Dracula - Bram Stoker

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Dracula - Bram Stoker

Postby Shuggy » Fri Sep 24, 2010 1:11 pm

I can easily see why this book is considered a classic, and why it was probably considered the 'Blair Witch Project' of its day. It is written as if it were a factual collection of letters, journal extracts and newspaper clippings, all linked and telling the same story.

However, having re-read it recently, my personal opinion is that it has not aged well, and is actually a deathly boring read in parts regardless of age. This is a shame for what is essentially one of the GrandDaddies of modern horror.

Thoughts?
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Re: Dracula - Bram Stoker

Postby Candy Kane » Fri Sep 24, 2010 2:50 pm

There was an article in the New Yorker some time ago which says the same thing you're saying, but it adds that Bram Stoker wasn't a great writer. Fair dues, but we're judging him by today's standards.

It's hard to get into in places, but the ideas are brilliantly and vividly realised. It's creepy when Drac goes crawling down the vertical wall like a fly. When he feeds those women with a child from the village. When he talks about bloodshed and violence as if that's what you have to do to be a man.

In some places, you can't quite follow it, as if Harker's nervous breakdown robbed him of his ability to describe his situation, but those set pieces... *shudder!*

And that's how I like it.
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Re: Dracula - Bram Stoker

Postby Azriel » Fri Sep 24, 2010 3:57 pm

I still think it's brilliant, though I've not re-read it in several years.
The main things that impressed me about the book is the symbolism and the way he is SO good at making Dracula's very existence blasphemous. Dracula is a kind of distorted Christ figure and Stoker manages to get all sorts of parallels into the book that serve to make vampires that much more horrific.
For instance, both Jesus and Dracula rose from the dead, both promise eternal life, Jesus commands his followers to drink his blood (figuratively) while Dracula when attempting to seduce and overtake Mina forces her to drink his blood (literally), etc.

I have to agree though that Stoker's other writings are not good. The Lair of the White Worm is some of the worst writing I've ever come across. It's disconnected, the story appears to be missing bits all over the place, people act in unexplained odd ways, and huge bits of plot remain unexplained. It was so disappointing to read. His other short stories are mediocre at best.
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Re: Dracula - Bram Stoker

Postby Candy Kane » Fri Sep 24, 2010 4:01 pm

Yeah... I must say I concur. He's an ideas man. The execution needs a bit of work...
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Re: Dracula - Bram Stoker

Postby TomCotton » Fri Sep 24, 2010 4:27 pm

When I first read it I thought it was very good. I could not understand why the movie makers had to add so much extra gross out stuff. There are enough bloody gross out stuff in the book like killing the vampire in the graveyard and beheading of the three vampires in the castle.

I started to re-read it a few months ago and found it to be too plodding what with the letters and diary entries used to tell the story. I did not finish the reading this time but did pass it on to someone that had never read the book and is in to the current pop-culture fascination with all things vampire. :roll:

I do not regret reading it at least once, though. :)
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Re: Dracula - Bram Stoker

Postby Candy Kane » Fri Sep 24, 2010 4:35 pm

TomCotton wrote:When I first read it I thought it was very good. I could not understand why the movie makers had to add so much extra gross out stuff. There are enough bloody gross out stuff in the book like killing the vampire in the graveyard and beheading of the three vampires in the castle.

It annoys me when someone goes to the hassle of naming a movie "Bram Stoker's Dracula" and the movie is nothing like it! :mad: If you're going to call it "Bram Stoker's Dracula," make it like he would have done. Is it me or did "Nosferatu" come closest to doing just that?

I started to re-read it a few months ago and found it to be too plodding what with the letters and diary entries used to tell the story. I did not finish the reading this time but did pass it on to someone that had never read the book and is in to the current pop-culture fascination with all things vampire. :roll:

I do not regret reading it at least once, though. :)


I think it's something you do have to read at least once. You'll probably find that all the books considered to be classics are a bit plodding compared to our usual preferences. Back in the day, that was the standard.
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Re: Dracula - Bram Stoker

Postby Shuggy » Fri Sep 24, 2010 10:01 pm

Yeah, as I said - it hasn't aged well. There are certain unecessary details that just go on and on and on, and add nothing essential to the story. The old fisherman in Whitby makes me want to push my own finger through my eye-socket and wiggle it around in my brain.

One of the things that 'Bram Stoker's Dracula' the film got really on the money (in my opinion) was the 'old Dracula' in the Harker in Transylvania beginning. The creepy way in which Dracula moved was great, and his strange shadow was an interesting touch. I thought that he didn't look quite as powerful or imposing as Stoker wrote him, but his strange, twitchy movements suited the character.
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Re: Dracula - Bram Stoker

Postby Candy Kane » Sat Sep 25, 2010 9:16 am

I liked all that, but later on, the funny blue shades and things like that turned me off.
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Re: Dracula - Bram Stoker

Postby shireling » Sat Sep 25, 2010 1:37 pm

Azriel wrote:I still think it's brilliant, though I've not re-read it in several years.
The main things that impressed me about the book is the symbolism and the way he is SO good at making Dracula's very existence blasphemous. Dracula is a kind of distorted Christ figure and Stoker manages to get all sorts of parallels into the book that serve to make vampires that much more horrific.
For instance, both Jesus and Dracula rose from the dead, both promise eternal life, Jesus commands his followers to drink his blood (figuratively) while Dracula when attempting to seduce and overtake Mina forces her to drink his blood (literally), etc.

I have to agree though that Stoker's other writings are not good. The Lair of the White Worm is some of the worst writing I've ever come across. It's disconnected, the story appears to be missing bits all over the place, people act in unexplained odd ways, and huge bits of plot remain unexplained. It was so disappointing to read. His other short stories are mediocre at best.


I never thought of it that way, Az, until reading what you just wrote, and I think you're spot on. Vampires are the sexiest, :bad: too, of all monsters and well, I guess they'd have to be to have such willing victims. I can't think of any other creature where you'd see the conquest put on her best lingerie, ditch the garlic, the stake and the cross, and wait for him.

I've never read any of Stoker's other works - after what I've read here, I think I'll pass. But with Halloween coming, I am really looking forward to my man and fellow Hunky, Bela :D .
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Re: Dracula - Bram Stoker

Postby Candy Kane » Sat Sep 25, 2010 1:46 pm

Yeah, I meant to ask: who was the best actor to play Dracula?

For me, it has to be Christopher Lee. He's flippin' brilliant and very aristocratic.
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Re: Dracula - Bram Stoker

Postby shireling » Sat Sep 25, 2010 2:00 pm

Well, I gave myself away already but I do love Langella, too. (Jimminy Christmas! The scene where he's climbing the wall and looks into the camera just popped into my head *shiver*!)

I like Lee as well, but by the time I saw him at the drive-ins, I was already taken over. Btw, is that him in Shuggy's avatar?
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Re: Dracula - Bram Stoker

Postby Candy Kane » Sat Sep 25, 2010 2:03 pm

I don't think so, Shireling. I'm actually watching the 1931 version with Bela Lugosi in the lead ATM. Great fun. "Listen to them; the children of the night. What music they make!"

Classic!

And here's the link: http://veehd.com/video/1929078_Dracula-1931
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Re: Dracula - Bram Stoker

Postby -O- » Sun Sep 26, 2010 1:24 pm

ive never read this but i am getting ready to listen to the audiobook as i make my 1hr journey to work and back home everyday. personally i enjoyed braum stoker's dracula, i found it to be at its core basically a love story, dracula looses his wife to suicide because she thought he had been killed, and then he is enraged because she will not be able to enter heaven because of said suicide. then of course he curses god and somehow, ive never actually understood he became a vampire, endlessly searching for the reborn soul of his wife. anyway i found the movie entertaining and thats what i look for.

we shall see if i enjoy the book.

ohh and btw way cass and i were actually under a building where bram stoker worked while we were in ireland.
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Re: Dracula - Bram Stoker

Postby Candy Kane » Sun Sep 26, 2010 1:27 pm

Oh, how cool!
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Re: Dracula - Bram Stoker

Postby Azriel » Sun Sep 26, 2010 2:54 pm

Under the building?? Why under?

I've never seen Bram Stoker's Dracula, but from what you described O it's nothing like the book.

See, Candy the reason why I like Stoker's vampires so much is that they're NOT sexy. They're evil and they're scary and they are definitely villains. Anne Rice had to go and make vampires tragic anti-heroes, which is interesting, but has completely redefined people's views of vampires. I like both views, but 'sexy vampires' has been SO overdone, I wish the truly evil type weren't overlooked so much.
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