Fiction: Dracula, by Bram Stoker

Dad’s and my challenge book for May and a re-read for me from grad school (the first time around!).
It was really interesting to go back and re-read this now, when vampires are such a hot topic: between Twilight and True Blood, they’re all over the place. But this? This is back when vampires weren’t sexy, or intriguing, or sparkly, or helpful to humans, or any of the other modern twists. (You know how every new vampire series needs to put its own twist on the old legends. Which I find it a bit of an authorial conceit.)
They were scary and murderous and preyed on you and sometimes, if you were really unlucky, turned you to evil. There is menace and malice creeping out the seams of this book. It did get annoying (to both of us) how the men just fawn over the poor innocent women…it’s definitely a novel “of its time” as they say.
Kept running into notes I had scrawled in the margins in whatever class I read this for (while getting a Literature MA): “This symbolizes the marriage ceremony” or “refers to King Lear”. Heh. Funny to come across those although most of it is stuff that you could easily still enjoy the book without knowing.
Dad and I also talked about how similar it felt to Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde which you may remember us reading earlier this year. As Dad mentioned, the multiple points of view, groping for the story, etc.
Some additional comments from DadReaction: Didn’t being AND becoming a vampire seem a LOT more complicated than the movies let on? To wit, Drac seems to be able to be out in daylight, he just has less power–and WAY less at sunrise and sunset. Then it seems like there are all sorts of transition stages to become one if you’re a victim–but you DON’T want to predecease Drac! No way!! That’s like a ‘get out of jail free’ card in monopoly, no? You skip the steps, even if the death is from natural causes–or, what?
Interesting, though, that it’s IMPOSSIBLE to read without filling in the blanks from all the movies you’ve seen. I keep wanting to tell the characters: ‘It’s a vampire, you morons!!!” And how weird, that van Helsing talks like Yoda.
I did get tired–o Lord, weary, weary–of all the FAWNING over Mina, those long adulatory passages from Herr Yoda.

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