Saturday, June 4, 2016

May Book Review

I read Dracula by Bram Stoker, and I LOVED it.

My book is not this pretty.

The first chapter gave me goosebumps.  It's so creepy and fast-paced that I was completely hooked.  The book is pretty long (almost 500 pages) and more difficult to read than most of the books published today, but it's really worth it.  I read Frankenstein a few years ago and found it pretty dull.  Some books are classics because they're old, not because they're good.  This isn't one of those.

The entire story is written through journal entries, letters, telegrams, and newspaper articles.  Stoker uses the voices of three main characters and a few smaller ones throughout, and develops their relationships along with the plot.

This book is surprisingly funny.  There are jokes between the characters, but more often private jokes between the author and the readers.  And to be honest, I found the historically-accurate sexism pretty hilarious.  At one point all of the men decide not to share the information about Dracula with one of the women because she seems to be very pale and weak at the time.  Meanwhile, she's being sucked dry by Dracula every night and nearly dies because they blamed the situation on her femininity instead of realizing what was really happening.

They also made a big deal out of taking Winchesters with them to hunt Dracula and that made me especially happy.  It's like Bram Stoker made an inside joke that didn't even exist yet.

I enjoyed the return to vampires as scary, evil, demonic creatures.  I don't really appreciate the fuzzy, sparkly, friendly vampires in current literature.  The vampires were basically demons that took over people's bodies when they died.  So Dracula wasn't himself, he has been killed by a vampire and become one of them.  In killing the vampires, their real, human souls were put to rest.  The killing of the vampires was appropriately gruesome, unlike in Buffy, where a slight jab with a stick turns them into a pile of dust.

This book also introduced Van Helsing.  I had no idea that the character got his start in this book.  He was frustrating to read because Stoker takes his accents seriously, but he was a sympathetic, funny character.

And that's it - I only read this one book in May.

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