Book cover from Dracula by Bram Stoker
Book cover 'Dracula'

Dracula

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Author(s): Bram Stoker
Format: Book › Paperback all formats
Edition: 1
Published: 04-18-2000
ISBN: 0486454010
Pages: 336
Publisher: Dover Publications
List Price: $7.00

BooksToRead Review

Irish writer Bram Stoker is seen by many as the father of all vampire novels, and rightly so. Dracula, a novel from 1897, is an immortal story that is told by means of personal letters and diary fragments. In the story, young Jonathan Harker visits the mysterious Count Dracula in Transylvania to handle the purchase of a London country house. Over time, he finds that the creepy spokesman holds strange habits like drinking blood. He can only barely escape with his life.

Shortly afterwards, Jonathan's fianc Mina, home in London, is confronted with the strange illness of her girlfriend Lucy, who takes long walks in a cemetery at night. The Amsterdam doctor and vampire hunter Van Helsing recognizes the symptoms immediately. She is the victim of a 'vampyr'. Jonathan, Mina and three friends soon discover that it is the creature Count Dracula, who appears to have traveled to London. But the Count knows that they are on his track. He seduces Mina and abducts her, all the way back to Transylvania.

Book description

During a business visit to Count Dracula's castle in Transylvania, a young English solicitor finds himself at the center of a series of horrifying incidents. Jonathan Harker is attacked by three phantom women, observes the Count's transformation from human to bat form, and discovers puncture wounds on his own neck that seem to have been made by teeth. Harker returns home upon his escape from Dracula's grim fortress, but a friend's strange malady — involving sleepwalking, inexplicable blood loss, and mysterious throat wounds — initiates a frantic vampire hunt. The popularity of Bram Stoker's 1897 horror romance is as deathless as any vampire.  Its supernatural appeal has spawned a host of film and stage adaptations, and more than a century after its initial publication, it continues to hold readers spellbound.

Book review

Dracula is one of the few horror books to be honored by inclusion in the Norton Critical Edition series. (The others are Frankenstein, The Turn of the Screw, Heart of Darkness, The Picture of Dorian Gray, and The Metamorphosis.) This 100th-anniversary edition includes not only the complete authoritative text of the novel with illuminating footnotes, but also four contextual essays, five reviews from the time of publication, five articles on dramatic and film variations, and seven selections from literary and academic criticism. Nina Auerbach of the University of Pennsylvania (author of Our Vampires, Ourselves) and horror scholar David J. Skal (author of Hollywood Gothic, The Monster Show, and Screams of Reason) are the editors of the volume. Especially fascinating are excerpts from materials that Bram Stoker consulted in his research for the book, and his working papers over the several years he was composing it. The selection of criticism includes essays on how Dracula deals with female sexuality, gender inversion, homoerotic elements, and Victorian fears of "reverse colonization" by politically turbulent Transylvania.

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