Dracula – Bram Stoker
Audio version - multiple narrators
It took me all of November to slog through this book. I found it interesting as an artistic effort and for its place in literary history, but I didn’t really like it. I’m not a fan of horror as genre, so I might have expected to have trouble with this one, but surprisingly, that was not my issue with this book. I thought that Jonathan Harker’s initial suspenseful encounter with the Count was the best part of the book; very spooky and creepy like a good ghost story. Of course, I thought Harker was incredibly stupid and continued to think that of him throughout the book, but that’s probably because I always knew the ending of the story.
This story is told through the letters, journal entries, telegrams and log books of multiple characters. The audio production’s use of multiple readers suited the format perfectly. Unfortunately, I found the narrative to be repetitive and tediously long. I turned to my kindle version to move the plot along. Reading, I could skip over the endless adulation of poor dear Lucy (even after she became poor dead Lucy), and I could mentally reconstruct the tortured English grammar of Van Helsing that was making me want to scream.
Some elements of this book were interesting to me from an historical viewpoint. Stoker introduced some scientific and technological elements that must have been on the cutting edge at that time. Dr. Seward’s journal entries are actually recorded on phonograph cylinders. The intelligent and undervalued Mina Murray takes on the role of secretary to transcribe these notes on her typewriting machine. In addition to vampire hunting, Dr. Seward gives an interesting perspective on the treatment of the insane at the end of the 19th century. Stoker’s portrayal of Quincy Morris, the one American character was laughable to me, but not surprising. Stoker’s friend, Conan Doyle, was also fond of putting heroic, roughshod colonials into his stories.
Overall, I’m glad I read this one. It makes the current fad for sparkly or civilized, highly educated vampires even more amusing.
posted 1 year ago. ( permalink )