Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Classics: Dracula by Bram Stoker

As a fan of nearly all variations of vampires in fiction, I definitely wanted to read Bram Stoker's Dracula, which was the spark of it all. This novel has had a major impact on the world, even on those who do not dwell within the fictional realm. When people hear the name Dracula, they do not think of Vlad the Impaler. Instead, they think of this intriguing, dark vampire who's story has been alive for over a century.

When one of my friends got a copy of Dracula before me, she said that the writing was "too old-fashioned" and she gave up. I think I laughed a little on the inside due to her ridiculous complaint. Since I usually love older works due to their general style, I knew I'd love this book... But I didn't. Not because it is "old" or anything like that (if I had a problem with that sort of thing, I wouldn't have created a meme where I talk about classic novels), but because it was poorly written. Even for the time period it was wirtten in, it wasn't very good. Edgar Allan Poe's time came before Dracula (though within the same centruy) so Stoker had no excuse. Really, Bram Stoker seemed to set himself up by writing a novel full of diary entries and friendly letters, for they made the story so passive. Rarely did anything exciting ever happen in these entries, but when something did occur, it felt more like a distant dream, as if none of it was happening.

However, the very beginning was sort of interesting. I actually enjoyed hearing about Jonathon Harker's story at first because of the eerie events that took place, but that writing style just can't pull off an entire book. After a while, I just didn't care about Miss Lucy's letters and the headache became too sharp.

Fellow readers, I have a confession to make: I simply could not finish this book. The fact that I couldn't do it angered me, so I tried reading it again. Still, the second time proved no better than the first. For the second time, I gave up. Maybe someday I'll get around to reading the entire thing, but I highly doubt it. This book just didn't work for me.

Though I did not get an enjoyable reading experience from Dracula, I know that many did. I even wish I could have found some way to appreciate it; that's why I tried reading it again. After all, this story has had such an influence. People wouldn't think of vampires the same way without it, and they wouldn't have their favorite nightmarish tale. Obviously, this book is far from my favorite, but I know a lot of the movies and books I like probably wouldn't exist without it.

I don't have to cherish what I don't like, but I'll try to see the good in it, especially considering it's an unforgettable classic of its time.

1 comment:

  1. I was wondering whether you would be happy to put up a link in my brand new monthly series called “Books You Love”. The idea is for people to link up posts about a book they loved – it doesn’t have to be one they just posted about. It could be an old fave. I am hoping we will end up with a nice collection of books that can go on our reading lists. Here is the link Books You Loved May Edition