Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Dracula by Bram Stoker

Having read the Twilight series, the Historian and being an avid fan of Buffy, I decided it was about time I went to the source of the vampire trend and read Dracula.

Now, I may be one of the few people in the world who really had no idea what the book was about besides the obvious – a vampire by the name of Dracula. (I didn’t even realize Van Helsing was a character!) So, I had no preconceptions of this dark 19th century novel.

I found the story intriguingly complex if not as horrifying as I imagine the first readers found it to be. Written in diary form, the book is composed of the letters and diaries of a small group brought together by the evils of Dracula. The Count is deliciously mysterious and amoral, and our band of heroes are intrepid and fearful by turn and so very prim and proper.

Jonathan Harker travels to Transylvania to see a client who is buying a house in London with the intent of moving there. On arriving in the town he meets the local peasantry who try to warn him away from the count, his client, but sure it is just local superstition, Jonathan journeys on the terrifying ruined structure where Count Dracula makes his home.

Lucy, recently engaged to be married and a dear friend of Jonathan’s fiancĂ©, Mina, suddenly falls sick after sleep walking in the graveyard at night in Whitby. When Lucy does not seem to get any better, her friend and doctor, John Stuart sends for his mentor from Amsterdam, Dr Van Helsing and it is he who reveals the terrible truth of her sickness. But even he is unable to save her.

Van Helsing and his determined group must use all their wits, courage and strength in a long battle to defeat the sinister Count before it is too late.

Part of my 100+ reading challenge.