I Wanna Be Literated #256

I Wanna Be Literated #256

Wednesday, 11 May 2022

by Bram Stoker

Remember when vampires were hot? Are they still hot? I think so, because What We Do in the Shadows is so popular. Maybe vampires work better as a punch line. Whatever the case, I’ve always thought vampires were a cool concoction. Maybe because it’s been parodied so much or maybe it’s the element of a foreigner as a tortured soul forced to feed off the blood of the innocent. Ghoulish! I remember Coppola’s Dracula was a huge deal when it came out, and being just 11 when I saw it, I was pretty shocked by it. I was expecting an action movie a-la Indiana Jones, instead I got a gothic exploration of torture and lust. Hell, I enjoyed Dracula so much I even wrote a paper on the book…without having read it. You see, we were discussing it so much in class that I felt like I got the gist. I wonder how it would read now.

Anyway, that book I was supposed to read always stared at me from my book shelf, and finally, after all these years, I thought I would check it out.

Do you need my insight at all on whether or not it’s a good book? I certainly thought so. Most interesting of all is reading how the properties of Dracula were first developed and how they were built upon over the next century. Surprisingly, very little of the Bela Lugosi Dracula is recognizable here, except for the ability to hypnotize and, of course, feeding on blood and the whole stake through the heart thing. Bram Stoker’s Dracula is an old man, with animal-like skills, who becomes stronger the more he feeds. He needs to sleep in his homeland dirt to keep his strength, and wants to come to England to, I think, begin his world domination

Dracula reads like a horror mystery and is a fun read until it veers into romance novel territory with Mina, John, and the rest of the brigade constantly pouring their hearts out to each other over how much they love one another and how their love is pure. Also, Van Helsing is nearly insufferable with his constant withholding of information and his weird accent which instead of sounding Dutch (which I’m familiar with) makes him sound more like Borat. He goes on and on for several paragraphs and never shuts up. He kind of drove a stake through this book’s heart.

Dracula is a fun read and worthwhile for those who want to go back to where it all started. If you’re just here for the action and not the crybaby stuff, focus on the first half then cut to the end, especially when it comes to Van Helsing. Yeesh!

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