Friday, 9 November 2012

Dracula - Bram Stoker


Title: Dracula
Author: Bram Stoker
Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

When Jonathan Harker visits Transylvania to help Count Dracula purchase a London house, he makes horrifying discoveries about his client. Soon afterward, disturbing incidents unfold in England—an unmanned ship is wrecked at Whitby, strange puncture marks appear on a young woman's neck, and a lunatic asylum inmate raves about the imminent arrival of his "Master"—culminating in a battle of wits between the sinister Count and a determined group of adversaries.



October was a bad month for reviews but I am determined to make November the best month for reviews. So kicking off Noisy November is a paranormal classic, Bram Stoker’s Dracula.  This book is perhaps the template to the modern vampire. Granted Stoker paints his Count as a vile evil creature that crawls on walls and sleeps in coffins rather than a sickly grey man with over fetish for glitter but the origin is clear enough.

Superficial speaking Dracula is a mildly entertaining book with sluttish female vamps that eat children, a psycho that eats sparrows and even an old hunter and a scientist. Its narrative leaves nothing to the imagination with every detail painted for the reader but if you put on your critical glasses and look deeper you realise that Dracula is not just a classic horror book but a book full of sub textual information about the time it was written.

Before we go into this review I want to warn you I severely dislike this book and will be having a long rant.

Let’s talk about Mina since she is the character I dislike the most. First of all she is not real, she is basically a two dimensional cut out of a 19th century man’s ideal woman. Unlike her friend Lucy who is the embodiment of female independence she is acts like the House elf of the Stoker universe. While it is clear that she has the intelligence, she slaves over helping her husband organise his life while he is whoring himself to three female vampires miles away from home. 

Now let’s move on to Sewed. Now as the man of science he should appeal to me but I find Stoker’s portrayal or him rather unconvincing and almost as fake as Mina herself. Dracula was written at the end of the nineteen century when Charles Darwin proposes his theory of evolution which for those of you who have read the book is not even mentioned in the book. Why you may ask, well allow me to elaborate. As an Irish Catholic man Stoker was a firm religious man who believed that religion should be held with the up-most importance even when it did clash with science hence the birth of the Cross against vampires lore. 

Now I feel obligated to say something positive, despite the fact that as a modern reader I fail to see the merit of Dracula and the values presented by Stoker, it is a very fascinating study of social dynamics of the late Victorian era when key social changes were taking place. This book explores the threat of modern science, women's rights, religion and even the hidden sexual desires of Victorian men.

To be honest I can go on about all the faults but am going to try and sum up Stoker. Stoker hated everything different. From the women, to scientific theories to foreigners so basically he was like the Mitt Romney of the 19th century, well a literate version that is.
So now that I have made my quota of sardonic political humor for the day let me tell you the verdict. I give this book 2 out of 5 stars. 

P.S. On my way to post this review Google notified me that today is in fact Bram Stoker’s 165th Birthday.



Way to go Beth slag off the man on his birthday and what a weird ass coincidence. 

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