Dracula: Bram Stoker

Tsujigiri

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So...essentially...what you're saying is that Dracula never existed and it was all made up by this Stoker guy....damn.....you'll be telling me that there are no hobbits and that Gandalf isn't real next....

:D
 

rune

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I actually was disappointed in the book because the movie version was my favourite horror and I just love Dracula :)

I thought Coppola's movie was brilliant and is one of my favourits :D
 

Niolani

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Funnily enough, I read an abridged version when I was 11, it consisted mainly of all the action (for lack of a better description) and thoroughly enjoyed it. When I was 14, I read the whole book and I found I didn't like it as much.
 

steve12553

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I still think you have to consider the world it was written in. Bram SToker never saw a video game or a personal computer or any of the wonders of the modern world we take for granted. he created "Dracula" from old legends and his imagination. I thought it was excellent right down to the Victorian quirkiness.
 

ravenus

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@steve:

Are you saying this as regards to the pacing of the book? Well that doesn't necessarily matter because some of Stoker's literary contemporaries like R.L. Stevenson wrote very pared down and pacy books. And the exciting parts of Dracula are incredibly exciting so he obviously had knew how to write pacy stuff. Stoker's failing was his penchant for melodrama, which slowed the narrative and sometimes added unintentional humor to the proceedings.

If Stoker had a more ruthless and shrewd editor he might have trimmed the business of Lucy's suitors and some of the other tedious exchanges between the characters which would have resulted in a perfect book. But as it stands it's still a pretty darn good and often great piece of writing.

I personally thought Coppola's film was ass. It had amazing visual ideas and I'm not entirely opposed to the aspect of showing Dracula looking for his lost love but it was depicted in terms of tawdry melodrama. Even the actors' performances came over as very stilted and ridiculous. One of the good dracula adaptations was the Nosferatu film by Herzog. It can difficult for the impatient and it's not action-filled the way the book is but it's a terrific sepulchral experience.
 

Jason_Taverner

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well I enjoyed it. I tried to think how a person from the victorian times would react to such a book as they wouldn't of come accross anything like it bofore and I found it rather creepy anyway and ts a sort read so I don't think there many faults. I just liked the way the hero's were such a good high moral ppl and was well very evil great stuff
 

j d worthington

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Hmmmm. It's been a veerrry long time since I read the novel, but this is how I remember feeling about it: While it has a leisurely pace, and portions drag somewhat, I believe there's enough of an atmosphere of building doom hovering to sustain interest, and a generous measure of atmosphere (not usually Stoker's strong point -- I find "The Squaw" totally lacking and "The Judge's House" not much better on that score). The three suitors, I must admit, did not bother me; they added to the almost childish coquettishness of Lucy and, in a sense, allowed her demise and damnation to have even more pathos. I did not find the ending rushed, particularly, though I noted that, according to what I'd picked up about the region, he actually has the river flowing the wrong way, which would have definitely slowed his characters down a bit!!!! Overall, while it has flaws, I still think the novel is quite successful. I'd agree that it's melodramatic, but that was very much a valid school of the time, as witness so many other popular writers who are still printed (at least now and again) today, such as Chambers, O'Brien; Marsh, Machen, etc.

So, while I think the criticism is worthwhile, and I see where you're coming from, no, I can't really agree with your estimation. But it's nice to see such views aired intelligently.
 

Sparks the Knave

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I have to say, I found Stoker's Dracula to be great. Collection worthy IMO. that's I guess how I judge my books :S :)
 

Psyloke

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It's been a while since I read the book (actually it was about 6 years ago and I was 17) but I do recall being amazed at the style he wrote it in, the fragments of diaries and journals. It never had much horror value to me (King ruled the roost as far as I was concerned) but I remember enjoying the way he had put the story together. Since then I've read more and might evaluate it differently, but as has been said i'm sure at the time it was published it would've had a great effect on the reader. Certainly a highly original work in its day.
 

Jason_Taverner

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I think your right but I enjoyed it thinking what people in the victorian era would feel to read something like this I bet it freaked them out and the difference between the count and van helsing and his friends. The count was pure evil instead of a romantic hollywood version.
 

steve12553

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Jason_Taverner said:
I think your right but I enjoyed it thinking what people in the victorian era would feel to read something like this I bet it freaked them out and the difference between the count and van helsing and his friends. The count was pure evil instead of a romantic hollywood version.

Written when it was I think he was obliged to keep the Romance (read sexuality) at a very suble level not just by society as a whole but by his own upbringing.
 

KSeriphyn

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The man was ahead of his time. It's a crappy piece of work I agree. The idea was so controversial back then, it got tongues wagging and other writers creating far better vampire stories.

Stephen King's Salem's Lot still gives me shivers.

xx

KS
 

Jackols

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It is possibly heresy to state so, but I found Bram Stoker's Dracula to be a dull and lifeless work.

The first few chapters while Jonathan Harker is trapped in Dracula's castle is very good - but that part of the story quickly ends.

And then the rest of the book is seemingly Van Helsing (not the Hugh Jackman version!!) giving people blood transfusions.

The ending is extremely rushed as well. The characters assemble in Transylvania, and within 2 pages Dracula is suddenly killed.

The end. Fin.

As a piece of writing influential on its time, it certainly deserves an honour. But let's not elevate second-rate Victorian populist literature too much, please. :)

OR - am I quite wrong? :)
sorry!! but i find that quite wrong!!......i so enjoyed this book, my copy is really tattered now but havent read it for ages but i really enjoyed it, the way it unfolds and the whole reading of it!!
 

Randolph

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I completely agree that Jon Harker's Diary at the beginning of the book is much better than the rest. I think that segment alone makes the book worth reading. Although it's been quite a while since I read it, I seem to remember the story getting poorer and poorer after he attempted to escape the castle, right up to the incredibly disappointing anti-climax. I also agree that it isn't really a classic of the genre, particularly if it's compared to, say, Frankenstein.
 

ravenus

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Oh I found several other brilliant parts to the book:

The sinking, unholy resurrection and final staking of Lucy Westerna

The Crashing of the Demeter.

Renfield in the Asylum.

I don't consider the end an anti-climax at all. After spending reams on showing how powerful and omniscient Dracula is, it'd have been silly to say, show him slavering about and then leaping right into a stake just to put more brute action in the end.

Compared to that, Frankenstein is a more hobbling narrative that unevenly blends philosophical debate with action pieces. Dracula, true, succumbs in several parts to overwrought melodrama and Van Helsing's hlarious accent (though if you read Stephen King's terrific review of Frankenstein in Danse Macabre, you will find that Shelley's book is no way short of contrived moments and unintentional hilarity), but it is for me a far more entertaining enterprise than Mary Shelley's book.
 

Riselka

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Dracula is still one of my favourite novels, but I do have to agree with some of the points being made here about it being a bit slow, and melodramatic at times.

I don't know about the legality of using the "Dracula" name, and some of the other characters and circumstances in the novel, but I'd be up to reading a new novel that was a sort of "Dracula Redux" version of the story.

Any of the site authors up to the challenge?
 

ravenus

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Well you would be able to release an abridged version of the story since it is out of copyright anyway. But you would likely have to release it for free. Me, I skip through the parts I don't like ;)
 

Sibeling

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I read it for the first time when I was about 14 and I thought it was very original to make a book out of letters and diaries.

The first part in the Dracula castle was interesting, but then the action got a bit slow. However, I liked the part about the asylum and blood transfusions. Particularly the blood transfusions - all the medical things really frighten me, so it created the proper effect of a horror book :)

At least it was better than Frankenstein - that one was so boring I couldn't read more than the first chapter :(
 

Flemcodogmusic

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I really enjoyed Dracula, but found it very hard to get Christopher Lee's face out of my head! I think the problem - with the films being so well known - is that it's now impossible for anyone to come to the book without a preconceived idea of it ...
 
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