Monday, April 20, 2009

Dracula - Final Review

Dracula, Bram Stoker, 1897

Plot: Absolutely excellent. Begins with seemingly unrelated people and events and brings them together very well. There is a great deal of suspense, which is increased all the more by the well-rounded (if a bit caricature-ish) characters. As the reader, I felt almost a part of their group of friends who are willing to do anything to help each other, a theme that is repeated frequently. 9/10

Style: This book is written, not as a novel, but as a series of journal entries, newspaper clippings, telegrams, etc. Some of the journal entries are fairly long and read very much like a novel. It was a bit difficult to follow at times, because three of the main characters have a great deal of "journaling" included, and it switches back and forth many times. I had to keep checking back to see whose I was reading so that it would all make sense. I loved this format and thought it was very clever. It was a way to put the story into first person without the assumption that the narrator survives - an important point for the suspense. 9/10

Hotness of the main character: This is really made up of an ensemble "cast" and believe it or not, Dracula is not the main character, so I don't have to go there. There are, in essence, 5 men to speak of here. Dr. Van Helsing is old, but totally smart, loyal and awesome. Dr. Seward gets points (as do all of these men) for being willing to do anything to help his friends as they hunt the vampire. However, he runs an insane asylum and spends a great deal of time there. Jonathan Harker is brave, but is scarred emotionally from all that he experiences at the beginning of the book. Damaged goods. Plus, he's married. Arthur Holmwood is also awesomely brave and loyal. His drawback? [SPOILER ALERT] He was about to be married to Dracula's first victim, so he's got broken heart issues. Then we have Quincy Morris, my pick for best of the book. He's from Texas and he's kinda shy in all the right ways. He seems to be the most fiercely loyal one of the whole bunch. No numerical ratings for this group.

The character I would most like to be: [SPOILER ALERT] Well all of the girls get killed or almost killed by Dracula and deal with pretty nasty horrors. So I'm not going to really go there. I'll go with Dr. Van Helsing. He's an awesome dude. Totally cool under pressure, always knows the right steps to take, listens well to others' ideas and concedes when they are better than his own. (By the way, if you're imagining Hugh Jackman, you're doing it all wrong.)

Re-readability: Occasionally. I almost gave this a "frequently" rating, but then you take all the good suspense out of it. You have to let it sit for a while first.

Final Decision: SHELF IT!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


So I'm about halfway through Dracula, and it's GOOD. :)