Thursday, September 5, 2013

Pre-"Twilight"-era Vampires

Bram Stoker's classic novel Dracula, was published in 1897, and features the most famous vampire of them all, Count Dracula.  Told in a unique format which combines diary entries, letters, and ship log entries, the story starts out with a solicitor named Jonathan Harker who travels to a remote and ominous castle in Transylvania to settle some business matters with Count Dracula.  He slowly realizes that he is imprisoned by a very strange character, and eventually is able to escape.  Count Dracula sets his sharpened teeth on course to try to suck the blood of Harker's new wife Mina and her friend Lucy.  Harker and some of his colleagues band together to try to rid the earth of Dracula, which of course involves piercing him in the heart, no easy task for a Count that can become a bat, or wolf, or other incarnation.  Considered a classic gothic tale, even a horror novel, the story moves along swiftly at the beginning and then tends to drag.  I enjoyed the novel, but not nearly as much as I enjoyed a different gothic novel, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, which is told from Frankenstein's perspective and explores his loneliness.  In contrast, in Dracula we only hear from him on one page out of over four hundred pages, so we don't get to know his inner workings or understand him other than from other perspectives. 

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