I originally read Dracula after watching The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. I hadn’t read most of the literature featured in the movie—but was interested in doing so—and Dracula was one of the first of the books that I read. Expecting Mine Harker to be a cold, insensitive woman, imagine my surprise on finding her to be one of my very favorite characters in what would become my favorite book. It can sometimes be hard describing why you love a book (can you explain why you prefer one flavor of ice cream over another?), but I will try to lay out some of the reasons for my affection for Dracula.
- The Characters: Bram Stoker had a skill for creating characters that are different, but still well developed. You get the sense that, even if he doesn’t tell you everything about them, he knows them all intimately, and reveals their characters subtly and slowly—just like getting to know someone in real life. By the end, I was positive that I want to be just like Mina Harker, marry someone just like Quincey Morris, and have a grandfather just like Abraham Van Helsing.
- The Setting: Description seems to be one of those things that no one likes, and everyone is bored by, but, personally, I find good description one of the most captivating and irresistible parts of a book, even when it has next to nothing to do with the story. Jonathan Harker’s description of the people, dress, terrain, food, etc. at the beginning may not affect the plot at all, but it sets the stage and makes the story come alive.
- The Plot: A man tracking down a vampire to get revenge and protect other potential victims is interesting enough, but add an insane man that seems to be possessed by Dracula and another friend who can be saved only by the true death of Drac, and the plot becomes quite intricate and gripping.
- The Format: Dracula is made up entirely of journal entries, letters, and newspaper clippings. For me, at least, this is an easy style to read because it’s all chronological, broken down, and really transports you into the story. Also, since it’s supposed to be written by so many different people, you get to really understand the personality of the writer, whichever character that happens to be at the time, even better than if it had been explicitly stated.
- Mina Harker: She’s so awesome, and such an important part of the book, that she deserves her own paragraph. Mina gets bitten by Drac and later is forced to drink some of his blood, which makes her sort of vampirical. I suspect that at least half of my readers are girls, and Mina is a wonderful role model for me, you, and every other girl ever. Her most admirable traits are her faith in God throughout all her trials, her great respect and love for her husband, and her willingness to rely on other people when necessary, while helping all she can. We would do well to imitate her in whatever ways we can.
As you can probably now see, Dracula is a fantastic book. You should go read it now, so I won’t detain you any longer. Goodbye, and good reading.
Are you ready to read Dracula?
Post by PseudoHobbit!