Book Review: Dracula

DRACULA | Bram Stoker
2018 | Paper Mill Press
First published 05.26.1897
Rating: 4.5/5 stars

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Jonathan Harker has recently been sent to Transylvania for a work assignment to assist a man known as Dracula with his move to England. While residing at his home, a castle upon a hill, Harker comes to realize that there are strange things happening around him. His host never seems to dine with him, he is only available in the evenings, and where are all the staff?

Harker comes to the near impossible sounding conclusion that Dracula is driven to move to England in order to spread his curse of the undead. Who would possibly believe this theory? Told through journal entries from various involved parties, such as Professor Abraham Van Helsing, the reader is introduced to Dracula and his threat against mankind. In order to stop him a small group of men and women must rally to fight back against and nearly indefitable foe. Can Dracula be stopped?

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There are darknesses in life and there are lights, and you are one of the lights, the light of all lights.

DRACULA by Bram Stoker is the classic gothic tale that launched an entire world of vampire mythology. While for years I have read books and watched shows and movies based on this book I have picked it up. What a mistake! For a book that is over 200 years old it holds the test against time incredibly well. From the moment I picked up DRACULA I knew I needed to know more and wanted to keep reading until I had hit the very last page.

Stoker took on the unique challenge of telling his story solely through the use of journal entries. Not only did he use this method, but he also chose to alternate between several main characters who the entries were from. It sounds confusing and as though it has a high chance of not working, however, Stoker expertly wove everything together. I loved that the entries were generally short or broken down by date. This set the pace to be faster, as well as encouraged me to keep reading well past my bedtime.

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We learn from failure, not from success!

The atmospheric quality to this story has to be one of the major points that make it a favorite classic for me. I could feel the suspense in what would happen every time the fog would roll in or the wolves would start howling. I was uncomfortable when the characters found themselves in some scene that was shrouded in darkness. Stoker truly made the story come to life for me with his attention to detail!

So, why if you loved the book so much didn’t it become a perfect 5 stars? I had a lot of issues with the random instances of dialect from people who spoke old English or with the slang of their time. These instances didn’t fit with the majority of the story and while I appreciate that Stoker was going for authenticity, I could not get into these sections. Another issue I had deals more with the time frame the book was written in and Stoker’s use of misogyny when it came to Mina. She couldn’t possibly be involved in the initial plans to stop Dracula because she was a woman…insert eye roll here. I did appreciate later Stoker changed this to have more meaning behind why Mina should be left out of certain parts of the take down strategy. 

If you have yet to read DRACULA, I highly recommend adding this classic onto your TBR!


This book is available to buy from: Amazon | Book Depository

Disclosure: What Jess Reads is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. This in no way influences my opinion of the above book.

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