Sunday, August 07, 2005

Dracula, by Bram Stoker

Dracula, by Bram Stoker

Easy to see why this is a classic. The story is compelling, well-written, and a fun read. The style is interesting: it is a series of diary entries and letters from the various protagonists, presented in chronological order. I’ve read other chronicle-style novels before, but not one where the entries were from a variety of different characters. Often the entries would overlap, providing multiple viewpoints for the same events. Very effective.

I was surprised that the Count himself was only directly on the stage for maybe a quarter of the novel. Considering he was the title character and one of the most famous fictional creations of all time, I expected a lot more of him. The absence wasn’t disappointing, though; in fact, it simply made him more mysterious and sinister. If written today there would be a complete back-story telling us how Dracula came to be and giving him some degree of sympathy; it simply isn’t needed though.

The story was enthralling, even knowing the basic plot from all the various movies and derivative works through the years. As with most reinterpretations, none of them have been completely accurate so there were still some surprises in these pages. While I knew what the ending would eventually be, the path to get there was still entertaining.

First Sentence:
Left Munich at 8.35 p.m. on 1st May, arriving at Vienna early next morning; should have arrived at 6.46, but train was an hour late.

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