Dracula by Bram Stoker

Happy Halloween Readers,

Welcome to the start of vampire week I thought we would start with the Prince of Darkness himself Dracula

Please don't confuse the movie "Bram Stoker's Dracula" with the actual plot, story, and characters in the book. The film loosely resembles the book but the books story is told through a collection of journals, letters, telegrams and other things that tell the story.  You are almost forced to believe that the events are factual as there are several different journals that overlap, from different individuals but all claim the same story. This book does what it does well and that's being gothic and frightening.

All though Dracula is a purely fictional creation, Stoker named his infamous character after a real person who happened to have a taste for blood: Vlad III, Prince of Wallachia or as he is better known Vlad the Impaler. I’ll insert a link here for more information on Vlad.

Dracula is one of the most recognised horror stories and the most well-known vampire novel. Bram Stoker set the ground rules for what a vampire should be and set the benchmark for all other writers of the vampire afterwards. Even today mentioning the word vampire brings to mind visions of vampires, stakes, garlic and crucifixes.  Despite it being one of the last Gothic fiction novels to be written Count Dracula is the father of all gothic villains.

Have no doubts this is a horror novel but not like those of modern day, there is no real gore here - this is not the Hollywood Dracula, nor is it Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Interview with the Vampire. The decaying castle in which the book begins is a testimony to the eeriness that follows. The "damsel in distress" motif appears quite often in Gothic literature, and in Dracula, we have Mina and Lucy are both damsels at some point. In all, it is a macabre glory the book makes the reader reflect upon good and evil. The vampire is nothing more than a suggestion of man’s own cursed nature and that unless he is delivered he must suck the life from others around him. The horror comes from building fear on the premises of you killed it only to return later to find it gone and you don’t know where it is or when it will resurface.

The plot of the book can be summed up in a few short sentences: Dracula wishes to create more vampires in Victorian London; his attempts are thwarted and he and his kind are exterminated. The novel represents Victorian fears and fancies; it is a comment on women’s position in society and underpins their sexual desires and possibly fears.  It pushes the boundaries of belief by suggesting a struggle between modernity and science with religion and superstition.

My favourite Dracula movies
Bram Stoker's Dracula 
Dracula dead and loving it
Dracula untold
Van Helsing
Blade: Trinity - Drake

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