A dreary castle, blood-thirsty vampires, open graves at midnight, and other gothic touches fill this chilling tale about a young Englishman’s confrontation with the evil Count Dracula. A horror romance as deathless as any vampire, the blood-curdling tale still continues to hold readers spellbound a century later.
Bram Stoker does a superb job mixing myth, reality, science, horror, and even religion together. The novel is written through diaries and epistles of the main characters which gives an immediacy to all of the acts and mysteries that are eventually unfolded. Of course, as the reader you have inside knowledge which adds to your anxiety as the truth is slowly laid out to the main characters. Not all of the story, however, is “edge of your seat.” The gang has to put all the pieces together and then track Dracula down. However, Stoker keeps the novel interesting even through some of his more technical passages.
Stoker’s characters are compelling, though not always fully drawn out. However, through their own “voices” in the letters and diary entries, you know enough about them all to be sufficiently nervous, sad, horrified, and sundry other states of being while reading it. Mina, my favorite character, is a worthy heroine in the novel. She tempers the men as they are caught up in their anger and blood-lust, humanizing the novel. Dracula and his wives are satisfyingly evil and repulsive. None of this sparkling nonsense or angst-ridden brooding vamps. (There may be a Twilight rant post coming in the future.) In all, I thought Stoker’s psychology of his characters to be well done.