Dracula – Bram Stoker
August 7, 2009 § 5 Comments
Having read The Historian earlier this year, I became quite interested in reading the first and original Dracula. I started off wondering how a classic thriller that is so well known would be like, and how reading it would feel like.
The story is told through journals and letters written by the different characters in the plot. It all starts unassuming enough, with a Jonathan Harker writing in his journal about his journey to Transylvania on business matters. It turns out that the client is Count Dracula.
Just the name “Dracula” is enough, really, to invoke feelings of suspense, fear and thrill in us contemporary people. We know, by whatever means be it through movies, cartoons or other books, that Dracula is a vampire, a blood-sucking UnDead. So even before I turned the first page, I already knew in my mind what I was in store for.
So I wondered to myself, when I reached the first quarter of the book, What would reading this book be like, if I didn’t already know what Dracula is?
Interestingly enough, though, I was kept in suspense right throughout the story. I never once felt like I knew more than what the characters in the story knew. In fact, knowing before hand a little bit about the story seemed to work in my favour, because I was always hoping that the characters themselves would find out the truth quickly, or I would silently send messages to them.
Every time I had to put the book down to do something else, I would realise (with surprise!) that my heart was beating a little faster than usual. The story stuck with me even while I was bathing, or eating, or just walking around. I found myself itching to continue reading.
Being written in the late 1800s, the language at times got to me. But other than that, it was one fantastic read.
Conclusion: Reading Dracula in winter really helps set the scene and mood. The physical cold contrasted with the warmth of the characters to the evil of Count Dracula, it all fit in to each other just nice.