Dracula – Bram Stoker (1897)

Bram Stoker's DRACULA

Bram Stoker’s DRACULA

Star Rating 9/10

Dracula is a classic novel which was written under the Gothic genre in the late 1800’s.

I first met Count Dracula as a young teen sneaking a look at those terrible Hammer versions staring Christopher Lee (He however is not bad, even now in his 90’s)

I read Bram Stoker’s Dracula many years later as a college student in the 1990’s 15 years later as part of my A ‘level English Literature course. The book was read in class, so it took a few months to get through it, I loved the imagery in it, and as the original story goes even today it could still send a shiver down the spine of most young readers.

Holding a conversation with my husband I asked who was his favourite character – “Dracula, well he is the main character!” So perhaps I should just continue myself!
My favourite character has always been Lucy, the brassy redhead who had many suitors all from different walks of life, not making anyone wander why she was one of Dracula’s main victims whilst our Vampire Lord was chasing Mina, it’s only fare that Mina’s bit f a tarty friend gets pulled into the story as lunch for a vampire.

Bram Stoker based his character Dracula (Son of the Devil or Son of the dragon)) on a historical figure called Vlad the Impaler, him and whilst working as a backstage manager for his bullying boss Sir Henry Irvine made Dracula’s character based on Sir Henry’s character in the play ‘The Devil’s Manager.’

Dracula contains some mild horror by todays standards. A fantastical ‘Lord of the Manor turns blood sucking murderer’ Count Dracula is an undead creature disguised as human that lives from human blood. Villages fear him, woman allured by him always end up his victim, that is except Mina, who is the doppelganger of Dracula’s dead wife.

Gary Oldman as the young Dracula

Gary Oldman as the young Dracula

Now to look at the closest film.
Dracula by Francis Ford Copolla

In all it’s brilliance, apart from a BBC adaption this film is probably the closest I have actually seen to the book.

Favourite quote:
Dracula – “Listen to them – the children of the night, what sweet music they make.” I loved the way Copolla made his shadow move on the castle wall, it was very haunting and has horror goes did send a chill down my spine.

The sexuality seemed a little exaggerated in the film, not that it doesn’t exist in the book itself “All three had brilliant white teeth that shone like pearls against the ruby of their voluptuous lips.” But as far as I can remember it doesn’t get much more sexual than that, let’s face it the three Vampire women in bed with Harper would not have been allowed reading in 1800’s it would have been banned surely!

Gary Oldman - Old Dracula

Gary Oldman – Old Dracula

What else can be said?
As classic novels go, it isn’t that erotic, but it has it’s moments, Stoker as a writer intrigues and pulls you in with fascinating characters in a strange place.
Should you read it? Well if you are into Vampires this is King Vampire and as far as I am concerned rewriting the vampire kind will always entail you going back to it’s original roots, this being one of the first, would I read it again? With time on my hands yes.

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By Ruth Watson-Morris

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