Monday, October 4, 2010

Dracula by Bram Stoker

Finally, this book has been on my list practically forever, I finally got to it! Can you believe that although I've heard of Dracula of course, I'd never seen the films so I didn't actually know the story? Seriously, you'd think I've been living under a rock or something.

The main thing that I didn't expect from Bram Stoker's Dracula was that it wasn't about Dracula, in that it wasn't a story told from his perspective. I kind of assumed that it would be. So I was surprised at how many other characters were involved and that it was a tale of a whole bunch of people.

Once I got used to that, I really, really liked it. I liked the historical side of it and I enjoyed the pretty-society-meets-vampire aspect of it. I loved that it was written as a series of journal entries by various characters and that it had things like letters and newspaper clipping thrown in as well.

I didn't find it spooky, but I imagine that the films took care of that. :-) It's an interesting classic that I wasn't expecting to enjoy as much as I did.

Oh, but just like in Oscar Wilde's An Ideal Husband, the attitude towards women sometimes really made me angry. Every time a woman made progress in the case or came up with a brilliant idea (which was often), the men would think things like 'She thinks like a man'. How did we ever manage to overcome such widely spread prejudice? Did we overcome it at all?

Bram Stoker is another author who I didn't know was Irish. I feel like I'm being led towards Irish authors lately, I'm not sure why. The other author I recently read and didn't know was Irish was Oscar Wilde - Stoker and Wilde knew each other too, which I think is a really bizarre coincidence in my recent reading.

Challenges: R.I.P. Challenge, 1% Well-Read Challenge


Tasha said...

You know, I don't think I've seen any films based on Dracula, either, although I've read the book twice. I like the journal entry style, too. I think it heightened the sense of isolation, the fact that these characters were cut off from easy escape. No quick e-mails, phone calls, or speeding away in a car for them.

Amanda said...

Yay! I'm glad you liked this one. I loved it when I first read it in high school and have read it a few times since then. The Victorian era was a pretty harsh time for women. You should read Karen Essex's new novel Dracula in Love because it delves into that.

Alex (The Sleepless Reader) said...

I also read it (heard it in audiobook) this year, but before the blog was up. I had actually seen the movie, but so long ago i hardly remembered anything.

You are right: there's so much more in the book than you'd expect. I liked the whole Vampire-slayer team, but couldn't help wishing Mina was a bit more... not so perfect.

joanna said...

Charley - Yes, you're definitely right about the sense of isolation. And I always like when stories are told from various points of view anyway.

Amanda - Thanks for the recommendation, I'll look out for it!

Alexandra - she was perfect wasn't she... I expected more umff from her somehow, I was surprised when she went along with the men wanting to protect her and all that.

Kailana said...

This book has been on my list forever, too. I think when I get my ereader this will be one of the first books I read!

Thoughts of Joy said...

I've never read this book or seen the movie. I do however have it on my eReader. This is the perfect time to get to it, but I feel swamped with other books piling high. I am glad to see that you enjoyed it so much. That's encouraging.

ibeeeg said...

I appreciate that this book is truly the cornerstone for vampire lore. I liked the read, but did not overwhelmingly love it. I did not have any issues for how the women were treated in this book. Actually, for the times that they were living in, I thought the men were real decent and Mina did have a lot of freedom in that they did have her come a help. As Amanda said, Essex's Dracula In Love takes a look at how women were treated in the Victorian era, and actually, I think in her book the women were treated far more poorly. Again, it was the times, not right, but that is the setting.

Very neat that it seems that you are being drawn to Irish authors. Love when that kind of stuff happens. :)
I enjoyed reading your review.