Instead of posting my own review this week I'm hijacking one from my Facebook book club which by the way is one of the most wonderfully vibrant Book Clubs you'll ever come across online. I hope you'll check out Rebecca's Book Club and be part of this very active community of book lovers. Rebecca thank you for creating this amazing platform for us to talk about our love for books in their goodness, their badness and dare i say it.........their ugliness.
Getting back to the review. Birgit Wollhaff, my fellow club member, wrote a fantastic review of Bram Stoker's Dracula whicj I just could not pass up. I read Dracula over a year ago and never got around to writing the review. I hope you find this review enlightening and enjoyable i certainly found both. I must commend Birgit for doing great justice to a great classic. Take it away Birgit.
Author: Bram Stoker
So after a really hectic time I finally finished Dracula by Bram Stoker and now understand why it is a classic. It was first published in 1897 and back then, it must have been epic. Even to this day some of the imagery is very vivid and I will have the image of a 'moving burlap sack which had a sound come from it that could only be a baby' imprinted in my brain for quite some time. It is horrific in parts, gruesome and can sometimes chill you to the bone. While over two centuries old, it hasn't lost any of its impact. All other vampire books (except glittery ones) have been based on its contents - the garlic, crossing running water, stake through the heart, etc. originated here.
It did have some really long words that I had to look up but other than that, it was superb. It takes the form of an epistolary (look ma, I learnt a new word) novel, written in the form of diary entries, letters and phonograph transcriptions, from the perspective of several people. The story, especially towards the end, does overlap a bit as so much happens but it's really easy to follow. What is quite amazing is that you can imagine the voices of the different people as you read it, both male, female and even that of Prof. van Helsing who writes with a foreign accent. Each person has their own style and personality and this comes through quite clearly. It is almost as if several people actually wrote this book instead of just one, very uniquely done.
It can get a little long sometimes and in our fast paced world, things like having to wait for the 5pm train to London, or sending letters by evening post, get a little lost, as does memorizing train and ship schedules, but you do get a real sense of what it must have been like living in those times. The ending (and this is maybe just because I am used to special effects and exploding coffin lids) was satisfying but not spectacular. While this will not be everyone's cup of tea, I loved it. Do not read if you are squeamish, it does get quite graphic.