. In fact it took me back to my teenage years when I spent long summer hours devouring King's Night Shift, Salem's Lot, The Shining, The Stand, Different Seasons, Skeleton Crew etc etc. But that was thirty years ago and I haven't picked up another horror/mystery book since. No reason, just that I'd had my fill.

So why, now, this one? I have no particular interest in Vampires or the trendy Twilight series. I've never watched an episode of Buffy and I'm no Goth. But I am kind of curious about what all the hubbub is about though. And I am interested in history and legends and travel - hence the well-worn Dan Browns in my bookshelf. And then there is my to-be-read pile with its Elizabeth Kostovas and Danielle Trussonis, both authors who, I believe, take readers on historical legend-seeking travels. I'm really looking forward to reading The Historian and The Swan Thieves and Angeology. But before I got to all those I felt that maybe first a trip right to the source was in order:

Bram Stoker's Dracula.

I was a little worried that the original 1897 might be a tough hard-to-follow story in the way of the forced, school reading lists of old. Woe betide the hapless student who has no Cliff's Notes at hand, for he or she might miss all that *meaning* within all the randomness of words and characters and settings and blah blah blah. School just has a way of sucking the very life out of reading for pleasure and interest, doesn't it? But alas, that is another subject for another day.

So, I picked up my copy and just started reading. And before I knew it I was in old Europe winding my way through the Carpathian Mountains in a horse-drawn carriage with lawyer Jonathan Harker on his way to Castle Dracula to meet with the Count himself. Hooo. Mr. Harker had no idea what he was getting into did he?! But the locals, they knew. They begged him not to continue, plying him with garlic and blessings to no avail. On he went . . .

Ah, yes, the source of all that is weird, creepy and mysterious.


Beth said...

Hmm…I am pleasantly surprised by this review. Have never read this book but will put it on my list based on your recommendation – feel no pressure!
(I like Stephen King, too. The Stand is one of my all time favourite books.)

trish said...

Okay, no pressure ;) It would be fun to know what you thought when you are done, especially since you are also so familiar with Steven King. The Shining was my favourite!

Alyce said...

The only vampire books that I have read (that I can remember at least) are the Anne Rice books that I read in college, as a nice break from the course books at the time.

I've had several people gift me this book, yet I haven't been in the mood to read it. I think it was for the same reasons you had (about it being hard to read or boring). I'll have to remember your review and Dracula for the next time I'm in the mood for something creepy.

trish said...

Funny you should mention Anne Rice! She's an author I've never read but have heard so much about it's time for me to give her a closer look. I've got 'Interview With The Vampire' in my to-be-read pile and I'm really looking forward to getting to it.