2016 · 2017 · April · Reviews

Book Review: “Dracula”, by Bram Stoker

Published in 2016 by Penguin | Originally published in 1897 | 3 stars

Summary:

I guess y’all know the plot of this already, but it’s about Jonathan Harker who goes to Transylvania to help Count Dracula buy a property in England. However, the count soon turns out to be a very sinister person.

Review:

To begin with: I did not actually finish this, though I did mark it as finished on Goodreads. However, I have read everything apart from the last maybe 70 pages, and I know exactly how it ends because I wrote an essay on it for class without actually having finished the book and thus had to look up a detailed summary of it. So I feel as if I can write a full review.

I can’t decide if I actually think that this is worth 3 stars. I like having read the “original” vampire story, and it was interesting to see how far some of the modern vampire books are from this in some places. And it surprised me that Dracula isn’t actually in this very much. He’s more of a background figure than I thought he would be. Also, when I actually picked it up I did find the story interesting.

However, it was so slow, and the plot feels unnecessarily drawn out. I would find myself wishing that they’d just get to the point. What also annoyed me was the view of women. Mina would frequently be left out of things on the sole basis that she happened to be a woman – because, according to Van Helsing and Dr Seward, she couldn’t handle the vampire-hunting business (also on the sole basis of her happening to be a woman). And at some point, Van Helsing says that she “has a man’s brain” (yes, he actually said that), meaning that she’s a “better” sort of woman than other, typically “weak” women. This annoys the crap out of me, and it makes the book feel incredibly dated. In that respect, it has not aged well.

The chapter division also seemed a bit weird to me. Sometimes, there would be a chapter division in the middle of someone’s diary entry. And it also made everything seem so intentional – in the beginning, there’s a note saying that the diary entries has been placed in a particular order, and the reason for that would become clear as you continue reading. The chapters sort of destroyed that. I don’t that think they should have been there at all. Of course, it would perhaps have made it more difficult to read (the droning slowness would have been even more distinct), but still.

So I dnf’ed this. I just didn’t like it enough to continue reading it. Which is sad, because I really wanted to like it.

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