Dracula: Bram Stoker

ravenus

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But then the book itself has very strong and detailed imagery and I don't think it's all that hard to get the films out of your head once you're into Stoker's text.
 

clovis-man

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Stoker's book was written well over 100 years ago. The pacing of anything written in such a bygone literary era can often seem slow. Having said that, I found it to flow much better than its age would have indicated.

I remember saying to to my daughter-in-law after she and my son had gone to see the film when it was brand new that I couldn't imagine hollywood having the movie end with Dracula being killed with a bowie knife like Stoker had. She just looked at me and smiled. When I finally saw it, I was glad to see that many other elements of the novel had been retained as well.

But I was quite dismayed to find that Dracula had been turned into a "love story". Sorry, I just can't be terrified by a creature who spends most of his time mooning over Winona Ryder.
 

brsrkrkomdy

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JD, I have to disagree with you on The Squaw and The Judge's House. They're the opposite of you claimed they were. I've read those two several times before. Same with Dracula's Guest. I'm not gonna comment on the novel, Dracula, cuz I haven't read that one yet. However, I did read Lair Of the White Worm. It's not that bad a novel. Nor was it exactly his best work though. It is simply a very strange book to read which had very little to do with the movie of the same name. (It's a campy fun movie from Ken Russell.)
 

j d worthington

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JD, I have to disagree with you on The Squaw and The Judge's House. They're the opposite of you claimed they were. I've read those two several times before. Same with Dracula's Guest.

That's quite interesting. I can almost see it with "The Judge's House", as there are moments when it does achieve a certain tensity of atmosphere... but having very recently reread "The Squaw", I stand by my assessment. It's an horrific situation, no question, but to me it comes off as contrived rather than having any sort of genuine artistry, and the writing itself varies between being extremely flat and prosaic to overheated and overcolored... while maintaining at all times a certain hackneyed journalistic feel very much like the penny dreadfuls. Actually, I found a comic adaptation of it I read when young to be much more powerful as far as atmosphere, because of the fine use of chiaroscuro. But Stoker's actual writing style overall is often his weakest point, IMO... Dracula being something of an exception. As for "Dracula's Guest"... as that was a chapter of the novel which was excerpted from earlier editions, it's not surprising that it has something of the same eeriness as the novel itself, and I think it's a pity it wasn't left where it belonged....

Lair of the White Worm, on the other hand -- again, a very good idea, but his often crude, almost always uneven prose simply robs it of most of its potential as it stands... the idea remains a powerful one, but the execution is, frankly, more than disappointing.
 

brsrkrkomdy

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Actually Dracula's Guest was set in the different time zone than the one at the beginning with Jonathan Harker on his way to Dracula's castle. (I know cuz I peeked at the beginning of the novel.)
 

j d worthington

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Actually Dracula's Guest was set in the different time zone than the one at the beginning with Jonathan Harker on his way to Dracula's castle. (I know cuz I peeked at the beginning of the novel.)

Granted, there is debate about this (David Skal being one of the Stoker scholars opposed to the idea), but many (including Leonard Wolf) continue to argue for the connection. Having read both, I agree that it was originally intended to be a part of the novel. Incidentally, the "guest" of the title, though an Englishman, is not necessarily Harker (he's given no name in the story); so what we may have is an earlier visitor (Renfield? at least that would seem to have been the inspiration for Balderston & Co. concerning the deviation with this Stoker character), or perhaps an earlier version before Stoker did his final revisions for the novel.... It also would seem to be rather seriously influenced by Polidori's "The Vampyre"....
 

BAYLOR

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I read this on about 15 years ago on a whim and yes the writing is a bit slow and archaic but overall, I enjoyed the book . Normally im not a fan of the epistolary form of writing, The characters giving accounts I the dorm fo journals and letters. but in this case , this style of story telling works quite well to convey, atmosphere , unease and dread.
 

Guttersnipe

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We were assigned this book in high school, but I never finished it. I was in a class called Horror. I did, however, greatly enjoy Frankenstein and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

As I understand it, Dracula was one of the first books sexualizing vampires. Thitherto, vampires were seen as very disgusting.
 

Timebender

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I've only read about halfway through, I need to get back to it sometime, but I thought what I read was very good. Harker's stay at the castle, the ship of the dead... great stuff. It's easy to overlook what is old hat today was terrifying when the book was published. Having read all the various comments here, I'm very intrigued to find out how the second half and ending will strike me when I get back into it.
 

paranoid marvin

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Anyone reading Dracula today and expecting to be scared - is going to be disappointed. It's a very well written book, very atmospheric and I definitely enjoyed reading it - but it's not horror. I guess our views of Dracula are hopelessly skewed by the numerous tv and movie adaptations, and whilst it was a tale to chill the heart 120 years ago - when many had probably not even heard of vampires - today it is imho a gothic romance with a twist.
 

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