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“There was one great tomb more lordly than all the rest; huge it was, and nobly proportioned. On it was but one word, DRACULA.”
― Bram Stoker, Dracula
The greatest and most famous vampire novel of all time DRACULA has inspired countless adaptations —none with the same power to quicken the pulse as the original. Bram Stoker’s novel is both a Gothic reflection of the Victorian era and a timeless tale of sinister lust. First published in 1897, Dracula established the ground rules for virtually all vampire fiction written in its wake.
Acting on behalf of his firm of solicitors, Jonathan Harker travels to the Carpathian Mountains to finalize the sale of England’s Carfax Abbey to Transylvanian noble Count Dracula. Little does he realize that, in doing so, he endangers all that he loves. For Dracula is one of the Un-Dead–a centuries-old vampire who sleeps by day and stalks by night, feasting on the blood of his helpless victims. Once on English soil, the count sets his sights on Jonathan’s circle of associates, among them his beloved wife Mina. To thwart Dracula’s evil designs, Jonathan and his friends will have to accept as truth the most preposterous superstitions concerning vampires, and in the company of legendary vampire hunter Abraham Van Helsing, embark on an unholy adventure for which even their worst nightmares have not prepared them.
I listened to the audio book of Bram Stoker’s Dracula. It is one of the most amazing books I have ever read. I don’t know how I missed this one during my book filled youth but I am glad I discovered it now.
The story is told through a collection of diary, journal and other written entries by the main characters to the story and follows the path of the five men and two women who encounter one of the most evil creatures ever known to mankind.
Jonathan Harker is a young and ambitions lawyer with a good and kind heart. The story starts with him arriving in Transylvania to travel to the castle of a Count Dracula who is doing business with Mr Harker’s firm in England. The Count has requested that a legal representative travel to his home and stay with him for a period to bed down certain business transactions, including the purchase of property in England, he wishes to undertake. It is decided by the owner of the firm that Jonathan should undertake the journey as he is dedicated and thorough in his work and his health is far better than that of his older associate.
Following Jonathan’s arrival in Transylvania, it soon becomes apparent that the local people are terrified of Count Dracula and fear for Jonathan’s life and soul. Although perplexed by the bizarre behaviour of the local people, Jonathan travels on to his arranged drop off point where he is collected by a huge and unusual man in a horse drawn coach. The journey to the castle is harrowing and Jonathan is relieved to arrive at this temporary home. Before many days have passed, however, he becomes aware that everything is not as it seems at the castle. The Count does not eat and does not sleep at night. As Jonathan becomes more suspicious of the Count, and wishes to return home he discovers that he is a prisoner in the castle. The Count does not have his best interests at heart and he is just a ploy to help Dracula get to England to carry out his ghastly plan.
Meanwhile back in England, Mina, Jonathan’s devoted fiancee, is greatly concerned that she has not heard from him. She is also worried about her beautiful friend, Lucy, who is sleep walking at night and whose health seems to start deteriorating. Lucy is a delightful and loving woman and the object of three men’s desire. When Mina eventually receives a letter from a nun at the hospital where Jonathan is recovering after a lengthily illness, she leaves immediately to assist him and Lucy is left in the care of her ailing mother.
Lucy’s health takes a turn for the worse and all three of the men who love her as well as Doctor von Helsing, an elderly and famous physician, must battle to save her life and her soul. This is just the beginning of their fight as Lucy’s life is merely one of many that is at stake in this terrifying novel.
The story is told in the most beautiful and descriptive language and I did enjoy the old fashioned manners displayed by the five male heroes. The female characters also display the best of female characteristics and are true, loving and kind.
This great dramatical story is well worth reading and I can understand how it has come to be a one of the great classic stories.
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