Did I read a different book to everyone else because this certainly wasn’t the scary page turner that I hoped it would be.
Author: Bram Stoker
Publisher: Penguin Classics
Publication Date: 1897
Page count: 402
Everyone knows the basic premise of this book as it’s another one of those books that is ingrained in popular culture. However, if you only know the story from adaptations, especially the recent BBC one, you might be surprised that the story is actually world apart from this.
Dracula is an epistolary novel so the story is told through journal entries, letters and memos. We follow the young Jonathon Harker as he travels to Transylvania to sort out some legal documents for a Count called Dracula. After meeting the mysterious Count, Harker soon realises things are not as they seem.
Unlike most Victorians novels, Dracula jumps right into the story. By page 36 you’ve already met Dracula and Harker has discovered he is a Vampire. Unfortunately, this was the most interesting and scary portion of the book.
Besides from Harker’s journal entries we also follow the story from the perspective of his fiancé, Mina, her friend Lucy and her potential suitors, Arthur and Dr Seward. This is where everything started to unravel. The momentum in the first fifty pages was lost as Stoker went on a bit of a tangent detailing the women’s lives and marriage prospects. Following Dr Seward’s perspective was particularly painful. Poor Seward just didn’t have the faintest clue what was going on so for the majority of the book he is just bumbling along following Van Helsing like a lost puppy.
The remainder of this book is slow which was only exacerbated by the structure. As the characters team up to try and defeat Dracula instead of just flicking between perspectives Stocker recounts the events from each character which means we re-read one event four times. This really irritated me as there was no need for the repetition, we don’t find out anything new and it killed any suspense.
Basically Dracula is a Victorian novel in reverse. Most Victorian authors spend a good 200 pages before the catalyst to the story happens and the rest of the book follows a well thought out plot. However, Stoker gets to the point straight away and then spends 300 pages filling the book.
Overall, I found this to be so underwhelming but I’m hoping the rest of my Victober reads will be 100% better than this.