Book Review: Dracula by Bram Stoker

  • Review: Dracula
  • Series: —
  • Author: Bram Stoker
  • No of Pages: 488
  • Release Date: December 19th 1997

Recently I decided I had been a fan of vampires my entire life, it was time to read about them from the master! Little did I know that, although very well written, Dracula is a bit slow. What was against him, in my humble opinion, was the fact that I saw the movie which I did love, long before I picked up the book. Huge mistake as I did so enjoy this movie!!! The book is remarkable on its own and if you have seen the movie, do not compare the two. Treat Dracula as a completely new story, although some things will be apparent like Renfield‘s relationship with Dracula, most of it seems like a new tale! I know it is a travesty to enjoy a movie more than a book, but as I said, just treat the two as different stories and enjoy each separately!

There are many differences between the two **** spoiler alert if you haven’t read the book ****

Mina never falls in love with Dracula. I continued reading because I was desperately waiting for this to happen. The movie made it so seamless yet still just dramatic enough. However, Mina is an extremely intelligent woman in the book version, able to keep up easily with the men of her time and even obtain the respect of the doctors around her. But her relationship with her husband, Jonathan Harker, was downplayed in the movie and the only reason I was able to overlook it was because I felt as if Mina and Dracula MUST have been soul mates! But this is just not so. Mina sticks with Jonathan throughout the book and only follows Dracula as she knows she is able to help the group much more on her own than if Dracula willed her to follow him.

Jonathan is also a very strong and intelligent man. In the face of certain death he crawls around Dracula’s castle, knowing that Dracula is evil but also knowing that he must do something if he intends to survive. What he goes through after he figures out Dracula means to keep him prisoner shows that he is very strong willed not the waif of a man that you meet in the movies.

Dracula is also extremely sensitive in the movie, which of course attracted me to him even more but sadly he is a monstrous fiend in the book. A thing that will do anything to get what it wants. As you can see in the movie when Dracula takes the life of Lucy so violently. Again, I forgive him so easily once he started wooing Mina. He lacks the charisma and heart to do anything but kill and by the end of the book you will cheer instead of mourn his death. Thankfully, it’s not the killing of Gary Oldman!!

Overall, surprisingly the book was a little slow but again I had many factors against me. Mainly the fact that vampires have been humanized and romanticized.

“I vant to like this movie” or, ‘This really isn’t good for my blood pressure.’ (thegreatandthegood.wordpress.com) —- Utterly enjoyable and fantastic review of this movie! My favorite paragraph of his:

This starts with the establishing opening sequence, where we see the character of Dracula in the past as solider, who, thinking his wife dead, renounces his faith in God and swears to come back from the dead using the power of darkness. I will admit that the film does this very well, the scene where the chapel fills with blood shows off the production and design and Gary Oldman as Dracula gets to show off his acting chops with his dialogue in Romanian. From here, the film takes an entirely different tangent as to what a vampire is. Instead of being something dangerous, the film effectively sanitized the idea of a vampire – Oldman becomes a sympathetic figure seeking the love of his resurrected wife that will redeem him and enable him to get him into heaven.

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3 comments

  1. […] comments: I would wonder if I really do like vampires what with my book review on Dracula, the Countess and now Salem’s Lot! My all time favorite vamp story is definitely Anne […]

  2. You’ve actually interested me a bit in the book. I’m not a huge fan of the Gary Oldman movie — the production design is great, and the directing is pretty good too, but the idea of romanticizing an undead monster seems a bit too squicky to me. So I like that you say the book Mina is intelligent, loyal to her husband, and does not fall in love with Dracula; these qualities seem to speak well for her. Of course, I don’t know if I’ll like it until I read it. I’m not generally a fan of vampires, but I do like 19th century fantasy literature.

    1. I’m glad! If you read it, let me know what you think! And honestly if I hadn’t watched the movie I do think it would have grabbed me. It’s very intriguing and you don’t know that he’s a vampire for quite some time.

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