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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Dracula by Bram Stoker

Bela Lugosi as the iconic film version of Dracula.

Book Review
by Bram Stoker
p. 1897

  This may actually be the worst book on the entire 1001 Books To Read Before You Die list.  It's obviously included because it has been tremendously popular and served as more or less direct inspiration for a century plus worth of Vampire culture, but it really is a shitty, shitty novel.

 Why so, you may ask.  Well, Dracula is a kind of epistolary novel- where everything is written down by the various characters in the form of journal entries.  The epistolary novel was en vogue in the 18th century- Samuel Richardson- largely regarded as the first true "Novelist" wrote exclusively in this format, but it was soon abandoned by writers because it is clunky and subject to the inevitable "I am writing this even as the murderer enters into the room, oh there I can see him now with the knife gleaming in the candle light by which I write this now... I must go..." type of up to the minute narration.

  This kind of narration might have cut it in the 18th century before a hundred years of innovation rendered it utterly obsolete, but unless Stoker is writing as an homage (and I'm pretty sure he isn't) it just comes across as antiquated and amateurish.  So ultimately you are talking about the importance of the character of Dracula, and the genre of Vampire horror.  I have little respect for either.  Dracula has no depth- he is simply a monster.  A charming monster, but a monster.  And as for Vampire horror.  Well.  I'm not sure which is worse- the Twilight films/books or True Blood but both of them fucking suck.  Anne Rice sucks, books and movies.

 Vampires are just stupid, and Dracula is terrible.

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