Adventures in Reading

R.I.P. Challenge: Dracula by Bram Stoker
October 3, 2008, 1:14 pm
Filed under: book reviews, fiction | Tags: , , , , ,

In Leonard Wolf’s introduction of the 100th anniversary of Dracula, he explores the sensation that is Dracula. Though only a century old, Dracula is a tale that seems much older and a story that has seeped into public unconsciousness like any well-known myth or allegory. Dracula is erotically dark and violent, passionate and frightening, sexual yet repulsive.

Told in an epistolary style, Bram Stoker’s story unfolds through letters, journals, newspaper clippings, phonograph recordings, and telegrams. Rather than a solitary narrator, nearly every character within Dracula is allowed a passage to develop the story. Plot wise, and one I’m sure most people are familiar with, the young Englishman Johnathan Harker heads to Transylvania as he has been hired via a firm by Count Dracula. After a terrifying forced visit at the Count’s castle, he returns home only to find that the Count has beat him to England’s shores. The Count proceeds to terrorize the two female characters in the story while the male cast comes to term and plot to defeat the vampire.

Wolf points out that one of the intrigues of this novel, one reason why it is so easy to become fascinated is because Stoker quite deceptively provides his reader with a monolith of complex material and themes: sex, tradition, modernity, science, medicine, folklore, myth, horror, good versus evil, sex. You can read Dracula for the blood tingling gothic horror it is or you can easily spend your time delving into the multitude of layers.

My only real criticism: there is some cyclical repetitions throughout the book (like the men giving blood to Lucy) that become rather repetitive. Personally, I could have done without the American Quincey entirely. But that’s really besides the point, it’s a sensational book and was a perfect novel to read for the R.I.P. Challenge!

Conclusion: Keeper.

Other opinions: Book Nut, Bookworm, 1morechapter, Becky’s Book Reviews, Dreaming Out Loud, Here, There, and Everywhere, and Reading Matters.


I agree, it’s a sensational book. The last time I read it I was still in my teens. I need to pick it up again one of these days.

Comment by Nymeth

I love the book Dracula, although Frankenstein is my favorite of the two.

Comment by MissDaisyAnne

Nymeth: It was oh so good! I printed out a copy of Carmella, an earlier vampire novella, and am looking forward to reading that now. I just finished Frankenstein the other day: phenomenal! I think it may have surpassed my Dracula enjoyment too.

Comment by bookchronicle

I would love to read this book one day! For some reason I’m a little intimidated by it–really have no idea why. I was going to join the RIP challenge this year, but time just got away from me. Hate that!

Comment by Trish

Trish: I kept passing up Dracula because I thought I wasn’t a vampire person. Even without the R.I.P. challenge, it’s always fun to toss in a few creepier and horror-ridden novels.

Comment by bookchronicle

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